Renewable energy industries energized by tax billThe tax bill that President Obama signed last Friday is good news for Minnesota’s renewable energy industries.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
The tax bill that President Obama signed last Friday is good news for Minnesota’s renewable energy industries.
The bill includes a one-year extension of the U.S. Department of Treasury Section 1603 grant program. A minor provision in the overall tax bill, the renewable energy grant program has been the main driver for the strong growth of U.S. renewable energy in 2010 – Minnesota included.
“Stable policies and incentives are critical to keep the renewable industry moving forward in not only Minnesota, but across the U.S. and in the global market, as well,” said Cheryl Glaeser, program officer at the Southwest Initiative Foundation.
The recent extension continues what began with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, when a 30 percent cash rebate became available to commercial developers of renewable energy systems in lieu of tax credits. The U.S. Department of Treasury Section 1603 grant program has supported thousands of jobs and thousands of megawatts of clean energy over the past two years. Many in the wind and solar industries believed that planned projects couldn’t be built without the program, because they wouldn’t have sufficient financial backing.
American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode called the extension of the grant program a “great day for American workers.” She continued, “Factories across the country will restart production lines, recall workers, and avoid layoffs that would have followed the loss of this key incentive for wind energy. With consistent policies like this one, wind energy can generate 20 percent of America’s electricity within 20 years, and employ half a million Americans.”
Many of the companies in the wind industry that depend on the recently extended U.S. Department of Treasury Section 1603 grant program can be found on a new Minnesota-based online directory called REDI Resources. Visit www.REDIresources.org to get started.