Energy groups push for renewal of tax credits

Energy groups push for renewal of tax credits
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Trade groups for biomass, hydropower and other energy sources are pushing Congress to renew expiring tax credits for their industries before the end of the year. 

Saying the lack of a credit hurts their competitiveness against wind and solar power, the groups asked Congress to reauthorize their tax breaks before they expire at the end of the year. 

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“The end result,” the groups wrote in a letter to congressional leaders, is “less reliable renewable baseload power will be deployed, which we believe is not the intent or desire of Congress and not in line with an all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

The National Hydropower Association, American Biogas Council, Biomass Power Association and Energy Recovery Council, a waste-to-energy group, all signed the letter. 

Lawmakers in December extended an energy production tax credit covering several power sources, but the expiration dates are different for some of them. Wind projects, for example, are eligible for tax credits through 2019; other technologies, such as geothermal, biomass, hydropower and power from solid waste, are only eligible for credits through the end of this year.

In that same bill, members didn’t include extensions of tax credits for other energy sources like combined heat and power and small wind power. The Senate attempted to include those credits in a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill last summer, but the effort failed amid conservative opposition to them. 

The legislative hiccups mean energy groups are likely to push members to support their industries during the lame duck session after November’s elections. 

“Every day that passes without an extension increases the uncertainty for project developers in our industries and creates a further negative economic market signal to the investment community,” the groups wrote in their letter.