E&E News reported coronavirus federal aid has not reached advanced energy companies and workers, noting recommendation to shift tax credits to direct pay, featuring AEE's COVID-19 Fact Sheet. Read excerpts below and the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.).
More than 80% of clean energy companies say they are delaying or stopping projects because of the novel coronavirus, and a majority are calling for a replacement of federal tax credits, according to a new report. Advanced Energy Economy, whose members range from Microsoft Corp. to Apex Clean Energy Inc., said 40% of companies in a survey released yesterday reported a 26% to 50% drop in sales compared with earlier projections. More than 60% of surveyed companies said that federal aid packages have not helped their businesses, and more than 90% said Federal Reserve loans have been of little assistance.
The pandemic is affecting the clean energy sector in a number of ways, AEE said, including through installation, project and meeting delays. "As policymakers turn to address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis across the U.S. economy," AEE said, "they should consider the real effects that the crisis is having on the advanced energy industry right now, as well as the role that this industry can play in a speedy and sustainable recovery."
Because of the pandemic, AEE and other clean energy groups are pushing for direct payment of federal incentives for project development, rather the relying on existing federal tax credits in place for renewables, battery storage and other technologies. "In the current economic situation, the few banks that control the tax equity market have essentially stopped awarding companies these tax credits," the group said.
Sixty percent of surveyed companies said that a switch from tax credits to 100% direct pay would help their business, according to the survey, which was conducted after an AEE letter to Congress in late March. More than 100,000 advanced energy workers lost their jobs last month, eliminating job growth projected in the sector before the virus hit, the organization said...
Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.).