Q&A with Ed Einowski on Competitiveness of Wind Power Versus Solar Power

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Stoel Rives attorney Ed Einowski  participated in a Q&A published by in connection with  the Infocast 2016 Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit, which was sponsored in part by Stoel Rives. Einowski addressed the question of whether wind power can maintain its price competitiveness with respect to solar power as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind is phased out over the next five years while the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy remains at 30 percent through 2018.

Einowski said that the trend over the last several years has been to get projects done in time to qualify for the PTC, and he expects there to be a push to take advantage of the higher PTC amount before it steps down each year. But the reduction of the PTC will close the gap between the prices of wind and solar. “Given what has been said about some of the advantages solar already enjoys over wind, wind may find it increasingly difficult to compete with solar on a price basis,” Einowski said.

Einowski also addresses what he expects to be key issues driving the wind market in 2016 and beyond. “The success in the courts and in the implementation of the President’s Clean Power Plan will be a key driver, as State renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and green power programs have been over the past decade,” he said. “Increases in State RPS requirements like those recently enacted in California will be a part of the mix and will help even if the Clean Power Plan encounters unexpected difficulties.”

Read the full Q&A, published February 16, 2016, here.

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