Wind energy: PTC has generated ‘innovation, jobs’

The federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) has been "effective … in producing American innovation [and] creating new American jobs" and should be extended, Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Ponemon said late last week in Houston. On the question of how long the credit should last, he added, "We’re going to let the proof be in the results, as opposed to some arbitrary date."

Poneman made his remarks during a tour of a Proinlosa Energy Corp. factory that manufactures wind turbine components, according to a story by Simone Sebastian in the Houston Chronicle.

Poneman also announced $30 million in research contracts for development of natural-gas-fueled vehicles, the article said, and endorsed an "all-of-the-above" energy policy, commenting that "Diversification improves our national security."

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 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 105 cosponsors, including 24 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored 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, the Daily Oklahoman, and the Toledo Blade.

Tom Gray,