House Foregoes New Tax Credits for Storage, Offshore Wind as it Approves $1.4T Spending Bill

By District Energy posted 01-02-2020 09:47

  

Utility Dive

Summary

Renewable energy stakeholders were disappointed in the deal, having hailed the previous House Democratic draft bill as a crucial way to advance clean energy deployment.

The Senate is expected to pass the package, which includes an extension of a biodiesel tax credit, a key priority for Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

"Historically, over the past more-than-a-decade, it's typically been almost a no-brainer that Congress will at the end of the year just reauthorize a whole grab-bag of different tax provisions," but that changed in 2017 and 2018, Erica York, an economist at the conservative think tank Tax Foundation, told Utility Dive.

Several expired tax credits have been awaiting reauthorization, adding to investment uncertainty. "That's why in general it's not a good idea to have a temporary tax code," York said. "If the Congress does decide to have industry specific carve-outs, they should be permanent."

The wind tax credit extension through the end of the 2020 tax year would therefore still create a sense of uncertainty for industry, she said.

However, energy lobbyists are not giving up, despite the disappointment.

The clean energy extensions included in the agreement "do little for renewable growth and next to nothing to address climate change," Greg Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said in a statement.

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