The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted to approve dozens of expired tax breaks, including the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
The committee voted 23 to 3 in favor of passing the extension for over 50 tax policies, which includes tax incentives for people who live in states without a state income tax, struggling homeowners and a tax credit for research and development.
The bill preserves language that allows wind energy farms to qualify so long as they start construction while the credits are in place. Those credits expired at the beginning of 2015 and have been a major driver of new wind farm development. The bill moves on to the full Senate for approval.
“This is a big step in the right direction,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “We applaud the committee’s vote because it recognizes that the vast majority of American voters support these policies and want them continued.”
AWEA said in a report that when the renewable energy tax credits expired briefly in 2013, installations of new wind projects declined 92 percent, causing a loss of 30,000 jobs across the industry. After the PTC was renewed, the U.S. wind industry added 23,000 jobs in 2014.