US announces $150 million in clean energy tax credits to support jobs

Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and a warming world have forced the international community to reappraise its sustainability efforts. The United States, in particular, has heeded calls from environmental conservation advocates and refocused its efforts on promoting growth in clean energy in the hopes a boom in the sector will lead the country toward a smogless and more energy efficient future. Federal officials echoed this sentiment when they announced a new round of tax credits aimed at spurring jobs growth in cleantech, making renewable energy recruiters a valuable partner in talent searches.

Clean energy a second term priority
The U.S. Departments of Energy and the Treasury recently announced firms in cleantech, energy efficiency and renewable energy manufacturing will have access to $150 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits. The departments said in a statement the tax program was initiated to boost American competitiveness in clean energy manufacturing, improving energy security and creating new domestic employment opportunities in renewables.

"As the economy continues to heal, the president has been clear that we have to do everything we can to boost growth and job creation today and build a more sustainable foundation for tomorrow," said Neal Wolin, acting secretary of the treasury. "Manufacturing the clean energy products of the future in America will create good middle-class jobs right now and help lay the groundwork for the long-term resilience of our economy."

The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit was introduced under the parameters of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The tax credits are awarded to businesses through a competitive 30 percent investment tax credit. The first round of such credits provided $2.3 billion to 183 projects. The soon to be available $150 million is leftover money the country has from funds that were not used by previous awardees.

A fact sheet accompanying the statement provided a list of energy products to determine tax credit eligibility. These included solar, wind, geothermal or other renewable energy equipment; electric grids and renewables storage; fuel cells and microturbines; equipment for refining and blending renewable fuels; energy conservation equipment like smart lightning; and other advanced energy property that can reduce emissions.

The government's focus on clean energy initiatives to create more domestic jobs makes both renewable energy recruiters and manufacturing recruiters skilled  partners in an employment search.