Senate clears new grants for appliance makers


Tax credits for various renewable energy and efficiency initiatives have become less attractive in recent years because companies, in the sour economy, often lack the profits to claim the credits against.

The 2009 stimulus bill already allows renewable energy project developers to access grants in lieu of tax credits. But that program has been under fire as Democrats seek to show the year-old stimulus plan is working.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)  and three colleagues last week floated a bill that would require renewable energy projects that receive grants to use domestically-manufactured components.