Project Development, Wind Power

Renewable Industries Unite for Energy Bill

The renewable energy community joined forces in a fight to see key renewable energy provisions included in the National Energy Bill currently before the Conference Committee. In a letter to the lead Conferees, several renewable energy industry representatives urged that renewable energy measures be included in the final version of the bill.

Washington D.C. – September 9, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “We are coming together to urge the conferees to take action and support the renewable energy provisions of the bill,” stated Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association, “the U.S. faces future shortages of affordable electricity, and the incentives in this bill will help clean, renewable power fill a significant part of that gap.” Representatives from various renewable energy industries joined forces in support for these provisions, including Katherine Hamilton, co-director of the American BioEnergy Association, Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association, Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association, and Glenn Hamer, executive director the Solar Energy Industries Association. “By adopting these tax and policy measures, the Conferees will help ensure that future U.S. electricity supplies will be available from a diverse, domestic, renewable resource base,” the renewable energy representatives stated in a letter to the lead Conferees, “Together, these measures would represent one of the most significant legislative efforts to advance renewable energy production and use ever enacted by Congress.” The complete text of the letter follows: Dear Chairmen Domenici and Tauzin, Ranking Members Bingaman and Dingell, Renewable energy technologies utilize the largest untapped energy resources in the United States. Their expanded use will result in numerous benefits to millions of America’s energy consumers. Expansion of renewable technologies would diversify our nation’s energy supply, enhance national security, promote the use of indigenous resources, help stabilize energy prices, improve the reliability of our electricity system, greatly assist in pollution control efforts and provide an immediate stimulus for economic growth and new jobs. The undersigned organizations are writing to you as the lead conferees on H. R. 6 to call to your attention to several provisions before the Energy Conference Committee that are essential for achieving expanded renewable energy production. Tax Provisions Tax incentives are essential to encourage new investment in renewable energy production. There should be no question that they are the top priority of the renewable energy industries. We urge the Conference Committee to expand the coverage of Section 45 to include all renewable technologies and to extend the placed-in-service date for the Section 45 Production Tax Credit to at least 2007. We also urge the Conference Committee to approve significant investment tax credits for small-scale renewable energy production. Policy Provisions Several important policy provisions that will encourage new renewable energy production or improve current regulatory policies will also be before the Conference Committee. Of particular importance are: – Net Metering and Interconnection provisions that will ensure that on-site energy producers can connect to the grid under fair terms and conditions; – Inclusion of a meaningful Renewable Portfolio Standard that promotes increased use of all renewable energy technologies; – Measures to upgrade the nation’s electric transmission grid, and ensure that FERC has the authority to ensure reliable and transparent access to the grid; and, – Provisions that expedite or improve the leasing, permitting, licensing and processing of renewable energy projects. By adopting these tax and policy measures, the Conferees will help ensure that future U.S. electricity supplies will be available from a diverse, domestic, renewable resource base. This will improve reliability, reduce consumer costs, improve air quality and enhance U.S. energy security. Together, these measures would represent one of the most significant legislative efforts to advance renewable energy production and use ever enacted by Congress. We strongly encourage you do adopt these measures and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues to that end. Sincerely, Katherine Hamilton, American BioEnergy Association Randall Swisher, American Wind Energy Association Carol Werner, Environmental and Energy Study Institute Karl Gawell, Geothermal Energy Association Linda Church Ciocci, National Hydropower Association Glenn Hamer, Solar Energy Industries Association