photo: Phil Romans
Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee approved $31 billion in tax credits and other financial incentives to support development of renewable energy, help struggling wind and solar power companies, and give financial breaks to purchasers of plug-in electric vehicles. Though the details can (and probably will) change before a final package gets delivered to President Obama—the goal’s to have this done by February 16—here’s what’s been proposed:Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Dates Extended
Wind power facilities will be given an additional three years, until 2012, to be constructed and eligible for the federal renewable energy production tax credit.
Other renewable energy facilities, such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas and wave power, would also have an additional three years to come online to get this tax credit. This extends their deadline until 2013.
$1.6 billion in bonds would be authorized to finance new renewable energy facilities.
Facilities Coming Online Shortly Could Claim Investment Tax Credit
To deal with the current scarcity of financing, renewable energy projects which will come online in 2009 and 2010 can temporarily claim a 30% investment tax credit, instead of a production tax credit which normally would extend for 10 years.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Expanded
The number of plug-in electric vehicles eligible for purchaser tax credits would double to 500,000. This credit would range from $2,500 to $7,500.
Alternative Fuel Service Stations Get a Break
Service stations that provide hydrogen fueling, natural gas, or E85 ethanol services would have an increased tax credit.
Homeowner’s Tax Credits Increased for Efficiency Improvements
Homeowners would get a maximum $1500 tax credit for energy efficiency improvements. Individuals would also be eligible for a 30% uncapped tax credit for purchasing solar water heating property, small wind energy property and ground source heat pumps.
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