Tax Credits for Renewables Up in the Air

Tax credits for renewable energy production and other incentives expired with 2013. The current Congress, facing mid-term elections, sees more pressing issues than the retroactive extension of these credits, including credits of a $1 per gallon of biodiesel, 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of wind energy, $1.01 per gallon of ethanol produced from cellulose sources, and credits for household energy efficiency improvements. Projects that began construction before the December 31 expiration are entitled to many of the credits for renewables through the end of 2015, although new projects would not be eligible without extender legislation.

If Congress takes any action it will most likely come from the Senate Finance Committee, where ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has said that committee staff from both sides have begun work on an extender bill.  However, the current Finance Chair, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), has been nominated to be Ambassador to China and the leadership change may slow Committee activities.  The House Ways and Means Committee has no plans to pursue legislation and may choose to let the expirations stand as revenue offsets with limited public pressure for extensions.

For more information regarding tax credits for renewables, contact Phillip Hoover.

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