Wind Tax Credit Extended as Part of Fiscal Cliff Deal

January 2, 2013

As I’ve noted recently, so-called conservatives have been waging a rabidly aggressive fight against any government subsidies to clean energy, while continuing to pump out far greater taxpayer support for sunsetting technologies and conventional fossil fuels. The one year extension of the wind production tax credit is better than nothing, but continues the long term tradition of hit and miss support for renewables, especially wind power, which has been allowed periodically to fall off its own fiscal cliff.

ptc_gapsThe Hill:

A one-year extension to a wind power credit made it into the final “fiscal cliff” bargain Tuesday, much to the delight of green groups and the wind industry.

The 2.2 cent-per-kilowatt-hour credit for wind-power production had already expired Tuesday. Green and industry groups had pushed hard for its extension, saying letting the credit end would eliminate 37,000 jobs.

“[W]e thank President Obama and all the members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014,” Denise Bode, the departing chief executive of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a wind industry group, said in a Tuesday statement.

Its inclusion marks a defeat for conservative groups and lawmakers, who argued an alteration to the credit amounted to an expansion of the program.

The fiscal-cliff bill headed to Obama’s desk extends a handful of income tax rates and punts a series of automatic spending cuts for another two months.

EcoWatch:

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), America’s 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating 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 PTC, and ITC 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 the legislation covers 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.

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

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.

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9 Responses to “Wind Tax Credit Extended as Part of Fiscal Cliff Deal”

  1. Wes Says:

    The most encouraging news this week is that the progressive community, which has always focused on the Presidential race, has finally awakened to the end run that the GOP has pulled to get a majority in the House with a minority of the popular vote. Hopefully things will change for the better in 2014. We can’t make any real progress on climate with the current setup.

  2. Bruce Miller Says:

    Chinese designed, expensive enriched Uranium free, expensive pressure dome free, benign and very small waste discharge, 99.% + efficient, mass producible, scalable, Protactinium isolated, no dangerous waste creation or disposal expense, high heat output, cooling tower free, industrial heat/electric generating, mass-producible, Thorium LFTR styled reactors coming on line by 2017, will “Alter Global Energy Maps Forever”. Be advised American Scientist will beg borrow steal these designs, even improve on them and proliferate them in America as fast as they can. We enter the “Age of the Electron” this early 21st Century, and will see in decades, computer speed changes in our conscious reality imposed upon us by this and other new realities, even crushing the U.S. Dollar and placing the Chinese Yuan and the Pan Eurasian Alliances as the new Empire in this world. Think not? I was born in the British Empire and the “Pound Sterling” reigned untouchable and the ‘Sun never set on the British Empire”. I saw it crushed, failed, and watched the rise of the American Empire without challenge until now. I see Pan Eurasian Alliances forming fast these past few years. I see the Feds watering down the U.S. Dollar like Zimbabwe Bucks, I see a very strong, well backed Yuan, 1300 M strong worker class in China against the reminents of America’s once world envied Middle Class Workers, standing in soup kitchen lines without even decent medical care? In debt just to eat? Drugged and demanding more legalized pacifiers? Once proud proletariat, reduced to precariat, then fully disenfranchised by the Financial Upper Class. What does all of that have to do with a few Wind Power tax breaks you ask? Answer: domestic renewable = perpetual = eternal energy for America soon made efficient and practical by major paradigm shifts from the American dream nonsense to a practical sustainable reality in America, and possibly Solar, Wind. Wave, Hydro, Tidal, all made better buy IBM’s recently announced battery systems
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/143750-the-top-tech-and-science-breakthroughs-of-2012/10 IBM Lithium /Air battery

    • MorinMoss Says:

      Bruce, you’re drinking from a large pitcher of Kool-Aid.

      The LFTR is still a fantasy design, albeit a promising one, as the old MSR prototype 1) never ran on thorium and b) never produced electricity.

      As for the lithium-air battery, that’s a PROJECT at IBM, not a reality and they don’t expect to have a viable commercial product before 2020, at the earliest.

      I wish it were otherwise but that’s the reality.

      Let’s hope that the promised Sumitomo low-temp molten-sodium battery reaches the market in 2015 as promised.
      It would be great to have an affordable, energy-dense storage option for larger vehicles

  3. rayduray Says:

    Peter,

    I’m curious if the brinksmanship engaged in by the Congress had a negative impact on the manufacturer (Dowding Industries(sp?)/Jeff Metz) you interviewed in the video?

    I recall from the election campaign that several manufacturers of wind energy systems or components in Iowa were sweating the tax credit as of last August/September. The threat was that of unnecessary disruption in the finance streams resulting in layoffs.

    Did Dowding(sp?) Industries have to lay off employees in late 2012 because of the boneheads in Congress?

  4. Bruce Miller Says:

    Morinmoss: please read the following:
    (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UT2yYs5YJs)
    (See: http://www.investmentu.com/2011/September/thorium-the-future-of-nuclear-power.html)
    ( http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4971 )

    http://singularityhub.com/2012/12/11/norway-begins-four-year-test-of-thorium-nuclear-reactor/

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/son-of-chinas-ex-president-thorium-will-help-shape-countrys-energy-future/7269?tag=search-river

    Then check nuclear News for announcement of China’s latest reactor perhaps not fully an America LFTR but certainly |Thorium fueld, and coming on line in China by 2017.China Poat, and China News both report this too? http://www.the oildrum.com/node/4971 claims an American reactor did run successfully for years and on Thorium, and the fasts are: CANDU reactors, reconfigured are running in China today on thorium, articls say up to three of them now?
    Thank You for the Sumitomo low-temp molten-sodium battery reference!
    We can always hope for Thorium breakthough and better batteries!


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