U.S. Senate Version Of Stimulus Bill Offers Less For Cleantech

Feb 13 2009 | 10:36am ET

The $838 billion economic stimulus package passed by the U.S. Senate on Monday offers $86 billion for the cleantech sector, compared to the $100 billion allotted in the version supported by the House of Representatives, according to analysts at New York-based Ardour Capital Investments.

A number of items are missing from the Senate version of the bill, most notably direct funding for project developers eligible for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC); extension of the ITC and PTC carryback period; and $20 billion for school construction, focused on green buildings.

Solar installers will bear the brunt of the changes: their bid for direct financing in lieu of a tax credit, which had succeeded in the House, was stricken in the Senate.

Wind installers, on the other hand, while affected by the changes in the bill, will benefit from the three-year extension on the PTC found in both versions.

Ardour analysts say President Obama’s stimulus bill included $19.96 billion in tax incentives for wind and solar, in addition to $53.75 billion allocated by the House Appropriations Committee for direct spending on Energy Technology programs, focused largely on energy efficiency and the national electrical grid.

The Appropriations Committee also allocated $18.27 billion for water and environmental spending, bringing the total for direct subsidies to approximately $92 billion.

Indirect subsidies put the cleantech total over $100 billion. Outside the energy and environmental sections of the bill, there is $42.36 billion in various construction and jobs programs that have a strong focus on energy efficiency.

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