Solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies have the potential to mitigate climate change, secure America's energy independence, and create millions of green jobs. In the absence of a price on carbon emissions, however, these long-term benefits will not be realized without near-term policy support for renewable energy. This Article assesses the efficiency of federal tax incentives for renewables and proposes policy reform to promote renewable energy more cost effectively through capital markets and crowdfunding. Federal support for renewable energy today comes primarily in the form of accelerated depreciation and, critically, tax credits. Empirical evidence reveals that only a fraction of the subsidy value of tax credits may actually go to funding new renewable power projects. Why are tax credits for renewables so inefficient? And where do the remaining tax dollars go?
Beyond Tax Credits: Smarter Tax Policy for a Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future,
Yale J. on Reg.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjreg/vol31/iss2/3