The U.S. Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy production tax credit (PTC) in final passage of a bill to avert the “fiscal cliff” that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.
The extension of the PTC, and the investment tax credit for community and offshore projects, 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.
The version included in latest budget deal would cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18- 24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm.
Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee included that version in a “tax extenders” package they assembled in August, which made it into the overall fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate early on Jan. 1 and the House later the same day.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says wind 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.
“On behalf of all the people working in wind energy manufacturing facilities, their families, and all the communities that benefit, we thank President Obama and all the Members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014,” says Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA for the past four years.
“Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, homegrown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that’s now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.,” says Rob Gramlich, who becomes AWEA’s interim CEO on Jan. 2 with Bode’s return to private practice as a tax attorney, as previously announced.