As the U.S. Congress approved a plan Tuesday to veer away from the “fiscal cliff,” wind energy advocates embraced the bill’s extension of a wind production tax credit that was set to expire at the end of 2012.

The one-year extension of the credit, which gives wind companies a rebate of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt hour produced,  would cover all projects that start construction in 2013. The bill awaits President Obama’s signature.

The wind power industry decried the tax credit’s expiration as the end of the year approached, and some companies laid off workers in anticipation. The American Wind Energy Association said that the preservation of the credit will save up to 37,000 jobs, and allow the industry to “keep growing a new manufacturing sector that’s now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.,” interim CEO Rob Gramlich said in a statement responding to the extension. (See related post: “Wind Industry Fights to Save Tax Credit Before Its Expiration Date.“)

Critics of the credit, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), argue that the cost, which is estimated at $1.2 billion per year over 10 years, is both too high and unnecessary. But the credit did have bipartisan support led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and others in states with a stake in the wind industry’s growth.

Wind power accounted for 3 percent of all U.S. electricity generation in 2011, according to the Energy Information Administration. A 2008 report by the Department of Energy laid out a scenario envisioning 20 percent wind power generation in the U.S. by 2030, a goal it said was “ambitious,” but “feasible” if certain challenges, including necessary upgrades to the electric grid and turbine manufacturing growth, are addressed.  (See related post: “As U.S. Eyes Offshore Wind Development, Whales Get New Protections.“)



  1. Osmand Charpentier
    January 9, 2013, 8:57 am

    To boost growth we need to solve peak oil. Equity owners know that without power our civilization stops. The solution to this, already has been discovered: the OCEANOGENIC POWER of Panama, renewable, cheap, clean and sufficient, not only in quantity but as an alternative of energy.

    But the fanaticism of powerful groups and individuals, is applying to this technicalities.

    Big words, but hollow, because they mean what they do not show. Eg:

    Economic feasibility, but do not say, that investors qualify as infeasible: government feasible projects, and all which, its operations, exceeding 10 years. Imagine, with all the modern advances, do not dare to think, less to invest in projects like the pyramids or the Panama Canal.

    Another big word: Viability. How will evaluate feasibility, non-experts? And worse, when hiring consultants, supposedly experts: are chosen the uncreative; very good at bureaucracy; sick of envy, and before all: cheapest.

    But the truth is that we have to overcome these:

    Envy: do not support the solution comes from the third world, less, of a Catholic father of a large family. They use their power and money, to avoid give him employment, and so boycott, and avoid to publish their findings.

    Greed: It is more profitable to promote the crisis that is causing wars, and hopefully produce a world war to sell arms to 1 U.S. dollar per bullet. So too, it is very convenient to keep secret our discovery.

    Sloth: It’s easier, and cheaper, demolishing the infrastructure and economy, with a world war, that working for a peaceful transition to a infrastructure, and economy, totally friendly to our planet and our species. This hides and justifies their selfishness.

    Soberbia: They refuse to admit that an economic system based on accumulating money in the end, as this is limited, by save it in banks, always will result crises and wars. This hides and justifies his love to the Lie.

    Hate: They blame of those stupid decisions, and with this are justified of sentencing to death with their wars, to the poor, to of which have sought to give little money for their work, but they are definitely those who invent, cultivate, transport, cook, teach, build, create, paint, sing, design, manage, fishing, caring, believe, pray, etc. etc. etc. This hides and justifies their mentality, genocidal, and stupid, because it is against their own genes.

    So what to do? If already we have overcome all this, why USA can not take advantage of OCENAOGENIC POWER, and allowed of foolishness?

  2. Bill Carson
    January 5, 2013, 8:44 am

    Production Tax Credits are good for renewable energy if it’s a good investment and economically feasible.

    The commercial wind turbines installed in the last 5 years have shown a catastrophic failure in their gear box system that cost up to one million to repair every three to five years and again even after repairs are made.

    A commercial wind turbine today costs around 5 million today and without the PTC , Production Tax Credit these turbines would never be bullt . The PTC is really you and I the taxpayers paying a wind turbine contractor with tax breaks and renewable energy credits to install megawatt commercial wind turbines.

    Commercial wind turbines in New England are a bunco scheme that the media should do some investigative reporting on. Commercial turbines in Princeton ,Massachusetts -Portsmouth High School in Rhode Island have had major catastrophic failures now at Otis ANG Base, Cape Cod a 2009 turbine is just starting to have a gear box problem along with the Falmouth Wind 1 turbine having electrical problems.
    These three year old wind turbines are creating another industry repairing the turbines!

    On the health issue thousands of noise complaints have been made in Fairhaven, Falmouth, Kingston and Scituate . It’s clear that many towns planned 660 KW turbines and then switched to megawatt turbines three times the size of original plans . Noise reports about infra sound and low frequency noise have been in the news for years .Residents in Falmouth have left their homes or moved to basements .

    The construction of wind turbines in Fairhaven, Falmouth, Kingston and Scituate have quickly gone to court and local health boards . The commercial wind turbines being sited in and around residential property isn’t working out . The only answer may be to vote against local and state officials who support taking your health away from us.