Renewables win extension of tax breaks

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Ireland's finance minister, Charlie McCreevy, has bowed to pressure from the wind industry and a fellow government minister and included an extension of tax breaks for renewable projects in his December budget. Tax relief on investments in small scale renewables was due to end on December 31. McCreevy also announced that the investment limit is to be raised from EUR 750,000 to EUR 1 million. According to natural resources minister Dermot Ahern -- whose portfolio includes energy -- there are at least 37 small scale projects under the latest round of support for renewables that could benefit from the tax break. These projects may not have gone ahead if the tax break had ended. "I am pleased that minister McCreevy has accepted my arguments in favour of extending this scheme." The Irish Wind Energy Associationhad been pushing for tax relief on larger corporate investments, says the association's Maureen de Pietro. But the increase in the tax break limit to EUR 1 million will be "very helpful," she says.

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