Reid to act on US RE tax credits

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will bring legislation to the Senate floor by the end of the year to renew federal renewable energy tax credits.

“Tax incentives level the playing field for clean energy. They help make renewables more affordable to consumers, and large solar and wind projects more attractive to investors,” he told the National Clean Energy Summit, an annual event Reid hosts in Las Vegas. 

“These investments spur clean energy growth and create hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide,” he adds. “Letting these critical incentives expire is not an option.”

The wind industry has called on Congress to extend the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), the business energy investment tax credit (ITC) and 50% first year bonus depreciation allowance. All three expired last 31 December.

The ITC covers 30% of a project’s initial capital cost while the PTC pays $23 per MWh, inflation-adjusted, for a project’s first decade in commercial operation.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, blamed Republicans for stalling progress to extend the tax credits,  a strategy he says is a “sham.”

“In fact, earlier this year, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation that would have extended these renewable energy tax credits,” he says, referring to their action in May. “We must keep pressure on Congressional Republicans to invest in our nation's clean energy independence.”

Reid did not mention support in the Senate Finance Committee for a bipartisan proposal to offer an ITC for that does not expire until developers claim 3,000MW. This option would replace the existing short-term extensions.

The Senate is due to re-convene for two weeks on 9 September and then adjourn until after 4 November national elections. The so-called “lame-duck” session in the outgoing Congress could last as long as seven weeks before the traditional Christmas recess.