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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - May 2010

Wind energy manufacturing continued to grow in 2009, albeit at a slower pace than in 2008, according to the annual U.S. wind industry market report released in April by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). AWEA says that despite a slowdown in turbine manufacturing compared to 2008, 10 new manufacturing facilities came online last year, 20 were announced, and nine were expanded. The report also found that more than 10,000 megawatts of new wind power generating capacity was installed in 2009, which is enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes. In state rankings, AWEA says that Iowa leads in percentage of electricity from wind power, with 14 percent of the state’s power derived from wind energy sources. Iowa also has the highest number of wind industry jobs in the private sector.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) web site features a free map tool that shows real-time photovoltaic (PV) panel installation activity in the United States from 1998 to 2009. The tool also provides access to a database including graphs and charts of the size, location, capacity and cost of the panels. Geographers in NREL’s data analysis and visualization group accept data uploads from utility companies, local and state governments and the public. Since going online last October, the project, called the Open PV project, has catalogued more than 67,000 PV systems with an approximate capacity of 785 megawatts. NREL reports that it is exploring the creation of additional open databases for wind, solar, hot water and geothermal installations. Learn more about the project at
openpv.nrel.gov.

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On April 10 the Alaska Senate passed Senate Bill 220, the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act, an omnibus bill to stimulate the state’s economy by attracting investment in renewable energy. Sponsored by Sens. Bill Wielechowski and Lesil McGuire, the bill would set energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, dedicate state funds for renewable and alternative energy projects and testing, and establish a renewable energy tax credit of 15 percent of the retail rate for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced from renewable sources. Upon adoption by the Senate, the bill was transferred to the House for consideration.

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A group of 19 governors sent a letter to President Barack Obama in March urging expansion of the Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In January, $2.3 billion in tax credits was awarded to recipients in 43 states to support manufacturing energy projects. The governors report that these federal resources have leveraged more than $5.4 billion in private investment. In the letter, the governors discuss the success of the tax credit and describe the economic benefits that would come with an expansion. A copy of the letter, and more information about the Section 48C tax credit, can be found online at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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In early March, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell announced the introduction of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, legislation that calls for the potential installation of approximately 300 megawatts of new solar PV systems by 2029. Markell says the bill could lead to the installation of more than 1000 megawatts of utility-scale generation in the form of offshore wind power, which would result in the creation of 1,000 construction jobs and 150 long-term operation and maintenance jobs by 2029. The bill proposes a market-based method for financing renewable energy projects under the state’s Green Energy Fund. Supporters say this would resolve the long wait time and inadequate overall funding for the current grant program. A fact sheet about the Clean Energy Jobs Act is available at governor.delaware.gov.

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Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced legislation in March that would offer a tax credit for homeowners who invest in community solar projects. Senate Bill 3137, or the Solar Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Act of 2010, would expand the tax code to enable taxpayers to claim federal solar investment tax credits (ITCs) when purchasing a share of a community solar project. The current tax code requires solar panels to be installed on the taxpayer’s actual residence. A copy of the bill is available online at www.energytaxcredits.com.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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