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United States

Obama makes push for permanent PTC

UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama has reiterated his aim to make the production tax credit (PTC) permanent.

In an announcement outlining the 2015 budget for developing renewables energy, the White House outlined the case for a permanent PTC. The move follows on from a similar statement from Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address.

It stated: "In order to provide a strong, consistent incentive to encourage investments in renewable energy like wind and solar, create American jobs and support American companies and manufacturers, the budget would make permanent the tax credit for the production of renewable electricity and reform it by making it refundable."

Additionally, the bill sets aside $500 million for the Department of Energy to reduce the cost of energy from renewables. The DOE will also get $900 million for clean energy research.

There was no mention of offshore wind energy in the proposal. In 2012, The US government announced a $180 million plan to fund four offshore technology projects in an effort to accelerate the country's efforts in the sector.

There is a feeling that Obama's options are limited when it comes to pushing renewables. In his State of the Union address he barely mentioned wind, in contrast to previous years.

In 2012, Obama called on Congress to pass tax credits to support the continued growth of renewables and mandate the production of 80% of electricity from clean sources by 2035.

Last year, he talked about making the $0.023/kWh production tax credit permanent. In 2014, none of those goals made it into the speech.

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