Fiscal Cliff Deal Preserves America’s Wind Energy Sector

03 Jan, 2013

In its final passage on January 1 of a bill to avert the fiscal cliff, the U.S. Congress has extended wind energy tax credits for projects that begin this year.

The bill applies to all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18 months to 24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit, 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.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the wind energy industry 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, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.

However, say AWEA officials, America’s wind energy workers have been living under threat of the PTCs 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 more than a decade.

For complete details, visit AWEA.

Illustration by Victor Habbick at Free Digital

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