Another thoughtful article from John F.
Unfortunately the proposed remedy is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Renewable energy sources are incredibly sensitive to financing rates, and MLP rates are historically much lower than the current rates the industry is able to procure. MLP's would also correct the strange dynamic where many individuals want to invest in renewable energy projects but effectively cannot. Finally, it is estimated that the banks "capture" approx. 50% of the PTC benefit. In the residential solar rooftop arena, it remains to be analyzed how much of the "benefits" are being captured by the leasing companies....at a minimum the leasing companies are able to capture MACR's depreciation on the system which individual owners cannot.
Instead. let's "level the playing field" for large projects via the MLP structure. The rooftop issues of equalizing the MLP and MACR's tax benefits should be addressed via a different policy initiative....which I will let others smarter than me propose.
This article indicates that the utilities are starting to panic. The good news is that they recognize that they re about to be disintermediated and fall into a backup power role. The OBVIOUS utility response should be to own the rooftop solar, but I don't see that happening anywhere. Remember, the original intent of establishing the utilities was to provide an entity with low cost of capital via guaranteed revenues. the utilities better get ahead of the wave or they will be washed away by it.
A 10% reduction in cost over 5 years will not even keep the cost flat after inflation....the Institute's students should invite-in some of the gray-haired engineers in Germany and have them tell their stories about the unfulfilled promise of automation. It is inflexible. There are many blade technoloy-breakthrough concepts being worked on which have about a 98% probability of blowing any the gains proposed for this project. THINK BIGGER!
Let's hope that the Republican's rhetoric will be replaced by knowledge and thoughtfulness analogous to what Paul Ryan brings to the budget debate when/if they win. At the rate the Dem's are spending money there will be no money (nor additional electricity demand) for renewables. Don't forget that Pres. Bush is the one who got the PTC passed and the industry moving in 2004...Obama has not even been able to negotiate an extension of Pres. Bush's policy.
Finally, the wind industry needs to get off of the teat anyway, and on a level-playing-field basis has the ability to do so. Obviously it's hard to let go of so much money, even if unneeded.