Solar Tax Credits Also Extended

The Solar Electric Power Association also weighed in on provisions in HR1424 that will have a positive impact on that form of alternative energy.

According to their press release, the solar investment tax credit provisions in the bill include:

1) Extension for 8 years of the 30% tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations;

2) Elimination of the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30% tax credit (effective for property placed in service after December 31, 2008);

3) Elimination of the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit;

4) Allowance for Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers, both businesses and individuals, to take the credit; and

5) Authorization of $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar.

Biodiesel Tax Incentives Extended

The Bailout Bill approved by the House of Representatives today (officially known as H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act) would extend certain tax incentives that directly affect alternative energy production. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Specifically, according to The Biodiesel Bulletin, H.R. 1424 will:

1) Extend the biodiesel tax incentive for one year through Dec. 31, 2009.

2) Allow all biodiesel to qualify for the $1 per gallon biodiesel incentive. (Currently, biodiesel produced from yellow grease is eligible for a 50 cents per gallon tax incentive.)

3) Close the so-called "splash-and-dash" loophole. Splash-and-dash is where foreign finished fuel is sent to the U.S.; splash-blended to claim the tax incentive; and then shipped to a third country for final use. Effective May 15, 2008, fuel produced outside the U.S. for use outside the U.S. does not qualify for the biodiesel tax incentive.

4) Redefine the biodiesel incentive to exclude co-processed renewable diesel.

Green Goes to the Dogs

Want to make sure your faithful companion has an environmentally friendly, not to mention totally cool, place to hang out? Check out what is being billed as the first "eco-friendly doghouse."
The project was conceived as part of the Project Playhouse fundraiser for HomeAid-Los Angeles/Ventura County in which four "playhouses" were designed and built by local companies and put up for auction. Some proceeds from this particular structure will also go to The Rescue Train, an animal rescue organization.

You can bid at the online auction thru Oct. 19. The playhouses are in residence at The Lakes shopping center in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Santa Clarita Firm Applies for Solar Cell Patent

From the San Fernando Valley Business Journal website Posted 9/30/2008

Bio-Solar Inc. has applied for a patent for improvements to produce solar cells from renewable plant sources.

The Santa Clarita-based company already makes its BioBacksheet product at a 25 percent cost reduction by using plant sources rather than petroleum-based parts. The patent application is for a new material configuration and manufacturing technique to produce a version of the solar cells that can potentially deliver a 50% reduction in cost.

Bio-Solar shipped BioBacksheet samples to a select group of manufacturers for their evaluation in several regions of the country.

“Initial test results are very encouraging and we continue to receive positive feedback and be responsive to the needs of potential buyers,” said Bio-Solar CEO David Lee,. “With solar cell demand expected to exceed supply for the next 5 to 10 years, we believe there is tremendous opportunity for growth.”

Annette Bening Opens TreePeople Teaching Garden Oct. 2

Annette Bening will be the celebrity ribbon-cutter for the new Watershed Teaching Garden and Center for Community Forestry at the TreePeople headquarters in Coldwater Canyon.

The event on Oct. 2 will start at 10:30 a.m. with a press conference and ribbon cutting, followed by an Eco-Tour.

The new $10 million campus is designed to help residents of Los Angeles "adopt water-conserving lifestyles, improve the quality of their communities, and protect their families and neighborhoods from climate change."

Porsche Boxter Running on Compressed Air - Not so Fast (Literally)

AltCar Expo brought many exciting new technologies to the automotive world and the eco-friendly Santa Monica community.

Perhaps none of the technology showcase cars on display garnered as much attention as the MIIN-Air Porsche Boxster, which, as it sounds, is a Boxster converted to run solely on compressed air. While it is, for Glenn Bell of Air Fuel Auto, certainly a wonderful idea to pursue, it is not exactly ready to challenge stock Boxsters on the freeway.

The MIIN-Air carries a measured top speed of 45 mph, and at current time has a range of not quite 50 miles. While these numbers are not ready to win over any air car converts just yet and the method for power delivery is relatively inefficient, it is certainly a promising technology. The MIIN-AIR Boxster was available for test drive for the select few lucky enough to get on the list, and we can attest to the fact that it does indeed run. With no gasoline engine anywhere and massive compressed air tanks filling every compartment, is this the future of green automotive technology or...sorry...just a bunch of hot air.

photos by jesse sears for Save the Planet | Not the Hippies