ACORE and US PREF Salute House and Senate Passage of 1603 Treasury Grant Program (TGP) Extension
Dec. 17, 2010 -- In a significant victory that came during the lame duck session of Congress, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to approve a tax package containing a one year extension of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program (TGP) central to the renewable energy industry's ability to scale-up and meet demand. ACORE and US PREF (an ACORE program) have worked tirelessly to educate policy makers on the importance of the Treasury Grant Program, and at last week's Phase II of Renewable Energy in America National Policy Forum on Capitol Hill, the support for extension of the TGP was strong.
Pat Eilers, Managing Partner at Madison Dearborn Partners in Chicago, prepared the US PREF analysis in July that defined the size of the tax equity market and impact if the TGP were not extended. This swept Washington and started the campaign for an extension. "The fact is that the 2008-2009 financial crisis was constraining the tax equity market, and the value of the TGP was visible. We presented the case as a matter of education, and we found public officials and staff eager to understand the merits of this," said Eilers.
Marshal Salant, Managing Director at Citi who assembled a national assessment of projects affected by the TPG, said, " Without question, the TGP has been the most effective and successful national policy to promote renewable energy investment and deployment. Continued access to the TGP will maintain the current level of investment in renewable energy projects, promote U.S energy independence and security, and protect and create U.S. jobs."
The 1603 Treasury Grant Program (TGP) was enacted by Congress in January 2009, during the depths of the financial crisis, to provide U.S. industry and entrepreneurs flexibility in using the long-standing tax credits. First enacted in 1992, the credits have been enhanced on a bi-partisan basis over the years, but dried up due to lack of available financing following the financial crisis. This 'tweak'provided important market flexibility, producing a huge expansion in U.S. renewable energy investment and generation.
"The role US PREF played on the passage of 1603 in the House and Senate cannot be understated," said Michael Eckhart, ACORE President. "An issue that was unlikely to pass in June has now been included in a major piece of legislation which passed with strong bipartisan support. "
ACORE also thanks the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for their tremendous support in recent weeks. "This shows the power of collaboration inside the Beltway," said Todd Foley, ACORE Senior VP for Policy and Government Relations. "US PREF got on this early, providing the thought leadership and fact-based analytics that showed the value of 1603 to the U.S. economy, and the associations came in with lobbying power to help achieve this outcome. It showed what collaboration can achieve, as a model for the future."
ACORE and US PREF are already building the case for a second extension to cover the solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and biomass projects that will qualify for the grant program in 2012 and 2013.
About US PREF
US PREF is a program of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The objective of the US Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) is to unlock capital flows to new, large-scale and distributed renewable energy projects in the United States. To achieve this objective, a balanced and credible group of highly experienced renewable energy financiers from financial institutions, investors, professional services firms, utilities and others, working with leading non-government organizations, have convened as US PREF. US PREF members include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, First Solar, Greentech Capital Advisors, GE Energy Financial Services, Google, GreenOrder, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, Morgan Stanley, NRG Energy, Skadden Arps, SolarCity, Starwood Energy, Troutman Sanders LLP, US Renewables Group and VantagePoint Venture Partners.
To view all US PREF white papers and analyses, visit www.uspref.org.