Renewable power advocates promise continued push for tax credit extension

Source: Elana Schor and Gabriel Nelson • E&E • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2012

Even as renewables advocates today lamented lawmakers’ move not to use a bipartisan payroll tax deal as a vehicle to extend a much-watched clean power tax credit, they vowed to keep pressing for a reprieve ahead of a year-end expiration date that could trigger layoffs in coming months. The final payroll tax cut deal signed by congressional conferees today, which shifts the rules governing federal employee pension contributions (see related story), didn’t give the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, biomass, solar and other renewable energy sources life beyond this year, despite support from top Senate Democratic negotiator Max Baucus of Montana. The omission emerged as the Obama administration continues to warn of adverse consequences if Congress does not act soon to extend the credit.

As payroll tax deal nears, calls grow to include tax extenders

Source: Katie Howell • E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

As House and Senate negotiators work to nail down a payroll tax cut deal, corporations and interest groups are urging lawmakers to include a key renewable energy tax credit extension in the package.

Many Jobs May Be Gone With The Wind Energy Credit

Source: RICHARD HARRIS • NPR Morning Edition • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

The wind power industry in this country has grown fast in recent years, but that could come to a screeching halt. The industry depends on a federal subsidy to keep it competitive with other forms of electricity. It’s a tax credit wind farms get for the power they produce. That credit expires at the end of the year, and it’s not clear whether Congress will renew it.

Wind energy loses in tax legislation

Source: Dan Piller • Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Windpower Magazine and other sources are reporting that extension of the 2-cent per megawatt hour production tax credit for wind energy projects has been excluded from the compromise Payroll Tax bill in congress.

Payroll tax bill won’t include extension of energy tax credits: US lawmakers

Source: Keith Chu • Platts • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

An extension of US energy-related tax credits, including the production tax credit for wind power, will not be included in a congressional deal to extend a payroll tax cut that could be released as soon as Wednesday evening, a Republican lawmaker involved in negotiations said. The PTC and other energy tax credit extensions “never were going to be in it,” said House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, Republican-Michigan, in a interview.

Obama’s Wish List for Energy

Source: MATTHEW L. WALD • New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Among other changes, the Obama administration is seeking to eliminate $4 billion in subsidies to fossil fuels, aid that Dr. Chu calls unnecessary; it is also proposing to drop research on onshore wind because it is “an established technology,’’ the energy secretary said. Offshore wind will still get research help.

Fate of wind power tax still unknown

Source: PETE ROPER • The Pueblo Chieftain • Posted: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

With the clock winding down, House and Senate negotiators still were working Tuesday at drafting legislation to extend the 2 percent cut in federal payroll taxes for the rest of the year. What wasn’t known was whether that legislation also would include extending the federal Production Tax Credit that companies such as Vestas-American Wind Technology want to help recruit new customers for its wind tower turbines.

Will Hurricanes Topple U.S. Wind Turbines?

Source: DIANE CARDWELL • New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

As plans for wind farms rising out of the ocean along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts inch closer to fruition, a new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that hurricanes could destroy a significant number of turbines in some of these areas, even coming close to wiping them out.

Although turbines are designed to both harness and withstand the forces of wind, they can be severely damaged by too much of it. In the United States, Europe and Asia, turbines have caught fire, blades have shredded and towers have crumpled when hit by stormy gales.

Flat DOE budget proposal has extra spending for renewables, research, efficiency programs

Source: Katie Howell and Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The request maintains Obama’s previous priorities of investing heavily in clean and renewable energy research and development while slimming down budgets for traditional energy research programs.

Despite today’s visit with Chinese official, Obama pushes for agency that could advance trade war

Source: John McArdle • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The new budget line for ITEC comes three days after the U.S. International Trade Commission made a preliminary ruling that illegally subsidized Chinese and Vietnamese wind tower exports and illegal Chinese dumping practices have harmed the United States’ domestic wind tower industry. The unanimous ruling opens the door for the Department of Commerce to move forward with a case that could eventually impose tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese wind towers.