Impacts of Federal Tax Credit Extensions on Renewable Deployment and Power Sector Emissions

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The report examines the impacts of the tax credit extensions under two distinct natural gas price futures, as the price of natural gas has been a key factor influencing the economic competitiveness of new renewable energy development. The analysis finds that, in both natural gas price cases, tax credit extensions can spur renewable capacity investments at least through the early 2020s, and can help lower CO2 emissions from the U.S. electricity system. Federal tax credits for renewable energy, particularly the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC), have offered financial incentives for renewable energy deployment over the last two decades in the United States. In December 2015, the wind and solar tax credits were extended by five years from their prior scheduled expiration dates, but ramp down in tax credit value during the latter years of the five-year period.

Technical Report