Energy Subsidies & Tax Incentives
The Antrim Wind project is 100% privately funded and developed on private land. AWE has not and will not receive any cash grants for this project. The risk to develop, construct and operate the project is entirely borne by private capital.
When the project is constructed and operational, AWE may be eligible to receive Production Tax Credits (PTC) from the Federal Government if this tax credit program is extended (it has currently expired). These are similar to tax credits all US citizens are eligible for if you install energy efficient windows or make other energy saving improvements to your home. Under the previous PTC program that expired in December 2014 companies that generate wind, solar, geothermal, etc. are eligible for a PTC, which provides a 2.3-cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit (not cash payments) for the first ten years of a renewable energy facility’s operation. These credits are only available once the project is producing and selling energy and they only last as long as a project continues to perform and produce emission free electricity.
In addition to selling power generated from wind energy projects, in New Hampshire wind projects are also eligible to sell Renewable Energy Certificate (RECs). These RECs are a market-based mechanism that allows utilities to meet their statutory requirements (often called a Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS) dictating how much utilities must supply from qualified clean energy sources. Buying RECs in a competitive market place allows utilities to solicit bids for REC sales to keep their costs as low as possible. Because clean energy projects such as wind do not emit pollutants such as mercury, particulates, sulfur and nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide, which cost the public billions of dollars a year in health care costs and environmental degradation, the cost for RECs is comparatively low.
When current renewable energy subsidies are compared to the historical norm for emerging sources of energy, studies show that current clean energy subsidies are far lower than those given to nuclear, oil and gas:
As a percentage of inflation-adjusted federal spending, nuclear subsidies accounted for more than 1% of the federal budget over their first 15 years, and oil and gas subsidies made up half a percent of the total budget, while renewables have constituted only about a tenth of a percent. That is to say, the federal commitment to oil & gas was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each subsidies’ life, and it was more than 10 times greater for nuclear.
In inflation-adjusted dollars, nuclear spending averaged $3.3 billion over the first 15 years of subsidy life, and oil & gas subsidies averaged $1.8 billion, while renewables averaged less than $0.4 billion.
Source: “What Would Jefferson Do? ” Pfund and Healey, September 2011 DBL Investors
Read the detailed report here.
Myth you might hear:
“Wind development is a ‘tax-grab’ for big corporations.”