Action Alert: Renewable Energy PTC Vote, Big Solar Spreads to More Countries

Besides the vote on forcing oil drilling everywhere today in the Senate, there will also be a vote on whether to extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) today in the Senate.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) amendment would extend the hugely important Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit for one year. It would also extend the Section 1603 grant program which recently expired as well as efficient manufacturing tax credits. 

Another amendment, by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) would repeal all energy-related tax credits. That means, instead of the PTC expiring at the end of this year, which is bad enough, it would end now, and would actually repeal tax credits that have already been awarded retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012. It would be a disastrous blow to the industry.

Please contact your Senators now – ask them to vote YES on Stabenow’s amendment, NO on DeMint’s amendment, and NO on Robert’s Big Oil amendment.

Investors Get Higher Returns on Renewable Energy Projects

As politicians choose between drilling and renewable energy, investors are increasingly supported the latter as a way to get reliable, steady returns without facing the volatility of oil prices – which won’t change no matter how much we drillin the US.

If we drilled absolutely everywhere, we can’t change the fact that the US only has 3% of the world’s oil reserves, but we consume 25% of the world’s oil. And the oil that’s remains around the world is much more difficult (and dangerous) to access – all the easy deposits are gone.

Last week we reported that Warren Buffet’s energy utilty, MidAmerican, sold out its bond offering and is now planning a second one. 

But its $2 billion in bonds in natural gas driller Energy Future Holdings isn’t doing well because of low gas prices – the market value is down $878 million and further drops are anticipated.

"Expansion of drilling in the US rewrites the script on the increased policy risk of renewable investments over fossil fuels. It seems investors are beginning to recognise the steady fixed returns on renewables over the volatility of fossil fuel prices. Topaz is the latest in several large solar bonds offered including Desert Sunlight ($595m) and NextEra Genesis ($562m) both at AAA tranches due to loan guarantees. Topaz and the secondary tranches of the other two projects were both rated at BBB-/A-," says Sean Kidney, Chair of the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Saudi Arabia Turns to Renewables

While accessing the remaining world’s oil is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous, Saudi Arabia plans to spend $140 billion from 2012-2030 to develop renewable energy and nuclear, while reducing its use of crude oil.

Last month, Saudi-based IDEA Polysilicon announced it would build a polysilicon plant there, the raw material for solar PV.

The country’s oil minister says Saudi Arabia could meet four times the global demand for electricity by 2020 – and that would be so much easier, cheaper and environmentally beneficial than its oil.

Renewables Spreading to More New Countries

Even as Germany plans to cut its solar PV feed-in tariff once again, the government postponed the cut until early April, giving developers a few more weeks to get their projects done. That’s expected to lead to another surge in installations – 5 gigawatts (GW) – about two-thirds of the record levels achieved in 2011.

If solar projects slow down in Germany after the cuts come into force, they will be made up elsewhere.

Sharp Corp signed an agreement last week with the government of Indonesia to build a 100 MW solar PV plant in Bali, at a cost of $2.5-$3 billion.

And in Israel, SunEdison won a concession to build and and operate a 30 MW solar PV plant, the biggest in the country to date.

Romania plans to jump from 800 MW of wind to 1400 MW this year.

And Indonesia’s state-owned utility signed a 30-year power purchase agreement to buy electricity from a 220 MW geothermal project to be built by Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, PT Supreme Energy and International Power-GDF SUEZ.

The project, which consists of two geothernal plants of 110 MW each, is among be among the largest in the world.

Indonesia is fast-tracking construction of 4,500 MW of geothermal.

++++

Please tell your Senators to vote yes on Debbie Stabenow’s amendment and vote no on DeMint’s amendment:

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 8,242 times, 1 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *