Green Lobbyists Are Scrambling To Save Their Subsidies From GOP Tax Reform

The GOP tax plan looks like it could pass out of the Senate, a prospect that has green energy companies scrambling to save their tax subsidies.

The Senate tax plan, which moved to a formal debate Wednesday, would make it harder for green energy companies to exchange their tax subsidies for financing. “Without tax equity financing, most of these projects don’t go forward, solar or wind,” an unnamed green energy lobbyist told Politico.

Wind energy lobbyists are working with senators to try and get the provision changed. American Wind Energy Association Peter Kelley said they want tax reform that “does not threaten the $85 billion in economic activity and the projected 50,000 new American jobs from wind farm development through 2020.”

News outlets often parrot reports claiming that wind and solar energy are outcompeting more conventional sources, like coal and natural gas.

However, tax benefits are a major reason why banks finance wind and solar farms. So-called tax equity financing allow green energy companies to leverage tax benefits in exchange for financing.

Financiers then get cash from the government. Green energy companies often don’t make enough money to take advantage of tax credits, so they use them as leverage for financing.

These tax equity deals make up as much as 60 percent of a wind farm’s capital cost, and about half the cost of a solar project, Politico noted.

Wind and solar tax credits are quite generous. The wind production tax credit allows turbine owners to collect $23 per megawatt hour for 10 years. Solar panel owners can get a credit worth up to 30 percent of the project’s cost.

Without generous tax incentives, banks are less likely to finance green energy projects.

“It takes us out of the market,” a green energy financing source told Politico. “The best-case scenario is it significantly reduces our involvement in the market, but it would be so difficult to plan in the near term at least, it would take us out. And we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of investment every year.”

The House version of the GOP tax plan also takes aim at green energy tax subsidies, reducing the production and investment credits for wind and solar projects.

Changes made to green energy production tax credits would save taxpayers $12.3 billion over 10 years, according to the bill’s cost estimate. Payments for green energy generation fall from 2.3 to 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour and it more narrowly defines when a project can qualify.

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Comments (10)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Time to totaly defund the wind and solar power pork barrel its a waste and these things are harmful to Birds and Bats

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    If green energy can’t survive in a free market economy, then it shouldn’t survive. Remember, that one person employed in power from coal produces as much power as 20 in green energy. The amount of energy per employee of those 50,000 potential jobs is so low it increases energy prices and grievously harms consumers.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    rakooi

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    And all the Tax Breaks, exclusive to the Fossil Fuel Energy MONOPOLY, the largest political contributors to Congress go on, untouched.
    And all the Tax Deferrals, exclusive to the Fossil Fuel Energy MONOPOLY, go on, untouched.
    And the Free Infra Structure construction and Maintenance, exclusive to the Fossil Fuel Energy MONOPOLY, go on, untouched.
    And the Free Land and/or Free Land Use by the energy monopoly.
    AND
    The Foreign AID designed as a dollar for dollar reimbursement to countries who SUBSIDIZE our profitable energy monopoly.

    2016 saw our ENERGY MONOPOLY (hint: Killer Coal & Big Oil)
    pass the $1 TRILLION MARK in State & Federal SUPPORTS
    ……compared to RENEWABLE ENERGY which accounts for about $7 billion
    ….(note the difference)
    …..and while electric rates continue to sky rocket in locations totally dependent upon COAL ELECTRIC GENERATION
    …….In TEXAS (renewable Energy RICH TEXAS)
    …….((THAT is that BIG RED STATE))
    electric rates are FALLING AND FALLING in double digits.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JayPee

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      The inability to state an argument concisely is
      the hallmark of a liar.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      David Lewis

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      Just nature of green energy vs fossil fuels make green energy much more expensive. If it takes twenty renewable energy employees to match the power output of one coal worker, that twenty to one cost ratio is passed onto the consumers. When dual power generator is needed for renewable energy, one for when the sun shines and wind blows, and a fossil fuel plant for when they don’t, that is passed onto the consumers. All subsidies aside, renewable energy is more expensive and should only survive if it can compete without mandates.

      The subsidies for fossil fuel are over stated. If free infra structure construction and maintenance is done for schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and our homes, why is it a subsidy when done for the fossil fuel industry?

      In comparison to many countries, the level of subsidies for fossil fuels are low.

      I have seen some claims about subsidies for fossil fuel that are outrageous. One claimed that a very high carbon tax should be levied against fossil fuels, and since it wasn’t, that was a subsidy.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jireland

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      Ok rakooi I’ve been following this sit for a while and I have to ask, what are you doing here. You clearly don’t like or agree with anyone here and you even relied on a separate account to agree with your comments. Just leave, there are sites out there that will cater to your interests, just go there.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Sonnyhill

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        rakooi aspires to be an Internet troll someday. Someday, maybe he’ll learn to learn from his mistakes. Someday, rakooi’s climate change hero’s might learn from their mistakes and develop models that represent reality. Someday. In the meantime, he’s quite welcome to comment here and stink. Alter-ego Drew has his back.

        Reply

      • Avatar

        G

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        I have no problem with his presence here whatsoever. Anyone should be allowed to disagree.

        His work though is illustrative of the political movement he represents. Nothing but cut-and-paste mindlessness from the others who perpetuate the scam. No wit, no humor, no personal thought, just repeated dire, dour warnings of a “problem” that real people don’t see.

        “Ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City. Trouble with a capital “T”, and that rhymes with “P”, and that stands for pool!”…

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Sonnyhill

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          Damn G. I found the lyrics.
          Reminds me of the more concise lyrics from Alice Cooper. School’s Out. You’re on your own now.

          Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Rakooi save your Hot Air for the winter when it will snow and blizzards and you’ll need the Hot Air to Stay Warm at night

    Reply

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