SENATE EXTENDS RENEWABLE ENERGY TAX CREDITSWASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed Senate passage of a provision she co-sponsored that will extend a host of tax credits for clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions.
“In order to expand alternative energy development it is vital that we provide consistent tax assistance to help renewable energy become cost-competitive,” said Senator Murkowski. “This legislation will be of special assistance in Alaska, where we have a variety of renewable energy projects, from the Fire Island wind farm to geothermal projects at Chena Hot Springs and Naknek, which are awaiting financing.”
The Senate, as part of its housing assistance package, approved the amendment, co-sponsored by Senators Murkowski and Stevens, that extends the Production tax Credit worth 1.9 cents per kilowatt hour through 2009 for all renewable energy projects including wind, biomass, geothermal, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion and some types of hydropower facilities. The amendment also extends a 30 percent business energy tax credit for installing solar and fuel cell power plants, extends the 10 percent residential tax credit for installing microturbines and extends the tax credit for installation of some solar hot water heaters. For the first time the production tax credit is extended to also cover ocean energy when the project is part owned by electrical utilities.
Under this legislation homeowners and businesses can gain tax credits for energy efficiency improvements, such as installing and buying Energy Star appliances. The amendment also extends for another year the ability of local governments to issue up to $1.2 billion of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to help finance renewable projects nationwide.