‘Father of PTC’ explains wind farm incentive’s value

Some excerpts from Sen. Grassley’s remarks:

… I’ve championed the [PTC] as a way to provide a level playing field for a very clean, renewable resource. As a result … wind energy has become more efficient and cost-effective. The cost of wind turbines has declined by 90 percent since the 1980s. Wind farm has accounted for 35 percent of all new American electric generation in the last five years. Wind turbines has already provided 20 percent of the electric generation in my state of Iowa. It supports as many as 5,000 good-paying jobs in our state.

As a result of the tax incentive … wind energy has actually created new manufacturing jobs in the United States. Today 60 percent of the wind turbines’ value is now produced in the United States, compared with just 25 percent six years ago. There are now 400 facilities building wind turbines components in 43 states. That is why a bill in the House of Representatives to extend the [PTC] has 80 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans. If we fail to extend the incentive, thousands of jobs will be lost in the wind manufacturing industry. Unemployment remains high at 8.30 percent. Why would Congress exacerbate the unemployment in our country by failing to extend this successful incentive?

… I happen to find [wind turbines] majestic and awe-inspiring on the landscape …

… The Production Tax Credit, which I first authored in 1992, provides the incentive only for electricity that is actually produced. Under the Production Tax Credit, there is no tax benefit simply for placing the turbines in the ground. Electricity must be produced in order to get the credit.

AWEA and the wind power industry are deeply grateful to Sen. Grassley for his steadfast support for this clean, renewable energy source.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 85 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans, and has received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans (Senator Grassley was an original cosponsor). A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.

Tom Gray, www.awea.org/blog/