Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Extends PTC and ITC for Wind Energy

On the cusp of the fiscal cliff the House voted to approve a sweeping tax deal that also extends the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for wind energy for one year. The wind industry has grown tremendously under the PTC and ITC and it can be expected that the year long extension will continue this growth into 2013. This is good news for America’s 75,000 workers in wind energy in 50 states. While the deal passed overwhelmingly in the Senate the House vote was much closer (257-167). Predictably many Republicans did not support the initiative and almost pushed the credits over the cliff.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, leading the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said that the extension of the wind energy PTC and ITC will save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, The extension will also revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country.

One study indicated that 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.

Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America said that wind energy is a very significant front in efforts to diminish greenhouse gases.

“In powering nearly 13 million homes across the country already, wind energy avoids as much global warming pollution as taking 13 million cars off the road each year, according to a recent Environment America Research & Policy Center report. Our current wind energy capacity also reduces air pollution by avoiding 137,000 pounds of smog-forming emissions and 91,000 pounds of soot-forming emissions every year,” Alt said.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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