This issue brief, completed late last year, examined the tax incentives for renewable electricity development. Recognizing the renewable energy tax credits have been an enormously important mechanism for growing the industry, the primary goal of this analysis was to explore how they could be improved to be more effective for project developers and more accountable to taxpayers.
Our analysis described in this Issue Brief reveals that there is a large opportunity to make these mechanisms work better. Perhaps more importantly, however, this assessment suggests that there may be large opportunities to improve energy subsidies more broadly. As concern about the national debt puts increased pressure on all federal expenditures, it is clear that the time for a comprehensive review of all energy subsidies is now.
Over the coming months, the BPC will look more closely at these issues. This Issue Brief should be seen as a starting point for a broader discussion on energy subsidy reform. We believe this will appeal to both Republican and Democrats and we look forward to advancing the debate in the months to come.