By Ben Cohen
The Obama Administration has recently indicated how it is going to boost renewable energy production, and this time, it's not based on tax credits, but direct Federal grant money (from RedGreenAndBlue.org):
The $3 billion in grants are designed to temporarily replace the production tax credit (PTC) that has been a critical factor in the growth of renewable energy capacity in U.S. The boom-and-bust cycles caused by lapses in the PTC
have been particularly troublesome for the wind energy industry. In the
two times the tax credit was let to expire, once in 2002 and again in
2004, new U.S. wind power capacity fell precipitously, taking with it,
a burgeoning U.S. wind industry.
While the move is temporary, this may be the only way to create a serious green revolution. While a tax credit system may provide incentives to get into the renewable energy business, a more robust approach is needed in the current economic climate. And that means actually paying for things upfront - a seemingly revolutionary approach in government these days.