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In a Pepper Hamilton Client Alert last month, we outlined federal and state financial incentives for renewable energy, and identified several programs that looked promising for additional funding. (“Green for Green: Financial Incentives Available for Renewable Energy Development,” (January 20, 2010)). This week, the release of President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget made it clear that strong support for these programs will continue.
Of course, the budget must make its way through a long review process in Congress, and political sentiments are running high to cut costs. However, even stronger pressures are mounting for job creation efforts, and the President has repeatedly tied renewable energy development to jobs, a sure sign he will push hard for funding for these programs.
In just one indication, wind programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) would receive a 53 percent increase, and solar would see a 22 percent hike in funding. Other big winners under the proposed budget are tax credits for renewables and additional money for research. A quick list of highlights from the President’s budget are as follows:
As we previously noted, separate funding for some of these programs also appears in proposed jobs bills now pending before Congress, which could bring new cash to these incentives even sooner than the President’s proposed budget. We will continue to monitor all of these developments closely.