Policy - Federal Level

How Will Stimulus Bill Help Community Wind?

February 26, 2009 - 9:51am -- Anonymous

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Obama signs stimulus bill
President Obama signs American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Now that Congress has passed and President Obama has signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, how will this help to stimulate Community Wind projects? According to Denise Bode, American Wind Energy Association CEO, "the stimulus bill contains a number of provisions aimed at helping our industry continue the very strong growth in new installations and new jobs we have seen over the past few years."

Bringing Renewable Energy Home: Energy Policies To Maximize Energy Security And Economic Development

2009

This conference, sponsored by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, will give participants a chance to hear from national and international experts on renewable energy payments (a.k.a. feed-in tariffs). It will be also be a good opportunity to learn about legislative efforts in Minnesota and other Midwestern states to get this policy into place.

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Community Wind 101: A Primer for Policy-makers

Released by the 25' X 25' Alliance, The Energy Foundation and Harvesting Clean Energy, this report makes clear that community wind must be an integral part of the nation's energy strategy and lays out a set of public policies designed to grow local wind investment and ownership.

Specifically, Community Wind 101 finds:

  • Wind power economic benefits from local ownership can be multiplied in the range of two to three times or more compared to standard development models.
  • Community wind can play a pioneering role for all wind power and accelerate wind development by vastly diversifying the range of players who can invest.
  • Smaller investors cannot fully access federal tax incentives vital to wind development. Broadening the usefulness of these incentives and/or targeting incentives to community wind would significantly expand local investment and ownership opportunities.

You can access the excutive summary here and read the full report here.

USDA Farm Bill

2008 USDA Farm Bill

On May 22, 2008, Congress overrode the President's veto of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the "Farm Bill"). The Farm Bill is an investment in our nation's food and farm economy. It will ensure food security and promote healthier foods and local food networks, strengthen international food aid and reform commodity and farm programs, protect our natural resources and promote homegrown renewable energy.

The Farm Bill has historically addressed not only farm regulations, but also food security and protection of environmental resources. As our country seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, our ranchers and farmers will continue to be vital players in the development and growth of renewable energy resources. Biofuels, wind energy, solar power and ethanol production are all addressed in the new Farm Bill 2008.

There are a total of 14 titles in the Farm Bill ranging from commodity programs to research to energy to insurance to nutrition. Renewable energy, specifically wind generated energy, is mainly addressed by 4 titles: Conservation, Rural Development, Research, and Energy.

Similar to the previous Value-Added Produce Grants and 9006 Programs, the 2008 Farm Bill will offer both grants and guaranteed loans for eligible projects under the Renewable Energy for America Program, or REAP. The USDA Rural Development website has information on applying and guidance documents for applications.

As a result of the delay in passing the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress has extended many of the programs from the 2002 Farm Bill including the Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program. On March 6, 2008 the USDA annouced the availability of funding for these programs under Section 9006. The deadline for applications is June 16, 2008. The 9006 Forms for applications can be found here.


For the most up-to-date application information, contact your state Rural Energy Coordinator. Check back here for updates as they are announced and stay tuned to the USDA site for more information. Also, please see the attached "Farm Bill FAQ" pdf file.

Useful Resources for 2002 Farm Bill

Value-Added Producer Grant Program

Section 9006 Energy Title Grant Program:

"An American Success Story" (ELPC)

USDA Websites:

Farm Bill Section 9006

Value-Added Producer Grants

Previous Section 9006 Award Winners

2008 Award Winners and USDA 2008 Press Release

2007 Award Winners and USDA 2007 Press Release

2006 Award Winners and USDA 2006 Press Release

2005 Award Winners and USDA 2005 Press Release

2004 Award Winners and USDA 2004 Press Release

2003 Award Winners and USDA 2003 Press Release

 

More Information and Links

For more information about energy provisions in the Farm Bill:

--Environmental and Energy Study Institute- Energy and Agriculture Program
--Database of Renewable Energy Incentives- Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program summary
--North Dakota SEED- Farm Bill Energy Title resources
--Iowa Rural Development - Farm Bill

"Broadening Wind Energy Ownership by Changing Federal Incentives" from the New Rules Project

This April 2008 report from the New Rules Project discusses how simple changes to the federal production tax credit (PTC) and SEC registration process for cooperatives could significantly reduce barriers to community ownership of wind.

Download the report from the New Rules website here: http://www.newrules.org/de/ptc-wind-ownership.pdf

Nebraska Farmer's Union Convention

2007

The theme of this year's convention will focus on renewable energy economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

Ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, carbon sequestration, and farmer- and community-owned wind (technology) each represent a new renewable energy based market with new sources of revenue.

In order to maximize the long-term economic benefits of these new value-added renewable energy opportunities for rural communities, the converence will focus on farmer and community ownership of this new renewable energy development.

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Harvesting Clean Energy 8

2008

The Harvesting Clean Energy Conference is the Northwest’s premiere gathering for agriculture and energy interests working to advance new opportunities for agriculture producers and rural communities in clean energy production. Clean energy offers real solutions – financial and practical – for our farmers, ranchers, rural utilities and towns, tribes, and regional economy.

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