A motion that would have extended tax credits for renewables generators was defeated in the Senate on Tuesday.
In the latest setback for the renewables industry and the Obama administration’s low-carbon agenda, an amendment to a transportation bill introduced by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow that would have extended the production tax credit (PTC) for a year was rejected.
The PTC is due to expire at the end of the year, which is causing concern for many investors in the industry. The amendment would also have extended tax grant programmes and incentives for energy efficient homes, appliances, electric vehicles and efficient manufacturing.
Troubled Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas said earlier this year that uncertainty of the future of the PTC could put its US business – and 1600 jobs – at risk.
Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), expressed disappointment that “partisan gridlock” in Washington is putting thousands of jobs at risk.
“The clock is ticking and the stakes for a timely extension of the PTC could not be clearer,” she said in a statement. “Despite the partisan vote on these broader energy amendments, the fact remains that the wind PTC enjoys bipartisan support in the House and Senate.”
According to Bode, an extension of the PTC for wind generation is supported by 79 co-sponsors, including 18 Republicans, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and Edison Electric Institute.
But there is hope. A vote on another amendment that would have removed all tax breaks for energy generators, including renewables, electric cars and biofuels, was resoundingly defeated 26-72.
For further information:
US senator proposes national clean energy standard (5-Mar)
Obama promises to make renewable energy tax breaks permanent (24-Feb)
Obama outlines “all-out” energy strategy in State of the Union Address (25-Jan)
Vestas to lay off 2335 employees to cut costs (13-Jan)
15 March 2012