U.S. Democrats recently said they were open to a lift of the four-decade-old ban on crude oil exports, if Republicans would allow the bill to include an extension of the federal tax credit for solar installations, which is currently set to decrease from 30% to 10% in 2017.
Reports from earlier this week suggested that Democrats were looking for a 10-year extension, but today we learn that both parties have agreed to a 5-year extension.
The bill still has to go through the legislative process, but it appears that the agreement is solid. The Hill reports:
“Republicans agreed to extend a series of expired or expiring renewable energy tax breaks. Both the wind production tax credit and the solar investment tax credit won five-year extensions in the tax and spending package unveiled on Tuesday, the GOP lawmaker said.”
The news almost guarantees growth in the solar industry through 2021 and the stock market is acting accordingly. Here are SolarCity’s and SunPower’s stock prices today:
Although this is a clear win for the solar and wind industries, it is also one for the oil industry which has been advocating for a lift on the ban for a longtime. Co-founder of 350.org Bill McKibben points out that in October, the spokesman for Exxon said on the front page of the New York Times, “the sooner this happens the better for us”.
The White House was opposed to lifting the export ban, but it also said that it remains open to “some type of compromise on the matter”, implying that the renewal of the tax credit for solar and wind would change its mind.
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