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How the New US President Will Affect This Space

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Extension of tax credits

On December 15, 2015, the Obama administration signed a bill for the extension of tax credits to renewable energy. The Consolidated Appropriations Act extended tax credits to photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, closed-loop biomass, and other eligible technologies.

While solar energy received an extension to the 30% investment tax credit (or ITC), wind power received an extension to the 2.3%-per-kilowatt-hour production tax credit (or PTC). Meanwhile, geothermal, marine energy, and small hydropower received one-year extensions to their 30% ITCs.

The biggest beneficiaries of this act were solar and wind energies, for whom these tax credits will last until the end of this decade.

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Why is this important?

With the election looming in 2016, there are concerns regarding an extension of these benefits at the end of the year. Further, a change in the political guard could also be detrimental to the projects and their futures.

An extension of these tax credits, especially to solar and wind energy projects, would mean that clean energy (PBD) (PBW) (PUW) would continue to attract enhanced interest.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Cheryl Wilson and Rob Barnett, renewable energy could be boosted under the Democrats. The analysts are of the opinion that Donald Trump “lacks energy-specific proposals,” adding that he may side with those Republicans who are against credit extensions to clean energy sources.

Thus, even in the event of a Republican Presidency, the Obama administration has ensured that solar (TAN) and wind energy (FAN) can enjoy a good run, at least in the short term.

There’s been some good news in terms of cost reductions in offshore wind. Let’s look at that in the next article.

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