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Tomorrow a vote is to be held on continuing the middle class cuts (while letting millionaires now scrape by on a tax cut on merely the bottom $250,000 of their income) and into this bill, Senator Baucus has slipped some goodies for us climate hawks who love clean energy solutions.
The Hill is reporting that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has an amendment within the tax bill, to extend Section 1603, the cash grants for renewable projects.
Amendment 4727 will extend the hugely popular and effective Section 1603 cash grants for renewable projects that was to have expired at the end of this year.
The 30% cash grants from the stimulus bill (The Recovery Act of 2009) have fueled unprecedented growth of renewable development in the US (as much as in the entire last 30 years combined; putting an estimated 16 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid.)
But they were to have expired on December 31st, 2010, on the assumption that the economy would have righted itself by now after the Great Recession of 2008. But that is not the case, and at least 11 Gigawatts has to make it by then, or turn into a pumpkin.
I have noted before that Senator Baucus has a history of quietly slipping in amendments favorable to renewable energy into other bills. In 2008, when the Bush bank bailout had to be passed, (remember how Wall St dropped 700 points in a day) he quietly slipped in the PTC extension.
Here’s what’s in tomorrow’s amendment.
Domestic energy manufacturing. The bill provides an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Section 48C advanced manufacturing tax credit. Section 48C was established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide a 30% investment tax credit for facilities engaged in the manufacture of advanced energy property. Credits are available only for projects certified by the Secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, through a competitive bidding process.
Payment in lieu of production and investment credits. The bill codifies the direct payment in lieu of tax credit program that was initially created by Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and extends the program through December 31, 2011.
Susan Kraemer writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate and GreenProphet and has been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design she brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention: solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times. Follow Susan @dotcommodity on twitter.