U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Geothermal Technologies Office
Power Production from Renewable Energy Aided by Energy Act
August 10, 2005
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which President Bush signed on August 8th, includes a number of provisions to
increase the use of renewable energy as a source of electricity. The
energy act extends the production tax credit through 2007 for
electricity produced from wind power, geothermal power, biomass,
landfill gas, small irrigation power, and trash combustion facilities.
The credit would have expired at the end of this year. The act also
extends the credit to include the hydropower generated from new
facilities added to existing dams or conduits, and the additional
hydropower generated because of efficiency improvements at existing
hydropower stations. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and
the National Hydropower Association (NHA) hailed the credit extension.
See the AWEA press release, the NHA fact sheet (PDF 31 KB), and pages 1222 to 1227 of the energy act (PDF 2.6 MB). Download Adobe Reader.
By 2013, the act requires the federal government to buy at least
7.5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources,
including wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas, ocean, geothermal,
municipal solid waste, and new hydroelectric generation achieved
through efficiency improvements or capacity additions at existing
hydroelectric plants. The act doubles the credit for power generated
on-site or on federal or tribal lands.
The act updates the Geothermal Steam Act to require competitive lease
sales at least every two years in states with geothermal resources.
Land tracts offered for competitive leases but not bid upon can then
be offered for non-competitive leases. Fees will be charged based on
power production, and only nominal fees will be charged for geothermal
resources not used to generate power. The act also reforms the
hydropower licensing process. To help assess the availability of
renewable energy, the energy act also requires an annual assessment of
all renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, biomass, ocean,
geothermal, and hydroelectric energy sources. See pages 161 to 251 of
the energy act (PDF 2.6 MB).