Tax credit would level playing field for renewables

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2017 – Congress is considering a bill to extend tax credits for clean energy. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.,  introduced the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act, which applies to closed-loop and open-loop biomass facilities, as well as geothermal, municipal solid waste, qualified hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic facilities.

“The North Country is the proud home of numerous renewable energy production facilities, and it’s important that we ensure these clean energy sources are supported,” said Stefanik, referring to New York’s extreme northern frontier. “This commonsense legislation puts biomass, hydropower, geothermal and other renewable energy sources on a level playing field with wind energy facilities. All of these renewable energy sources represent a new frontier for our environment and for economic growth, and it’s important that we give them the support they need.”Congress is considering a bill to extend tax credits for clean energy. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.,  introduced the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act, which applies to closed-loop and open-loop biomass facilities, as well as geothermal, municipal solid waste, qualified hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic facilities.

Stefanik hopes the legislation will stop the federal government from picking winners and losers.

“Tax credits can make the difference between a proposed project and a completed one, such as with the ReEnergy facility that powers Fort Drum in Stefanik’s district,” said Bob Cleaves, president of Biomass Power Association. “If this credit passes, we are hopeful that it will lead to new biomass development in areas that can sustain it.”

Stefanik’s bill aims to extend the current production tax credit. It also would ensure the extension is on the same terms and for the same time and phase-out schedule as was provided to solar energy property in 2015.

“Providing waste-to-energy and other baseload renewable energy sources the same tax treatment that is afforded other renewables will help technologies like waste-to-energy compete fairly in the marketplace, while providing the myriad benefits of generating renewable electricity from post-recycled waste that would otherwise be buried,” said Ted Michaels, president of the Energy Recovery Council.

“The Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act will fix inequities in our tax code and allow biogas systems and baseload renewable energy project development to grow,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council.

Stefanik hopes the legislation will support renewable baseload technologies that she says have been overlooked. The bill is also intended to promote further integration of additional wind and solar electricity into the grid.

Sandra Cowherd

www.agri-pulse.com