Solar and Wind Liberated

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Solar and Wind Liberated

In an amazingly bipartisan move, Congress just ensured the steady growth of wind and solar through 2021.
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Solar Update from Green Builder Media

Green Builder Media

Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 8:15am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

It’s astounding what Congress members can accomplish when they find that it’s in their best interest to cooperate. In order to ensure smooth sailing (at least on the budget front) until the 2016 election, Congress just passed a spending bill with none of the drama or tumult that has become its status quo. And, better yet, that spending bill promises to unleash the potential of solar and wind in our country as viable, cost-effective clean energy sources.

In the budget deal struck last Wednesday, Democrats agreed to lift the 40-year ban on crude oil exports in exchange for an extension of tax credits for renewables. The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, previously set to expire at the end of 2016, has been extended through 2021, though it will begin to phasedown in 2017 and will ultimately be reduced to 10% by 2020.

Experts believe that by the time of the phasedown, the solar industry will be established enough (offering either price parity or costs savings when compared to fossil fuel sources) to handle the tax credit phasedown. Solar prices have already dropped 80% in the last decade, and gaining another 6 years of tax credits—even with a staged reduction in that credit—will undoubtedly spur the continued growth of the solar industry.

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind (which had already expired in 2014) has been extended through the end of 2019, also with a phasedown beginning at the end of 2016. Other clean energy sources, such as geothermal, landfill gas, marine energy, and incremental hydro received a 1-year PTC extension, and the bill also expands grants for energy and water efficiency, clean energy R&D, and land and water conservation.

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Keywords: Energy | Alternative Energy | Energy | Energy Efficiency | Environment | Green Builder Media | Renewable Energy | Sara Gutterman | Solar Energy | Utilities | Wind Energy

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

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