Congress extended the credit, but not for as long as Obama promised
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised to boost the renewable energy industry.
One quick fix: extending the Production Tax Credit for the production of biofuels, wind and solar energy.
As part of the stimulus bill, producers are now eligible for a 2.1-cent per kilowatt-hour benefit. Other technologies, such as some types of hydropower, will get 1 cent per kilowatt-hour.
The bill extended the program for wind production from 2009 until the end of 2012. The tax credit for geothermal, hydropower and other renewable energy will be available 2009 until the end of 2013.
According to Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for the American Wind Energy Association, the three-year extension was a boon to the industry.
"It was a longer extension than we have ever had and the administration worked very hard to restructure the mechanism to work in the changed economic environment," he said. "So we give the administration very high marks on the tax credit."
That said, Obama is still three years short of his promise for the wind tax credit. And for other renewables, he's two years shy of meeting his goal. As a result, we're giving Obama a Compromise on this pledge.
The Department of Energy, Economic Stimulus Act Extends Renewable Energy Tax Credits , February 18, 2009
The Union of Concerned Scientists, Production Tax Credit for Renewable Energy , accessed January 4, 2010