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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. 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.
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