The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) provided three types of incentives to support the development of renewable energy resources:
- Permanent extension of the investment credit (Section 1916), provides a 10% investment credit for most solar technologies and geothermal;
- Establishment of a production tax credit (PTC) of $0.015 per kWh (to be inflation-adjusted) for wind and closed-loop biomass, which is available to investor-owned utilities and non-utility generators for up to ten years for electricity produced in stations brought on-line before 1 July 1999. The programme was subsequently extended three times, and is set to expire at the end of 2008.
- Establishment of a production incentive payment of $0.015/kWh (Section 1212, Renewable Energy Production Incentive) for publicly-owned utilities (that cannot avail themselves of the PTC because they pay no federal income taxes). The payment is available for solar, wind, biomass (excluding MSW) and geothermal (excluding dry steam). The programme was extended by Section 202 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6), which reauthorised appropriations for fiscal years 2006 through 2026 and expanded the list of eligible technologies and facilities owners.
Most recently, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 has amended both the PTC and the investment tax credit for renewable energy.