Monday, July 09, 2012

Renew Wind Production Tax Credit Now

The wind production tax credit is set to expire on December 31, 2012.  The production tax credit was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 (Energy Polity Act of 1992 - H.R. 776) currently gives operators of wind farms a credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity they generate. Without the credits, wind power generally can't compete on price with electricity produced by coal- or natural gas-fired plants. Analysts predict that if the tax credit expires on Dec. 31, as it is scheduled to, installations of new equipment could fall by as much as 90% next year, after what is expected to be a record increase in capacity in 2012.

The credit now is caught in the congressional gridlock of an election year, and a vote on renewal isn't likely until after November. The credits for wind have expired three times before, most recently in 2004, with new construction slowing sharply each time before the credit was later renewed.

Wind's share of U.S. electricity output has grown to 2.9% last year, from about 1.3% in 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration.  (WSJ, 6/8/2012)

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