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Climate change

2014

Energy and Utilities Law

Texas A&M University School of Law

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Beyond Tax Credits: Smarter Tax Policy For A Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future, Felix Mormann Jul 2014

Beyond Tax Credits: Smarter Tax Policy For A Cleaner, More Democratic Energy Future, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

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 renewables. This Article assesses the efficiency of federal tax incentives for renewables and proposes policy reform to more cost-effectively promote renewable energy through capital markets and crowdfunding.

Federal support for renewable energy projects today comes primarily in the form of tax incentives such as accelerated depreciation and, critically, tax credits. Empirical evidence reveals that …