Congressmen introduce legislation to make solar credits transferable

Staff reportsMay 15, 201946

Summary:

Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Darin LaHood (IL-18) have introduced the Renewable Energy Transferability Act, that would allow the transfer of renewable energy tax credits, increasing innovation as well as the deployment of renewable energy, like wind and solar.

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Main Article:

Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Representative Darin LaHood (IL-18), members of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the Renewable Energy Transferability Act. This legislation would allow the transfer of renewable energy tax credits, increasing innovation as well as the deployment of renewable energy, like wind and solar.

“Climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time. Renewable energy generation reduces greenhouse gas pollution, while creating jobs,” said Representative Blumenauer. “The past four years were the hottest years on record, and we are seeing the consequences with devastating floods, wildfires, and droughts across the United States and the planet. Congress should be doing everything it can to help the renewable energy industry. This legislation will give them additional tools to help invest in the future of energy.”

“Illinois’ 18th District is the second largest producer of wind energy in Illinois and remains one of the top wind energy producing districts in the entire nation, and throughout central and west-central Illinois, wind energy projects support our local economies and create jobs,” stated Representative LaHood. “Investing in rural communities through wind energy projects has a proven track record of success, and it’s important we encourage the production of renewable energy sources. I am proud to join Rep. Blumenauer to introduce this legislation, which will continue to incentivize investment into wind energy projects in Illinois and around the country.”

“The American Wind and Energy Association strongly supports the Renewable Energy Transferability Act legislation introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Darin LaHood that would allow limited transferability of the renewable electricity PTC and ITC,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Maximizing the usability of these tax credits as they phase out will expand consumer access to low-cost renewable energy. Following similar treatment for other technologies, the Blumenauer and LaHood bill will deploy thousands of additional megawatts of renewable energy projects and boost economic development across the country.”

During the past 20 years, the Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit have massively expanded the development of renewable energy across the United States. Lazard’s 2017 Levelized Cost of Electricity study found that wind and utility scale solar are cheaper than fossil fuel generated energy. As Congress phases out these credits, the complexity of the credit has challenged the renewable industry in financing new projects. To ensure that the federal investment has the greatest possible impact, the Renewable Energy Transferability Act would allow these credits to be exchanged more freely, reaching a wider base of investors. This will expand the development of renewables and lower clean energy prices for consumers.

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