Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have introduced legislation that would help the clean energy industry create good-paying jobs and recover from the COVID-driven economic downturn.
The Save America’s Clean Energy Jobs Act would allow for temporary refundability of section 45, 45Q and 48 investment and production tax credits, which incentivize private development of renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, fuel cells, and carbon capture and sequestration. The bill will enable clean energy companies to bypass frozen tax equity markets and access these tax credits directly, which in turn will help get stalled projects off the ground and people back to work.
“The last administration handed the fossil fuel industry an enormous public bailout early in the pandemic,” says Whitehouse. “With no time left to waste on climate change, we also need to help the generators of clean energy quickly overcome pandemic-related setbacks. Our bill will give renewables a lift as they ramp back up and create green jobs.”
From February to December 2020, the clean energy sector lost nearly 430,000 workers, a 12% decline over pre-pandemic employment levels.
“This direct-pay bill is an essential down payment to fix the constrained tax equity markets,” says Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association. “The last year has been challenging for everyone. Smaller developers, in particular, have struggled to secure tax equity partnerships, putting otherwise viable projects in jeopardy due to capital constraints. The availability of a 100 percent direct pay option is crucial for clean energy deployment.”
To access the full text of the proposed Save America’s Clean Energy Jobs Act, click here.