Industry demands stable tax policies

More than 300 companies and associations have sent a letter to leaders of the US Congress calling for urgent action on the EXPIRE Act to extend tax policies they say are critical for continued growth of clean energy technologies.

The Senate in April passed the bill on a 18-6 bipartisan vote. Among the provisions is extension of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which have helped drive wind energy development.

Both the ITC and PTC expired last 31 December.

Prominent wind industry signatories included the American Wind Energy Association; EDF Renewables; E.ON; Iberdrola; MidAmerican Energy, controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company; NextEra Energy, the largest US wind generator; Pattern Energy and Siemens.

Noticeably absent was General Electric, the dominant wind turbine supplier in the US market.

“Businesses and investors need stable, predictable federal tax policy to create jobs, invest capital, and deploy pollution-reducing energy technologies,” their letter says."Allowing the lapsed clean energy tax provisions to languish undermines investor confidence and jeopardizes continued economic and environmental benefits,”

“These bipartisan tax provisions have a proven track record of helping scale up production and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies, thereby ensuring that market-ready technologies are deployed to their full potential,” it continues.

“The nation’s suite of clean energy and energy efficiency tax provisions lower the cost of clean energy and keep the U.S. competitive in the global technology race. They promote economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment. To continue capturing these benefits it is essential to restore stability in the marketplace by extending the expired provisions through 2015 and by making them retroactive to the beginning of this year,” it adds.