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Tax Professionals Unfamiliar with US Clean Energy Incentives

March 13, 2012

NEW YORK AND ARLINGTON, VA. — Tax professionals are generally
unfamiliar with the various tax incentives available to private
investors in clean energy projects, despite the fact that many
have participated in other kinds of “tax equity” transactions,
according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg BNA in consultation
with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The online survey of subscribers to Bloomberg BNA’s Tax and
Accounting Center, found that 35% of respondents have made tax
equity investment either directly or on behalf of clients in
areas other than clean energy, such as low-income housing.
Despite this, 65% said they were mostly or completely unfamiliar
with the incentives available to backers of US wind projects
known as the Production Tax Credit. Only 7% described
themselves as extremely familiar with the PTC, which was used to
finance approximately 4,000 megawatts of wind capacity in 2011,
or around 70% of total US wind installations, according to
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates.

The survey comes as the US clean energy sector seeks to grow by
attracting new private investment from corporations in the form
of tax equity. Bloomberg New Energy Finance presents the results
of the survey today at a White House meeting hosted by the US
Department of Energy. The event brings together chief financial
officers and others from Fortune 500 companies as the
administration highlights opportunities available to large
corporations in clean energy tax equity investing.

When asked why they or their clients had not made a clean energy
tax equity investment, a majority answered that it was either
not a strategic fit with the company’s business or that they
believed there were better returns available elsewhere. Twenty-
one percent of those answering the question responded that they
did not make the investment because they were unaware of a tax
equity option. Nearly all of the respondents indicated that a
clean energy investment would be for the purpose of supplying
the client’s own energy needs.

“These results suggest an information disconnect,” said Michael
Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the
clean energy market research division of Bloomberg. “Tax equity
investing today offers backers of clean energy projects, based
on proven technologies, comparatively high risk-adjusted
returns, given the current low interest-rate environment.
Apparently though, many in the tax community have failed so far
to spot the opportunity for their clients.”

Detailed results are available on Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Tax
Report. For more information, visit BNA.

About Bloomberg BNA
Bloomberg BNA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a
leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information
for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters,
correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert
analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance – the information
that matters most to professionals. Bloomberg BNA’s
authoritative coverage spans the full range of legal practice
areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment,
intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits,
health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and
environment, health & safety.

About Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is the world’s leading
independent provider of news, data, research and analysis to
decision makers in renewable energy, water, energy smart
technologies, carbon markets, carbon capture and storage, and
nuclear power. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has staff of 200,
based in London, Washington D.C., New York, Tokyo, Beijing, New
Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town, São Paulo and
Zurich. Bloomberg New Energy Finance serves leading investors,
corporates and governments around the world. Its Insight
Services provide deep market analysis on wind, solar, bioenergy,
geothermal, carbon capture and storage, smart grid, energy
efficiency, and nuclear power. The group also offers Insight
Services for each of the major emerging carbon markets:
European, Global Kyoto, Australia, and the U.S., where it covers
the planned regional markets as well as potential federal
initiatives and the voluntary carbon market. Bloomberg New
Energy Finance’s Industry Intelligence Service provides access
to the world’s most reliable and comprehensive database of
investors and investments in clean energy and carbon. The News
and Briefing Service is the leading global news service focusing
on clean energy investment. The group also undertakes applied
research on behalf of clients and runs senior level networking
events. For more information click Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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Ethan Zindler, BNEF, +1 202 416 3466,

Tom Ehart, BNA, +1 703 341 5949,