Renewable Energy Tax Grant Program gets One Year Extension
Solar Energy and Wind Energy Industries assured of one more year of tax grants to aid expansion
In an overwhelming majority vote of 81-9 in the Senate and 277-148 in the House of Representatives, the U.S. has voted to continue for another year the Department of Treasury Section 1603 renewable energy tax grant program, which allows owners of commercial wind and solar energy companies to receive a cash grant instead of a 30% federal tax credit. This renewable energy tax grant program has been vital to driving the solar energy industry's expansion and to keeping the wind energy industry afloat.
Solar Energy Tax Grant Program Extension Approved by Senate
Senators Cantwell, Ensign, Feinstein, and LeMieux led the push to pass the extension in the Senate. The renewable energy tax grant program is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was set to expire at the end of 2010.
The Section 1603 renewable energy tax grant program has provided $1.3 billion to help fund 1,179 solar energy projects, which has more than doubled the amount of solar energy installations in the U.S. in the last year. In 2009, 435 megawatts of new solar energy was installed; in 2010, the new solar energy installed amounted to around 1,000 megawatts and this number is expected to double again in 2012.
Denise Bode, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, noted that the Section 1603 renewable energy tax grant program is crucial to the developing wind energy industry too. She predicted that wind energy could provide 20% of Americans' electricity by 2030 if the industry continues to get consistent funding.
We're relieved to hear about the extension since continuation of the renewable energy tax grant program is absolutely crucial if we are to see wind and solar energy continue to expand across the United States.