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United States

Obama wants permanent PTC for 2020 target

UNITED STATES: US President Barack Obama wants to double the amount of renewable electricity generation in the US by 2020 and make the industry's main support mechanism permanent.

The White House has released a policy blueprint putting flesh on the president's State of the Union call for continued growth of renewable energy.

Obama wants Congress to make the $0.022/kWh subsidy permanent and refundable, as part of a broader tax reform effort, "providing incentives and certainty for investments in new clean energy".

The idea is not a new one. Obama originally floated the idea in a report on tax reform issued last February, and observers say the odds that Congress will tackle the complex task of overhauling the country's tax code are receding.

The American Wind Energy Association, which released a study late last year showing how the PTC could be phased out as part of a tax reform effort, applauded the president's continued support for wind energy. Interim CEO Rob Gramlich touted wind's role in tackling climate change, another focus of Obama's speech.

"Wind power is one of the most beneficial and cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation technologies available to our nation," Gramlich said in a statement.

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