Monday, December 21, 2015

USA: Action on Geothermal Power PTC Extension Promised Next Year

Prospects good for geo credit extension (Mechanical Hub)

A drafting error left out fuel cells, geothermal, and some other renewables that are part of the PTC

The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) said that the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry expressed concern that its heating and cooling technology was excluded from extensions of federal tax credits given the solar industry in Omnibus spending bill passed today by Congress. But the association sees a positive way forward next year [for both geo-exchange and geothermal power].

As final negotiations were taking place, Republicans wanted to end the U.S. ban on crude oil exports and Democrats wanting to extend a Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC)s and income tax credits for renewables. In their haste to unveil the bill, staffers inadvertently excluded the PTC for geothermal power, and the ITC and income tax credits for GHPs, fuel cells, small wind, microturbines, and combined heat and power.

“I’m happy to report that with the immediate backlash whipped up by the GHP and other industries left out of the tax credit extensions, key congressional staff are well aware of the problem,” said Dougherty. “We have assurances from them that the inequity will be addressed during the first few months of 2016.”

And House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she has been promised action in early 2016: “We still have some unfinished business there, because the bill, through a drafting error, did not include fuel cells, geothermal, and some other renewables that are part of that tax credit. And we have a commitment that that will happen in an early revue bill after the first of the year,” she told Bloomberg.