ORIGINAL REPORTING: Wind And Solar Sidestep Politics
How wind and solar plan to thrive during the Trump presidency; Steadily declining prices and increasing market share mean the wind and solar industries 'got it from here'
Herman K. Trabish, Nov. 15, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: As predicted in January, the wind and solar industries continue to thrive. The administration’s attention so far remains elsewhere.
People in the wind and solar industries, which were transformed during the Obama administration from afterthought alternatives to mainstream energy resources, remain optimistic about growth despite the current administration’s announced energy policies. Wind energy is on track to continue thriving for reasons that have little to do with policy or politics, insiders said. The President’s announced infrastructure investment, if enacted, would boost wind. The costs for wind and solar dropped so far and so fast during the Obama administration that those industries are likely to see strong growth well into the future. The ITC and PTC that were agreed to at the end of 2015 and run through the early 2020s are expected to support long-term growth of the solar and wind industries.
With the current PTC, projects that demonstrate that construction commenced in 2016 have until the end of 2020 to go online to get 100% of the PTC benefit. Those that qualify in 2017 have until the end of 2021 to get 80% of the benefit, those that qualify in 2018 have until end of 2022 to get a 60% benefit, and those that qualify in 2019 have until the end of 2023 to get 40% of the tax credit, she added. Utility-scale solar installations that demonstrate adequate construction before 2020 could have 30% of the investment returned at the end of their first year of operation if they go into service within two years. If construction begins in 2020, they would get a 26% tax credit. If construction begins in 2021, the tax credit is for 22% of the investment. If construction begins after 2021, the tax credit is 10% if they go online by 2024… click here for more