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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has praised the agreement reached by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives on economic recovery legislation, which includes several provisions intended to spur development of wind and other renewable energy industries in the current adverse economic and financial climate. The final cost of the bill is $790 billion.

"The renewable energy provisions in the final bill will stimulate economic and job growth in the wind industry," says Greg Wetstone, senior director of governmental affairs for AWEA. "More than that, this bill is a critical down payment on long-term policies needed to meet the president’s ambitious renewable energy goals, enhance America’s energy security, grow our economy and reduce global warming pollution."

According to a press statement released yesterday, the bill includes the following:

- provides a total of $30 billion for initiatives such as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology and energy efficiency measures, which will create nearly 500,000 jobs;

- transforms the nation’s electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable;

- provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years;

- establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in advanced energy facilities, such as those that manufacture components for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and other innovative next-generation green technologies.

The final legislation must still be approved by House and Senate members before it is sent to President Barack Obama.

SOURCES: American Wind Energy Association, Office of Nancy Pelosi

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