U.S. tax cuts bill includes alternate energy incentives

The 1603 investment tax credit was extended through 2011, provides a 30 percent tax credit for wind energy developers and is seen as a key driver of wind energy manufacturing in the U.S.

The U.S. Congress on Dec. 16 approved extension of Bush-era tax cuts, and in the bill was a one-year extension (through the end of 2011) of the 1603 investment tax credit. It provides a 30 percent tax credit for wind energy and other alternative energy developers who break ground on projects before the end of 2011 and is seen as a key driver of wind energy manufacturing in the U.S.

Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said, "This is a great holiday present for the 85,000 American workers in the wind energy industry, tens of thousands of whom will now be able to get back to work in a sector that has been a bright spot in the recession so far. Orders will be on the rise for new wind power, and investors will put more capital into the U.S. economy because of what happened in Congress last night.

"We're already making 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa, and have made as much as 25 percent of the electricity in Texas," she said. "We hold the lead in building and expanding our U.S. manufacturing base than most other industries. With the industry expansion this extension will incentivize, we're going to be making a whole lot more affordable, homegrown electric power in the years to come."