I posted this earlier without an explanation due to "work" constraints, but I feel I owe a bit since I have some insight. One of the bills added into the big bail is a revision of HR 6049. This bill will extend the production tax credits for wind and the investment tax credits for solar. These incentives have driven the record growth of both markets within the US over the past 5 years. Along with this growth has come significant jobs and the revelation that renewable energy sources have the potential to carry a significant amount of the nation's load.
HR 6049 passed the House in May, however needed revisions to make it through the Senate and be guaranteed to make it out of the executive branch. Essentially, the big kicker was where to get the money. The Senate made these revisions and passed it overwhelmingly on Sept. 23rd (only two nays).
Unfortunately, while the bill was walking over to the House for final passage the economy took a dump and McCain suspended his campaign. By the time the poor bill made it to the House, it was really crowded and angry. As recently as yesterday, the industry was expressing very real fear that the bill would not be able to make it through this year. This would have most likely ensured a dramatic downturn in renewable installations next year and would have been very difficult for the industry to rebound from.
The Senate in a rare glimpse of brilliance rescued the bill and pinned it in with the big daddy bail. Everything in HR 6049, now in HR 1424, has been agreed to in advance. There may be some fluffy things in there, but all in all it is solid. Yes I actually read it.
This move shows that the Senate is very serious about renewable energy and this should be reassuring in this time of a second guessing. Of course, hardly anyone is talking about this fact.
This is NOT a Wall Street “bailout” plan, it is a bank “rescue” plan. Actually, it’s a rescue of the world economy, but nobody should get bogged down in details right now.
The Senate produced new rescue legislation September 30, turning the rejected 150-page House proposal into a reported 450 pages of goodies. Among the goodies is some version of the New Energy tax credit extensions, most likely a version similar to H.R. 6049, passed by the Senate 93-2 on September 23.
H.R. 6049 included: An 8-year extension of the solar energy industry’s investment tax credit (ITC), a 1-year extension of the wind energy industry’s production tax credit (PTC), a 2-year extension for other forms of New Energy power generation and tax credits for energy efficiency measures and for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
There is little doubt this package will pass in the Senate, where the vast majority of Senators regard the need for a rescue with ponderous gravity. Their idea is to create an offer the House can’t refuse. Given the deep dark complexities of politics in the House of Representatives, that would be difficult on even the sunniest of days, which this is not.
The biggest obstacle is the House’s “pay-as-you-go” rule, which many fiscal conservatives take extremely seriously. The new Senate rescue measure lacks pay-fors. It is the flaw that stymied the New Energy tax credits last week. But the House might just overlook a lack of $18 billion in New Energy pay-fors if it decides to spend $1 TRILLION.
Eponymous big-box colossus IKEA has shown some great green developments lately, from flat-pack bike trailers to eco-friendly lines of housewares. Now the patent purveyor of all things flat-pack has announced plans to invest $77 million into its GreenTech energy fund with the goal of eventually producing solar panels, efficiency meters, and energy efficient lighting. Granted its massive distribution network, IKEA’s uptake of green tech could pose a monumental shift in the accessibility and affordability of these technologies.
Full article at Inhabitat dot com
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.