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AWEA Blog: Into the Wind
January 2, 2013

Congress extends wind energy tax credits for projects that start in 2013

Note from RNP: This new year was made especially happy with the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy. The PTC has helped stimulate over $12 billion in clean energy investment in the region and create jobs and economic vitality in both rural and urban areas of the Northwest. We are especially grateful to Senator Max Baucus and to the members of the Northwest Congressional delegation for their hard work in support of this important policy. Below is the post from AWEA's blog, Into the Wind, on this extension:

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 1 – Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in final passage of a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.

 America's 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating tonight over the continuation of policies expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country. The extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC)--and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects--will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, with factories or wind farms in all 50 states.


The version included in tonight's deal would cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18-24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm.


Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee included that version in a "tax extenders" package they assembled in August, which made it into the overall fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate early this morning and the House tonight. The bill is expected to be swiftly signed into law by President Obama, who consistently supported the wind energy tax credits throughout the process.


Wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, according to the Energy Information Administration, leading the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.


However, America's wind energy workers have been living under threat of the PTC's expiration for over a year and layoffs had already begun, as companies idled factories because of a lack of orders for 2013. Uncertain federal policies have caused a "boom-bust" cycle in U.S. wind energy development for over a decade.

Half the American jobs in wind energy--37,000 out of 75,000--and hundreds of U.S. factories in the supply chain would have been at stake had the PTC been allowed to expire, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.

In the closing days of this year's "lame duck" session of Congress, America's wind energy workers have been posting videos to tell their stories of working in the new industry. The 2,000 companies that belong to AWEA have sent delegations to Capitol Hill repeatedly, invited Members of Congress on tours of wind farms and factories, and delivered hundreds of thousands of letters from constituents.

 

Click here to continue reading this AWEA Into the Wind blog post: http://www.awea.org/blog/index.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1699=20744

Wind and Sun -- Montana's Next Economic Boom

To learn more about the untapped potential of Montana's abundant, clean, sustainable wind and solar energy resources, CHARGE!

 

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