Renewable Energy Bill Aids Tidal Energy R&D in U.S.

A bill introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) would provide financial support for research and development (R&D) of energy sources based in oceans, rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways.

The proposed legislation, Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2007, which would provide production tax credits and investment credits, could benefit Washington State’s Snohomish County PUD as it is studying tidal energy at seven sites in Puget Sound. The bill would authorize $50 million annually in federal funds for research and development over a 10-year period starting in 2008. Energy sources that utilize dams, diversionary structures or impoundment devices would be excluded from funding. The legislation also calls for an investment credit of 30 percent and extended depreciation for equipment that produces electricity from marine and hydrokinetic sources. Additional tax production credits also would be available. “We’ll need a range of new technologies to supply our energy needs in a carbon-constrained world,” said Rep. Inslee. “Marine power will be an important part of the clean-energy mix.” “We applaud Rep. Inslee’s forward-thinking in supporting research of these innovative technologies,” said PUD General Manager Steve Klein. “Tidal energy is a promising, emission-free resource that’s abundant locally and provides a means to diversify our regional energy supplies.”

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