Senate Doubles Down on Tax Provisions That Would Harm Renewable Energy

Senate Doubles Down on Tax Provisions That Would Harm Renewable Energy

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Republicans voted 51-49 to approve their overhaul tax bill, the biggest change to U.S. tax law in decades. 

It has critical implications for renewable energy.

“If this bill were to be enacted exactly as written in the Senate, it would have extremely negative consequences for renewable energy investment and job creation in the United States,” said Greg Wetstone, CEO at the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). “Suddenly credits that had substantial value would face an environment where they have little if any value at all.”

Tax Bill Impact: What Happens to Renewable Energy?

Tax Bill Impact: What Happens to Renewable Energy?

The Senate voted early Saturday to approve a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code that critics say would decimate clean energy investments while continuing to hand out tax breaks to the oil and gas industries.

The sweeping tax system overhaul bill—which represents the biggest corporate tax cut in the country's history and would reach into many areas of American lives—also contains language that would open the door for oil and gas companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  

While the Senate proposal preserves tax credits that have spurred huge growth in the wind and solar industries, it contains an obscure provision that could undercut investment in renewables.

Under Trump’s Watch, Wind Energy Set To Blow Past Coal In Texas

Under Trump’s Watch, Wind Energy Set To Blow Past Coal In Texas

The great state of Texas is about to make history. Within the next year or so, total wind energy capacity on the state’s power grid will beat coal, and it won’t be a squeaker. According to researchers at the University of Texas, by the end of 2018 wind will be racing ahead with 10,000 megawatts more in capacity than coal.

US President* Trump made saving coal jobs a feature of his successful 2016 campaign, and US coal mining has seen an uptick in production in recent months. However, coal jobs are in steep decline on the power production side. The news out of Texas is more evidence of a long, deep, downward slide for coal jobs in this country.

ITC lays out case for solar tariffs in report sent to Trump

ITC lays out case for solar tariffs in report sent to Trump

There isn't a lot of new information in the detailed report sent to Trump by the ITC, but it does compile hours of testimony and research, providing insight into how the agency arrived at its unanimous injury ruling in September. 

At the end of October, the four sitting commissioners recommended a series of remedies composed of quotas, tariffs and a licensing fee to impose on imported chrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules — the most popular type of material for solar panels. 

The decision is a result of a rare Section 201 investigation, requested in April by Georgia-based solar manufacturer Suniva, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier in the same month. SolarWorld, another domestic solar manufacturer, later joined.

US Military Spending On Microgrids To Exceed $1 Billion In 2026, Predicts Navigant

US Military Spending On Microgrids To Exceed $1 Billion In 2026, Predicts Navigant

As the world’s single largest consumer of petroleum the US Department of Defense is expected to double-down on deploying military microgrids to sustain its operations, with annual microgrid implementation spending expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2026, according to a new deep-dive by Navigant Research.

The last time Navigant Research dug into the potential viability of microgrids for the US Department of Defense (DOD) and its military operations — which represent the largest consumer of all forms of energy globally — back in 2012, it found that efforts being made by the DOD were being highlighted as a significant driver of microgrid deployment in the United States. However, since then, deployments slowed for a number of reasons.

House cuts wind power incentives, putting sector's fate in Senate hands

House cuts wind power incentives, putting sector's fate in Senate hands

The House of Representatives last Thursday passed a tax overhaul bill that slashes incentives for wind power projects, turning the focus to the Senate, which is considering its own tax reform legislation that would leave those incentives in place.

“There is $50 billion of investment at risk,” Evan Vaughan, spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), told Utility Dive.

While the House bill poses a considerable threat to the wind industry, analysts contacted by Utility Dive believe the friendlier Senate version will prevail, at least when it comes to wind-specific items. But broader changes that exist in both bills could have a mixed impact on the wind power sector.

California government mandates send electricity prices skyrocketing, but Texas free market policies keep prices low

California government mandates send electricity prices skyrocketing, but Texas free market policies keep prices low

California’s rush to impose harsh government mandates cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the generation of electricity is raising the electricity bills of families and businesses across the state. Poor families are suffering the most.

In sharp contrast, Texas is successfully taking a free-market approach that is increasing the use of clean renewable energy and lowering electricity bills in the state.

Petros PACE Finance Closes $1.3 Million C-Pace Loan In Houston

Petros PACE Finance Closes $1.3 Million C-Pace Loan In Houston

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Petros PACE Finance has closed on a $1.3 million Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) transaction that will fund significant energy efficiency upgrades to a Houston office building that are projected to save the owner more than $3.66 million over the term of the 20-year loan.

Property owner 1225 North Loop Investments, Inc. plans to install new chillers with associated water pumps, variable speed drives and air handlers, a building control system and LED lighting in the 200,400-square foot building 1225 North Loop West.

House Tax Bill Hits Wind Power - TAKE ACTION

The House tax bill is trying to raise taxes on wind energy. As a wind energy supporter, I urge you to contact your House representative today.

In 2015, Congress reached a bipartisan deal that phased out the wind energy Production Tax Credit over five years. Investors took Congress at their word that there would be stable tax policy and poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. Wind energy grew, as did the jobs, community, and environmental benefits that came with it. 

Now, with two years left in the tax credit phase-down, Congress has reneged on their promise to support clean wind energy. Changing the rules in the middle of the game would be disastrous for American workers building wind turbines and farmers and ranchers harvesting the wind. 

Please help by contacting your House representative and demanding they keep the wind energy tax reform deal that was already agreed to in 2015.