The U.S. wind energy industry and its 75,000 employees breathed a big sigh of relief last week as the federal renewable energy Production Tax Credit was extended, and the reaction of supporters and analysts in the media and elsewhere was generally favorable. Here are some highlights:
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), press release: “‘The extension of the wind Production Tax Credit is excellent news for workers in Pueblo, Windsor, Brighton and across the country. Thanks to the PTC extension, I am confident the wind industry will be able to create jobs and help revitalize our American manufacturing sector,’ Udall said … Udall has been a longtime and steadfast advocate for extending the wind Production Tax Credit. Since June, Udall has delivered 27 speeches on the U.S. Senate floor to encourage his colleagues to quickly extend the PTC. Udall’s effort, supported by Colorado business leaders and workers alike, drew the support of a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, including the father of the PTC, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).”
Editorial, Topeka (Kans.) Capital-Journal (“Wind energy tax credit good for Kansas”): “Kansas has been one of the leaders in wind energy development in recent years and the money generated for landowners, construction and plant employees has been significant. The wind energy industry invested nearly $3 billion in Kansas last year. Extension of the production tax credit could spark a rejuvenation of the industry in the state and provide additional economic benefits.”
Editorial, Denver Post (“A gust of fresh air on wind tax credits”): “Just when we thought there was little positive to be said about the wretched process that produced the “fiscal cliff” compromise, something worthwhile emerged. As it turns out, the deal includes a one-year extension of key tax credits for wind power production, an important support if the nation is to develop a broader renewable energy base.”
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) (“Brownback applauds wind tax break renewal,” Topeka Capital-Journal): “‘Gov. Brownback is pleased Congress recognized the positive impact the wind PTC has on creating jobs and growing the economy,’ said Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag.
“As Congress struggled toward settlement with the White House, Brownback joined a 28-state Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition to advocate retention of the 2.2-cent per kilowatt hour incentive for utility-scale turbines. He said the tax credit inspired $3 billion in wind power investment in Kansas during 2012 and maintenance of the program was necessary to ‘continue to build wind energy and the jobs and electricity that [are] associated with it.'”
Will Oremus, Slate (“One Thing to Cheer About in the Fiscal Cliff Deal: Wind Jobs in Iowa”): “… [T]he deal will preserve for at least one more year the wind energy production tax credit, staving off cuts that would have severely undermined the nation’s fastest-growing energy source.”
Amir Kurtovic, St. Louis Business Journal (“Wind Tax Credit Extension Could Boost St. Louis Companies”): ” … [C]ompanies such as Emerson, electric component maker ABB and carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek stand to gain business in 2013.
“Zoltek was already ‘well on the way to a record year in fiscal 2012’ thanks to its growth in the wind energy industry, according to chairman and chief executive Zsolt Rumy. The extension of the Production Tax Credit will help Zoltek keep that momentum going in 2013, Rumy said. ‘This is definitely helpful because investors were holding back on projects to see what would happen.'”
Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon (“Last-minute PTC extension cheers Oregon businesses”): “Iberdrola Renewables, which has about 400 Oregon employees, issued a statement Wednesday saying, ‘Extension of the renewable tax credits is good news for Iberdrola Renewables, the U.S. clean energy sector and the tens of thousands of Americans who are working in this field.’ …
“Vestas, the global maker of wind turbines that keeps its North American headquarters in Portland, said in a statement that the company was “pleased” to see the extension, even though its late timing would still result in a significant downturn in the number of wind energy projects developed in 2013.”
Tom Gray, http://www.awea.org/blog/