The Government Accounting Office (GAO) published a report analyzing 82 federal incentives for wind projects, some of which also apply to other types of renewable power generation. Three of the incentives were found to have not provided any support to wind projects in fiscal year 2011. The incentives are implemented by nine federal agencies. As is the case for most activities of the federal government, it is not surprising that the GAO found some inefficiencies and duplication.
As readers of this blog are aware, most of the federal support for wind power generation is facilitated by means of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, to the production tax credit, the investment tax credit (only available if a project elects to forego the production tax credit) and accelerated depreciation, the GAO identified two subsidized bond programs: a credit for building manufacturing facilities for renewable energy components; and a credit for individuals that purchase renewable energy equipment for their homes.
Interestingly, the report’s recommendations were focused on the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture: “GAO recommends DOE and USDA formally assess and document whether the federal financial support of their initiatives is needed for applicants’ wind projects to be built.”
The report is available here.