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The deadline for renewing the Production Tax Credits for wind energy is right around the corner, and many congressmen from states that support a lot of wind jobs–like Iowa and Kansas–are speaking loudly in favor of renewal. Others say the PTC should be allowed to die, saying the subsidy is too expensive to continue and the wind industry should stand on its own feet. With the deadline so near, there are several outcomes we could see.
First, the PTC might not be renewed. Many companies have already slowed or stopped planning big wind jobs in preparation for this, since the necessary funds just won’t be there without the PTC. It could also affect wind jobs already in development, slowing their progress.
The PTC could be renewed, which would continue subsidies for wind projects and the creation of wind jobs across the nation. It could be renewed for a full six years, as part of the agreement that avoids the “fiscal cliff”–if any such agreement is reached.
John Graham, with BP Wind Energy, believes it will be another six years before wind energy will be competitive without the crutch of the PTC. In about six years, he says, wind turbines will be more affordable and more efficient technologies will be available. But right now, regarding the PTC, Graham says, “The reality is the industry needs it.”
It’s also possible that the PTC could be extended for a single year, with wind jobs already underway receiving two years to ensure they can be successfully, affordably completed.
Another idea being batted around is a six-year extension of the PTC, which will be slowly phased out, and would decline in value over that time period. A “phase-out” would continue supporting wind jobs, while demonstrating that the wind industry understands the government’s need to control the deficit.
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