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Monday, 16 September 2013 19:57

The Political State of Renewable Energy

By Matt Lucas 9/16/13   Berc logo

“Washington can be a tough place”, said John MacWilliams, senior adviser to the Secretary of Energy, in his understated manner. “Luckily, we have a president who deeply cares about these issues [renewables and climate change], and he has appointed a Secretary of Energy who is uniquely qualified to address those issues.”

Looking back at 2012, one thing is certain in the sea of the year’s uncertainty; renewable energy experienced significant growth.  The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%.  A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy – over $250 million spent in the 2012 election – the industry has gained strong public support across the country.  Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.

May 8 -- In what is the second bill introduced recently to reinforce the idea of energy efficiency in the last few weeks, a major financial breakthrough could clear a path towards substantial renewable energy growth in the US. >>View Article

May 6 -- Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts organized roundtable discussions across the country to gather input from clean energy industry leaders on strategies for enhancing U.S. competitiveness in this key sector of the global economy. Throughout these discussions, we heard from business leaders, investors, and innovators about the importance of eliminating barriers to competition and low-cost capital for clean energy technology development. >>View Article

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 15:54

Congress Can Jolt Renewable Energy

April 30 -- The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act, introduced last week by Sen. Christopher Coons and 15 bipartisan co-sponsors is a strong signal that Congress is serious about promoting America’s renewable energy future. The American Council On Renewable Energy applauds Sen. Coons’ leadership and calls on Congress to quickly pass Master Limited Partnership (MLP) legislation. By doing so, Congress can help level the playing field and promote greater private investment in our nation’s abundant and affordable renewable energy resources and fuels. >>View Article

April 29 -- Renewable energy developers may win some tax benefits from Congress that only oil and gas companies can enjoy right now. A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would allow renewable and clean energy-related companies to structure their businesses as master limited partnerships -- avoiding double taxation while also trading ownership interests on the market, similar to corporate stock, Bloomberg BNA reported. >>View Article

April 24 -- Senator Chris Coons plans to unveil a bill later this week that would allow US wind farms, solar energy facilities and other renewable energy projects to form tax-advantageous publicly-traded business structures. Coons, a Delaware Democrat, plans to introduce the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act on Wednesday, according to Ian Koski, a Coons spokesman. >>View Article

April 24 -- Defying conventional wisdom in the era of Solyndra, conservatives in Washington are coming out to back renewable energy. Specifically, some conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity, as well as conservative Republicans such as Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas support the idea of expanding a business structure known as a “master-limited partnership,” or MLP, which is currently available only to oil, natural-gas, and coal-mining projects, to also be available to renewable-energy projects. >>View Article

March 7 -- There are better ways of providing tax support to renewable energy, […] like allowing investors to form things called master limited partnerships, which offer tax benefits that encourage investment. >>View Article

December 20 -- The Obama administration lent its support Wednesday to a congressional effort that would open a financing structure for renewable energy.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu called on Congress to approve legislation that would let investors utilize master limited partnerships for renewable energy, which he said would spur development.  >>View Article

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