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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - June 2013

H.R. 1424, proposed by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., would amend the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of 1986 Section 48C to extend the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program. The Security in Energy and Manufacturing Act of 2013 (SEAM Act) sets the 2013 allocation amount at $5 billion. Sinema said the program provides a 30 percent tax credit, or grant in lieu of a tax credit, to companies constructing, expanding or retrofitting their facilities that manufacture renewable energy.

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S.B. 203, an act concerning property tax exemptions for renewable energy sources, passed the Connecticut State Senate in April and moved on to the House. Senator Bob Duff, Energy and Technology Committee chairman, is leading support for the bill. S.B. 203 would expand the tax exemption to include energy sources installed in commercial or industrial settings. Currently, the exemption only applies to sources installed in a residential setting. The bill would take effect for new projects installed after Jan. 1, 2014. The bill can be viewed at the Connecticut General Assembly.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled, “Wind Energy: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure Effective use of Federal Financial Support.” The GAO conducted this study to determine the number of initiatives in fiscal year 2011, and the amount, if any, of overlapping or duplicative federal funding and support, as well as how agencies allocated that support. The GAO analyzed wind-related initiatives and found that the 82 examined were fragmented across multiple agencies, and have overlapping characteristics and some duplicative financial support. Seventy-three of the wind initiatives had been collectively implemented by five government agencies. The GAO recommended that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) evaluate and document whether federal financial support is needed for all wind-projects initiatives. The report can be read at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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The GAO released testimony in April titled “Federal Support for Renewable and Advanced Energy Technologies.” The statement by Frank Rusco, director of natural resources and environment, was submitted to the House of Representatives subcommittees on Oversight and Energy, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The testimony discusses federal support for renewable and advanced energy technologies. It states that federal agencies, including the USDA, DOE and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, among others, provide support for these technologies through tax expenditures, grants, loans and loan guarantees. The report also found that, faced with concerns about the nation’s reliance on imported oil, volatile energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, federal policymakers have increased support for renewable and advances energy technologies. A copy of the report can be viewed at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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Tom Kiernan was appointed the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Kiernan stepped into his role in late May after a unanimous vote by the AWEA board of directors. Kiernan said one of his goals is to work on a long-term strategy that creates healthy and consistent wind energy production in the United States. Before taking on this position, Kiernan served as president of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for 15 years. He also served as president of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire and a senior-level official in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation under President George H.W. Bush.

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The Solar Foundation intoduced a web-based, interactive tool for providing solar job numbers in April. The Solar Foundation, an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, created the State Solar Jobs Map to provide job numbers for every state. The map also gives information on the size of solar industry subsectors in each state. Users can explore key solar policies, jobs per capita and number of homes powered by solar energy. The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census 2012 found that the U.S. solar energy industry employs 119,016 people and that employment in the solar energy industry grew 13.2 percent during the past year. Job estimates include installation and construction jobs, as well as non-installation jobs.

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The DOE announced it will reexamine the findings of its 2008 report “20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply” and then develop a plan for wind power research, development and deployment. Included in this effort would be a characterization of industry progress, a discussion of the costs and benefits, and a roadmap addressing the challenges. Objectives include providing leadership in development in the U.S. wind power community, analyzing industry growth scenarios, providing information to address stakeholder concerns and providing information for use by policy and decision makers. The DOE is requesting comments be left at the OpenEI community forum.

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Google released a white paper in April proposing a renewable energy tariff. The web services provider discussed on-site generation, renewable energy certificates (RECs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs), stating that these approaches have their limitations, as companies cannot get renewable energy easily or directly. The tariff would allow companies to choose which renewable energy sources they want to purchase or support, as well as receive the appropriate RECs. The proposed structure is as follows: eligibility, integrated service, renewable generation resources, green attributes and pricing.

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U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) promoted several positions internally, with Laura Skiles taking over as director of renewable energy tax credit (RETC) asset management, Darren Van’t Hof taking on the role of head of business development for RETC investments and Dan Siegel working as the director of project management for RETC investments. Skiles joined USBCDC in 2009, working most recently as an RETC senior asset manager. Her new duties will include monitoring risk management, compliance and post-closing negotiation activities of USBCDC’s renewable investment portfolio. Prior to joining USBCDC, Skiles worked for GE Capital. Van’t Hof previously worked on the USBCDC’s new market tax credit (NMTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) business development and project management staff. He also had leadership roles in NMTC, HTC and low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) asset management. Van’t Hof is currently on U.S. Bank’s environmental stewardship counsel and is a board member of the Solar Energy Industry Association. Siegel, one of USBCDC’s initial RETC officers, will oversee a team of project managers who are responsible for negotiating and funding all of USBCDC’s renewable energy investments.

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General Electric Company (GE) announced in May the positive impact the renewal of the U.S. production tax credit (PTC) has had on the company. GE says it has been able to sell wind turbines with 1 gigawatt (GW) of generating power since January thanks to the renewal of the PTC. The tax incentive provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity produced by wind turbines. The release says that 1 GW of power is enough energy to power 139,000 homes.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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