Congress just passed legislation (H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act) that renews critical energy efficiency and clean energy tax incentives. The President signed this bill into law on October 3, 2008.
The legislation includes the following environmental incentives that could help residents of Hawaii who want to upgrade their off-grid systems or add renewable energy sources to their home:
oExtension of the wind energy credit through 2009 and for other sources through 2010;
oExpansion of the credit to cover marine and hydrokinetic renewable facilities;
oExtension of the 30 percent solar investment credit and certain fuel cell properties through 2016;
oExtension of the credit for residential solar property through 2016, removing a $2,000 cap that currently applies;
oExpansion of the credit to cover investment in residential small wind properties (capped at $4,000) and geothermal heat pumps (capped at $2,000);
oNew tax credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles;
oExtension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel production credits through 2009;
oExtension of a credit for energy-efficiency improvements to new and existing homes through 2009;
oExtension of a credit for certain energy-efficient appliances for three years;
oProvision for the issuance of up to $800 million in new clean renewable energy bonds to finance facilities that generate electricity from clean, alternative sources;
oProvision for the issuance of tax-credit qualified energy conservation bonds for state and local governments to fund projects to conserve energy; and
oExtension of the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for financing green building and sustainable design projects through 2012.
Unfortunately, the Senate tacked incentives that promote dirty fuels such as tar sands, oil shale, and liquid coal, all of which pose substantial environmental problems and significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.