Wind energy: High-tech component manufacturer calls for PTC extension

Chad Hall, founder and VP of sales for Ioxus, Inc., which makes high-tech power electronic gear for wind turbines, has an op-ed in today’s edition of the trade newsletter Environmental Leader calling on Congress to extend the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).

Mr. Hall sums up the case for an extension of the wind incentive–it means not raising taxes on a growing sector of the struggling national economy: "Killing the PTC is the same as Congress increasing taxes on renewable energy. A raise in taxes on renewable energy would tarnish an industry that has provided Americans with jobs and ensured stability of electricity prices. By extending the PTC, the country can continue to support domestic energy production, and therefore, economic growth. If Congress allows the PTC to live, the U.S. has the means to achieve its goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from wind by 2030. The tax credit can continue to foster growth in the renewable energy sector, providing 500,000 … Americans with jobs in wind production. Without the PTC, domestic economic growth and growth of the renewable energy sector are in danger."

Congressional inaction on the PTC is already costing jobs, Mr. Hall adds, as component manufacturers with long lead times, seeing few or no orders for 2013, begin laying off workers: "The wind industry allows for clean and cost-effective energy production, while fostering domestic economic success … Supporting the PTC will help the wind industry and those who work in it and will also encourage national success in energy production."

The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 93 cosponsors, including 21 Republicans, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have 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. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, the Denver Post, and the Daily Oklahoman.

Tom Gray,