Energy Tax Credits, Meant to Help U.S. Suppliers, May Be Hard to Get
At the same time, clean energy companies are digesting the administration’s guidance on how the tax credits will be allocated, and finding some unworkable in ways that may slow deployment.
Take the bonus of up to 20 percent for developers that locate projects in low-income communities (which is separate from a bonus of 10 percent for locating in areas struggling with the transition away from fossil fuels). The Treasury Department, wanting to ensure that credits give rise to projects that wouldn’t otherwise happen, will award them only to projects not yet completed. Solar installers would have to sell the system and then wait to see if they got the credit before starting work.
“I think we will lose some development in low-income communities this year because of the way that credit has been constructed,” said Sean Gallagher, a vice president for policy at the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Either the developer is going to absorb that difference, or they’ll have to go back to the customer to renegotiate the price, or the project’s not going to happen.”