Upcoming Federal Government/Legislation/Political Action

March 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

FEDERAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LEGISLATION(via AWEA: American Wind Energy Association)
Production Tax Credit (PTC)
Small Wind Investment Tax Credit
Renewables Electricity Standard (RES)
Renewable Energy Transmission Highways
National Climate Change Legislation
Federal Agency Support for Siting Wind Power Projects and Transmission Lines
Research and Development

________________________________________________________
Production Tax Credit (PTC) Extension

Description: Under present law, an income tax credit of 2.1 cents/kilowatt-hour is allowed for the production of electricity from utility-scale wind turbines. This incentive, the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), was created under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Current Status: Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (passed in February 2009), Congress acted to provide a three-year extension of the PTC through December 31, 2012. Additionally, wind project developers can choose to receive a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) in place of the PTC for facilities placed in service in 2009 and 2010, and also for facilities placed in service before 2013 if construction begins before the end of 2010. The ITC then qualifies to be converted to a grant from the Department of Treasury. The Treasury Department must pay the grant within 60 days of an application being submitted.


Small Wind Systems Tax Credit

Description: Under present law, a federal-level investment tax credit (ITC) is available to help consumers purchase small wind turbines for home, farm, or business use. Owners of small wind systems with 100 kilowatts (kW) of capacity or less can receive a credit for 30% of the total installed cost of the system.

Current Status: The ITC, written into law through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, is available for equipment installed from October 3, 2008 through December 31, 2016. The value of the credit is now uncapped, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

AWEA members can access a factsheet on how to use the ITC by:

  1. Logging in to www.awea.org/membercenter/login.html
  2. Selecting “AWEA eCommunities” on the left side of the screen
  3. Selecting the “Small Wind” eCommunity
  4. Selecting “Document Archive”
  5. Selecting the “Misc.” folder

National Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)

Description: The renewable electricity standard (RES), also known as a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), uses market mechanisms to ensure that a growing percentage of electricity is produced from renewable sources, like wind power. The RES provides a predictable, competitive market, within which renewable generators compete with each other to lower prices. RES policies currently exist in 28 U.S. states, but not at the national level.

Current Status: AWEA seeks a national RES that calls for 25% of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2025. An aggressive near-term target, such as the 10% by 2012 objective called for in the Obama-Biden New Energy for America plan, is essential to ensure rapid renewable energy deployment. The target levels should increase incrementally in the years that follow. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

Current Legislation:

Senate:

  • Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Tom Udall (D-NM) have introduced a 25% renewable energy by 2025 standard calling for 6% renewables by 2012 and consistently increasing thereafter to meet the 2025 goal.
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has a discussion draft of legislation calling for 20% renewable energy by 2021 standard, starting with a 4% renewables by 2011 target and allowing up to 25% of the standard to be met through energy efficiency improvements.

House of Representatives:

  • Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) have introduced a 25% renewable energy by 2025 standard calling for 6% renewables by 2013 and consistently increasing thereafter to meet the 2025 goal.

Renewable Energy Transmission Highways

Description: The U.S. is home to vast quantities of clean energy resources, but lacks a modern interstate transmission grid to deliver carbon-free electricity to customers in highly populated areas of the country. This is perhaps the biggest obstacle to the long-term growth of wind power and other renewables.

Current Status: AWEA supports federal policies that would bring about the construction of a high-voltage interstate transmission highway system for renewable energy, as envisioned in DOE’s 20% wind report. Our agenda includes federal legislation, regulatory initiatives by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, and federal financial support. The cost would be an increase in annual transmission investment from approximately $8 billion today to $11 billion, but this investment would quickly be offset by lower electricity costs and reduced fuel costs, and would lead to greater energy independence. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

Additional Resources:

AWEA-SEIA Green Power Superhighways White Paper (February 2009)


National Climate Change Legislation

Description: As the most readily deployable source of carbon-free electricity generation, wind power is uniquely positioned to contribute to the global warming solution, especially in the early years of the climate protection effort, when few other options are available. Generating 20% of U.S. electricity from wind would be the climate equivalent of removing 140 million vehicles from the roadways. But the potential will not be realized unless climate legislation provides an economic incentive to switch to clean energy sources.

Current Status: AWEA seeks climate legislation that includes an aggressive near-term goal, such as a 15 to 20% carbon dioxide reduction by 2020, in order to promote a near-term shift to renewable energy and get the quick start on greenhouse gas emissions reductions scientists tell us is needed. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.


Federal Agency Support for Siting Wind Power Projects and Transmission Lines

Description: Federal agencies have a key part to play in developing our renewable energy potential because of their role in the siting of wind projects and new transmission lines, especially on federal lands.

Current Status: AWEA seeks prioritization of proposals for responsibly-sited renewable energy projects on federal lands (including offshore waters) and creation of review processes at federal agencies that are streamlined, transparent and timely, with permitting and review capabilities that are scaled up as needed to meet demand. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.


Research & Development

Description: Federal funding for wind energy research and development (R&D) and other programs is inadequate, especially when compared with funding levels for other fuels and energy sources. The U.S. Department of Energy wind program currently receives about $50 million annually, which is well below its all-time high of $63 million appropriated in Fiscal Year (FY) 1980.

Current Status: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February 2009, provided the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program $1.25 billion in undesignated funding for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities. AWEA seeks to increase the annual funding level for wind research & development and other programs at the U.S. Department of Energy to $217 million over the course of the next three to five years. Additional recommendations available in the New Wind Agenda report.

<!– Monday, February 23
– Maui Council – Planning Committee
– Council Chamber, 8th Floor; 1:30 p.m.
– Testimony on proposal by Maui Tomorrow, Kai Nishiki and others for Maui County Council to pass a County-wide ordinance banning Superstores

Tuesday, February 24
– Infrastructure Management Committee
– Council Chamber, 8th Floor; 1:30 p.m.
– County’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan
Tesimony for or against changing Recycling budget –>

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Entry filed under: Political Action, Sustainable Business.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SMS Newsletter, April 2009 « South Maui Sustainability  |  February 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    […] RECENT SMS EVENTS • Whale day Booth • Upcountry sustainability booth • Got Water? April SMS community meeting • Malama Aina. March SMS community meeting RECENT POSTINGS at SouthMauiSustainability.org • Project Malama Honokowai • Space-based solar power agreement • Hawaii to get $15M stimulus for energy efficiency projects • First Family To Plant White House Veggie Garden • Solar panel maker gets first ever alternative-energy Fed loan guarantee • The Wisdom of Sustainability: Dialogue at McCoy Theater, April 20 • PBS Hawaii – Alternate Energy Parts 1 and 2 • Dollars from dirt: Economy spurs home garden boom • Bill Banning State Regulation of GMOs Passes House—    Now in Senate • e – PBS Ecology Series • Film: The Waterfront (April 22) • Scorpion: World’s First Hydrogen-Hybrid Sports Car • Military on Leading Edge of Efficiency • Upcoming Federal Governmental Legislation & Political Action […]

    Reply

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