Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) released a letter Nov. 6 to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., against the renewal of the production tax credit (PTC) during Congress’s lame-duck session. In the letter, 66 groups urged the representatives to reject attempts to revive the PTC. AEA said that it does not make sense for Republicans to give away leverage concerning tax reform. The letter went on to say that extending the PTC restricts access to affordable and reliable energy by hiding the true cost of wind power. Lastly, AEA indicated that the PTC enables wind operators to use the tax code to engage in predatory pricing against what it called “reliable and affordable” nuclear, coal and natural gas power plants. In closing, the organizations stated that the PTC should not be included in the lame-duck tax extenders package and that it opposes President Barack Obama’s climate plan. The letter is available at www.americanenergyalliance.org.

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On Nov. 11, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced its approval of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) goal ofdoubling renewable energy use by 2030 in its 21-member economies. Rhone Resch, president and chief executive officer of SEIA, said in an article on the Solar Novus Today website that he plans for SEIA to do its part to help meet the ambitious goal. He added that SEIA is planning to contribute to further installation of energy projects in the next two years. More information is available at www.seia.org.

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The Iowa Utilities Board’s amendment to Regulation 199-15.21 took effect Dec. 17. Regulation 199-15.21 provides the applications for renewable energy tax credits (RETCs). The regulation reflects the implementation of Senate File 2343, which extends the in-service deadline for projects using RETCs by two years, from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2017. The amended regulation also extends the last year for tax credit issuance by two years, from year-end 2024 to year-end 2026. The regulation and S.F. 2343 can be seen at www.iowa.gov.

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On Nov. 11, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the United States is the No. 1 energy producer in the world. The United States produced more than 167 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2013, whereas China, the country perceived to be No. 1, produced 138 billion kWh. AWEA determined the United States is the leader due to use of the best wind turbine technology, efforts made to minimize negative environmental impact, and key government incentives and private sector financing encouraged development. More information can be found at www.awea.org.

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On Nov. 19, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), along with more than 300 organizations, sent a tax-extenders letter concerning the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and then Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. BCSE advocates for legislation concerning clean and alternative energy. The letter said that businesses and investors need stable, predictable federal tax policies to create jobs, invest capital and deploy pollution-reducing energy technologies. BCSE stated that in order to continue to receive the benefits that renewable energy tax incentives provide, it is essential to restore stability in the marketplace. The letter closed with the request to restore the expired clean and alternative energy technology and energy-efficiency tax provisions. More information is available at www.bcse.org.

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On Nov. 24, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Walter Cruickshank, the acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announced that more than 742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts will be offered for commercial wind energy development in a Jan. 29, 2015, competitive lease sale.

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