U.S. Senators propose extension of Investment Tax Credit, a key Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) policy
Two U.S. Senators have introduced a bill that would allow solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) projects under construction by the expiration date of the ITC to qualify for the incentive.
Two U.S. Senators have introduced a bill that would allow solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) projects under construction by the expiration date of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to qualify for the incentive. Projects currently qualify for the ITC, which offers a 30% tax credit, based on the date they are placed in service.
The ITC has been perhaps the most important policy support for the growth of the U.S. solar market, and is current set to expire at the end of 2016. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA, Washington D.C.) has called the bill “critically important”, noting that some PV and CSP plants under development may have to be canceled mid-way if they are unable to meet the current deadline.
“Investing in alternative energy sources cuts right to the core of whether and how we want to compete in the global and changing economy,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), a co-sponsor of the bill. “This bill allows us to make an important investment in our diverse energy portfolio and supports tens of thousands of Colorado jobs.”
“As Congress considers comprehensive energy tax reform, we ought to provide certainty in the interim by extending the existing slate of renewable tax credits and providing parity for the solar industry.”
A similar change was made to the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a policy which has been very important for growth of the U.S. wind industry and expired at the end of 2013.
Senators Bennet and Heller, the bill’s sponsors, represent the states of Colorado and Nevada, and support in the Western United States for the bill is strong. The Western Governor’s Association has sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in support of the bill.
The largest PV and CSP projects in the United States are all located in the West, which has vast areas of undeveloped desert, mountains and rangeland. The ITC also incentivizes fuel cells, micro-turbines, combined heat and power, and small/offshore wind.
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