Tag Archives: production tax credit

Did federal renewable incentives make a difference?

December 3, 2012 |

 

Since 2008, U.S. workers have built enough solar and wind farms to power over six million homes with clean energy. This boom was financed primarily by tens of billions in private investment – substantial financial commitments which would not have been made in the midst of a deep financial crisis without strong, sustained policy supports at the state and federal level.

But were federal incentives really necessary and are they still needed moving forward, given recent reductions in solar and wind technology costs?

These questions are especially important in light of discussion around the production tax credit for wind, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

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Renewable energy in California: What has policy brought us?

September 21, 2012 |

 

Government support for renewable energy is a subject of national debate. In particular, many are scrutinizing the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy – absent legislative action, it expires in December.

Policymakers across the political spectrum are asking questions like “has government support of renewable projects been effective?” and “should government support be continued or scrapped?” Investors in renewable energy are similarly interested in how policies can best provide stable support to help the industry mature.

With those questions in mind, our team looked back at what state and federal renewable energy policies have meant for California’s renewable energy deployment up to now.

A brief history of California renewable energy policies

As this graphic shows, renewable energy deployment in California has been concentrated in two waves. The first, in the 1980s, was due to a combination of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), high natural gas prices, and new technologies. The second, which started around 2001, coincided with California’s renewable portfolio standard as well as state and federal incentives.

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