wind energy jobs

75,000 wind energy workers to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and Father of the PTC Chuck Grassley: “Thank you!”

The wind power industry production and investment tax credits have been officially extended, and now tens of thousands of wind workers will remain employed.

The U.S. wind energy industry has averaged $15.5 billion a year in private investment, and today, the equivalent of nearly 13 million American households is powered with clean, affordable, wind power.

The extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that will benefit offshore and community wind projects will cover all those that start construction in 2013.

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The industry is grateful to Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the father of the successful PTC, for championing this start construction language, which was included in the Senate Finance Committee’s extenders bill and passed with bipartisan support on August 2nd, 2012.

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We are also grateful for all the Finance Committee members who voted to pass this bill out of the committee.

“Chairman Baucus and Senator Grassley understand the 18-24month timeline it takes to build a wind project and they advocated for this version of a PTC extension in order to save jobs in the nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country that are manufacturing wind component parts,” said Rob Gramlich, Interim CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“On behalf of 75,000 American workers and all the communities that benefit from American wind power, we would like to thank Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa for ensuring that these crucial tax credits made it into the Finance Committee’s tax extenders package, so that the tax credits’ timelines fit with business timelines.”

America’s wind energy workers are celebrating today because otherwise, an estimated 37,000 jobs would have been lost by the first quarter of 2013. The extension will revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country, and help create far more jobs over time.

It 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 power 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.

Wind energy has strengthened the economic fabric of communities across America, becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. manufacturing sectors. At least 472 U.S. factories currently supply the industry, up from as few as 30 in 2004, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently found.

U.S. Department of Energy has projected that wind energy can supply 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.

That would support roughly 500,000 good quality jobs in the U.S., with an annual average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry. And, wind power is already saving the nation’s energy consumers billions of dollars a year with clean, affordable wind-generated electricity.

AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.