Jan 27 (Renewables Now) - Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary, made comments during his confirmation hearing last week, indicating that the current phase-out of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) will be kept unchanged.
Chuck Grassley, Senator for Iowa, sought confirmation from Mnuchin he would support the congressionally established phase-out, which is scheduled to take place over the next few years, as part of a potential tax reform proposal.
Mnuchin said he agreed there should be phase-out rules when things are changed and added "I support the phase-out of that as you suggested."
Investment bank UBS said this is positive news for US-exposed renewables operators. Cautioning that the announcement is very preliminary, it said it suggested that the new administration will probably leave the current PTC phase-out schedule unchanged. "This is in line with our US team's view , as well as ours published last week," it added.
The PTC for wind has been extended through 2019. It starts phasing down for project entering construction in 2017 in annual steps of 20 percentage points. In 2016, the PTC was worth USD 0.023 (EUR 0.022) per kWh.
General Electric Co (NYSE:GE), the leading wind turbine maker in the USA, also thinks that the PTC will not be changed. "I think on the renewable side really with the PTC over the next few years I think that's pretty much locked in place," Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive, said last week when asked about the impact of Trump's election on customers.