Taxes and Incentives for Renewable Energy
The world has seen much debate over the fluctuating price of fuel from conventional sources and the need to achieve energy security while reducing carbon emissions. For these and other reasons, there is a global focus on finding resource efficient, low-carbon ways to supply enough energy to ensure sustainable growth of economies across the world.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance,1 nearly US$243 billion was invested in low-carbon energy worldwide during 2010, representing a 23 percent increase over 2009 investments. This includes wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower, increased energy efficiencies and smart-grid technologies and biofuels, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies.
Along with new regulations to reduce carbon emissions and achieve energy security, many governments are turning to tax relief to promote renewable energy sources for power generation. Government support for renewable energy investment comes in a wide variety of tax incentives:
Likewise, government can also play a role in discouraging carbon emissions by enforcing taxes and penalties such as:
Carbon tax and pricing
Cap and trade schemes
(energy tax, excise tax or VAT).
At least 83 countries 41 developed/transition countries and 42 developing countries have some type of policy to Energypromote renewable power generation. The 10 most common policy types are feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, capital subsidies or grants, investment tax credits, sales tax or VAT exemptions, green certificate trading, direct energy production payments or tax credits, net metering, direct public investment or financing, and public competitive bidding.