Small wind systems get tax credit, too

Posted on October 7, 2008. Filed under: Energy Policy, Wind |


While most news focuses on the recently passed tax credit extension for solar and large wind projects, a media release from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) highlights a tax credit provision for small wind projects:

Today Congress passed legislation, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, that includes a new federal-level investment tax credit to help consumers purchase small wind turbines for home, farm, or business use. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law. Owners of small wind systems with 100 kilowatts (kW) of capacity and less can receive a credit for 30% of the total installed cost of the system, not to exceed $4,000. The credit will be available for equipment installed from the date the president signs the bill through December 31, 2016. For turbines used for homes, the credit is additionally limited to the lesser of $4,000 or $1,000 per kW of capacity.

“We thank Congress for recognizing and supporting small wind systems as an important contributor toward energy security and a cleaner environment. This credit will help individuals cut their electric bills while combating global warming in a tangible way,” says Ron Stimmel, Small-Wind Advocate with the American Wind Energy Association.

This legislation marks the first federal incentive for small wind systems since 1985. Industry members say the credit could foster U.S. market growth of 40% or more annually.

AWEA, its members, and allies have advocated for a 30% federal investment tax credit for small wind systems 100 kW and smaller to put the industry on equal policy footing with the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry. The two technologies share the same market. The broad legislation passed today also extends and expands a similar credit for the solar industry that was first passed in 2005. Residential and commercial solar PV installations can receive a 30% credit, capped at $4,000 for residential applications and uncapped for commercial uses.

The U.S. has historically dominated the global small-wind market but has faced pressure in recent years from overseas nations that have implemented strong domestic incentive programs for small-scale renewables. The U.S. small wind industry projects that the enactment of this federal credit, combined with a forthcoming equipment certification program, will help secure the U.S. market as the global leader.

More details on all of the bill’s renewable energy provisions here.

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