WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in final passage of a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff.” 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.
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.
"On behalf of all the people working in wind energy manufacturing facilities, their families, and all the communities that benefit, we 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," said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) for the past four years.
"Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, homegrown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that’s now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.," said Rob Gramlich, who becomes AWEA’s interim CEO on January 2 with Bode’s return to private practice as a tax attorney, as previously announced.