H.R. 2776, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007
H.R. 3221, New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act
HR 2776 is important for anyone considering solar for their home. It removes the cap on the Federal solar rebate that currently limits rebates to $2,000. For a typical 2.5KW residential system this could mean a Federal tax rebate of over $7,000 instead of $2,000.
The bill needs to be reconciled with the Senate version before going to the President for final signing. Of course, President Bush is threatening to veto this important legislation. The official Administration position is:
The stated goal of energy reform by the new majority in the House of Representatives was “to achieve energy independence, strengthen national security, grow our economy and create jobs, lower energy prices, and begin to address global warming.” The Administration is disappointed that the House has produced no such legislation, and instead is planning to consider H.R. 2776 and H.R. 3221, two bills that are not serious attempts to increase our energy security or address high energy costs. In fact, the combination of these two bills will result in less domestic oil and gas production, higher taxes to disadvantage a single targeted industry, and duplicative energy efficiency and R&D efforts that are largely underway already. - more
For a complete review see Solar Energy Industries Association.
The following provisions for solar energy can be found in H.R. 2776 and H.R. 3221:
Solar Provisions in H.R. 2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007
Provides an eight-year extension of the existing 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for businesses under Section 48 of the tax code
Provides the ability for corporate and personal filers to claim the Investment Tax Credit against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Removes the prohibition barring utilities from using the section 48 Investment Tax Credit
Provides no extension of the existing 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for homeowners under Section 25 of the tax code, but eliminates the existing $2,000 maximum dollar limitation
Provides up to $2.4 billion in bonding authority for the issuance of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds
Solar Provisions in H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act
Title III - Small Business Committee Sec. 3005: Provides grants, subject to appropriation, and authorizes technical assistance to small businesses to assist them in evaluating the suitability of using solar energy resources.
Title IV - Science and Technology Committee Sec. 4301- 4308: The Solar Energy Research and Advancement Act of 2007, provides funds, subject to appropriation, to support the research, development, and commercial application of solar energy technologies. Special emphasis is placed on concentrating solar power thermal storage research, solar lighting and cooling and advanced photovoltaic technology development.
Title VII - Natural Resources Committee
Sec. 7302: Directs the Bureau of Reclamation to inventory lands under its jurisdiction for suitability for solar energy development projects.
Sec. 7304: Establishes a Strategic Solar Reserve Program that seeks to identify lands under the Bureau of Land Management's jurisdiction that can accommodate up to 25 GW of solar energy development. Provides favorable terms and conditions for permitting, leasing and site identification.
Title IX - Energy and Commerce Committee
Sec. 9072 - 9075: Authorizes the Department of Energy, subject to appropriation, to assist state, county, local government, schools, universities, airports and other qualifying entities, to provide technical assistance to increase the deployment of solar energy systems.
Sec. 9086: Authorizes 25 year federal power purchase agreements for solar energy (current maximum duration is 10 years).
Sec. 9321- 9328: Authorizes heightened cooperation between the U.S. and Israel on innovative energy technologies, including solar.
Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) -- Requires electric suppliers, other than governmental entities and rural electric cooperatives, to provide 15 percent of their electricity using renewable energy resources by the year 2020. It would allow 4 percent of the requirement to be satisfied with electricity efficiency measures. For distributed generation (electric energy generated by a renewable energy resource at an on-site eligible facility, used to offset part or all of the customer's requirements for electric energy), including distributed solar, the Secretary of Energy shall issue three renewable energy credits to such customer for each kilowatt hour generated.
Solar Energy Industries Research and Promotion Board -- Creates a Solar Energy Industries Research and Promotion Board to increase consumer awareness nationwide of solar energy options and appropriate certifications. The solar program would be funded entirely by a small portion of industry revenues. No appropriations are authorized.