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The $819 billion stimulus package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday contains much to make renewable-energy supporters happy. But things could change in the coming days as work continues in the Senate on a similar bill.

One component of the House bill could be particularly important for solar-power companies. Earlier legislation provided tax credits to help these companies, but since they aren’t making much money, the tax credits weren’t doing a lot of good. Greentech Media reports that the bill will change these credits to direct payments:

Along with a host of plums for renewable energy–$8 billion in loans for renewable energy power generation and transmission projects and $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research–the House version of the stimulus bill contained a provision to convert investment tax credits that solar power developers rely on into direct payments to investors for the next two years.

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