NewEnergyNews: MONEY SPENT ON NEW ENERGY INCENTIVES PAYS FOR ITSELF: STUDY

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    Monday, June 23, 2008

    MONEY SPENT ON NEW ENERGY INCENTIVES PAYS FOR ITSELF: STUDY

    There is so much evidence of how valuable the development of wind energy is for the nation it is surprising anybody even thought to do this study: The tax credits the Congress keeps denying New Energy (6 times since December and kudos to the New Energy industries for refusing to take "no" for an answer) would pay for themselves in new tax revenues generated.

    The new study from GE shows that wind farms built in 2007 will bring $250 million into the U.S. Treasury. The cost from the incentives will be offset by income tax revenue from worker wages, project vendors and power output after the 10-year credit period ends.

    Bills with a variety of strategies to fund the production tax credits (PTCs) and investment tax credits (ITCs) for New Energy have been put forward (cuts to fossil fuels tax breaks, cuts to offshore hedge fund returns, etc.) but the recalcitrant Republican minority in the Senate has not accepted any of the plans.

    It is likely, if Congress does not extend the wind energy industry's PTCs (and the solar energy industry’s ITCs), the New Energy players with the necessary financial leverage will move out of the U.S. during 2009 and the smaller companies will suffer.

    Steve Taub, senior vice president of investment strategy, GE Energy Financial Services: "People are already putting the brakes on projects…"

    A solar company CEO recently confided to NewEnergyNews he expects 2009 to be a "lost" year. And why?

    This study shows it is not because funding New Energy costs taxpayers. And polls repeatedly show it is not because taxpayers oppose the development of wind and solar and electric vehicle transport. And science keeps showing it is not because the nation and the world don't NEED the development of clean energy.

    It is because a minority of fossil fools in the U.S. Senate continue to act in defense of a few wealthy patrons and an antiquated 20th century energy system.

    See the GE Financial Services powerpoint presentation
    PTC More than Pays for Itself

    (From the GE study - click to enlarge)

    Wind Farm Taxes Make Up Losses From Incentives – GE study
    Mark Peters, June 18, 2008 (Dow Jones via CNN Money)

    WHO
    GE Energy Financial Services

    WHAT
    Impact of 2007 Wind Farms on US Treasury, a GE Energy Financial Services study, finds wind energy’s production tax credit (PTC) would pay for itself in new revenues generated.

    (From the GE study - click to enlarge)

    WHEN
    - The Senate denied the extension of the investment tax credits (ITCs) and production tax credits (PTCs) for the 6th time on June 17.
    - The ITCs and PTCs expire January 1, 2009.
    - 2003: Congress let the PTCs expire; 2004: 77% drop in new U.S. wind capacity.

    WHERE
    - GE has 34 wind farms in 13 states.
    - It is the U.S.’ biggest wind turbine manufacturer and the 2nd biggest manufacturer in the world.

    WHY
    - GE had a vested interest in funding the study because it is heavily invested ($3 billion) in New Energy.
    - The PTC kicks back 2.1 cents/kilowatt-hour produced to wind energy builders for the first 10 years of a project’s life.

    (From the GE study - click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    Michael Eckhart, president, American Council on Renewable Energy: "Too often, politics, rather than economics, has shaped the debate about extending the production tax credit…GE's new study identifying additional economic benefits of the wind industry should bring all parties together."

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