Solar and wind-power companies won support Wednesday for a one-year extension of key tax credits, as a Senate panel included the tax breaks in an economic stimulus package.
The Senate Finance Committee agreed to an economic stimulus bill Wednesday that would extend tax credits for new wind and solar projects through the end of 2009. The ultimate fate of the measure remains uncertain as President George W. Bush is trying to pressure the Senate to agree to a more limited bill passed by the House.
Unless Congress acts, the renewable-energy tax credits will expire at year’s end. Companies have said that if lawmakers delay for too long, companies might pull back on new projects on the chance that new wind or solar systems might not be up and running in time to benefit from the tax credits.
Under the Senate Finance Committee’s measure, wind-generation companies would receive a tax credit, currently 2 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity generated, for each new wind turbine that goes into operation through 2009. The tax credit, which also would apply to electricity from geothermal and other sources, would cost $3 billion over 10 years, according to a document summarizing the details.
In the meantime, companies that install solar or fuel-cell equipment would have another year to receive a 30% tax credit. Currently, the tax credit expires in 2008.
Residential customers who install new solar equipment, such as solar hot-water heaters or solar panels, would also have another year to take a tax credit for 30% of the cost of the system, although the credit would remain capped at $2, 000.
-By Siobhan Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires
30 January 2008
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