Bipartisan Budget Act Puts Hydropower at Economic Disadvantage
Bill lacks long-term extension of the tax credits for hydropower and marine energy
Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2018) – The following is a statement from Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association, on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which only includes a one-year retroactive extension of the hydropower tax credits through 2017.
“While we thank the many Senate and House members who continue to support and advocate for parity under the federal renewable energy tax incentives, we are extremely disappointed that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 lacks a long-term extension of the tax credits for hydropower and marine energy.
“A one-year retroactive extension of the hydropower credits through 2017 will not provide any future certainty for project developers who are seeking to finance their projects right now. Coupled with the fact that the Congress will have extended for several years the tax credits for other renewable resources (wind, solar, fuel cells, etc.), the hydropower industry will be put at a severe economic disadvantage.
“At a time when we are seeking ways to strengthen grid reliability and resiliency, why would Congress seek to disadvantage a premier flexible renewable baseload technology like hydropower? This isn’t just playing renewable energy favorites, it’s fundamentally missing hydropower’s role, and the benefits it brings, to our nation’s electricity grid.
“If the goal is an all-of-the-above energy policy, this tax policy decision fails to advance it. Hydropower has significant new growth potential as well as re-investment opportunities in existing projects. However, this action will make it more difficult to bring new hydropower generation online and create the good-paying jobs and local economic opportunities that come with it.
“We call on Congress to level the playing field and pass an immediate long-term extension of the hydropower and marine energy incentives, such as that contained in H.R. 4137, the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act, sponsored by Rep. Stefanik (R-NY).”