Friday, November 09, 2012

Wind Week, Nov 12 - Nov 16

Wind energy tax credit proponents will be lobbying Congress hard when they return to Capitol Hill on November 12.  In fact, proponents are designating it as 'Wind Week.'  Wind-energy companies get 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour produced, taking as much as much as one-third off the costs in some areas.  This tax credit, which fuels wind’s growth, expires at the end of this year unless Congress votes to extend it.

The Center supports extension of the wind energy tax credit.

The Senate Finance Committee in August approved a one-year extension of the credit, which carries an estimated cost of $12 billion over the next decade. But the committee bill, which extends a series of expiring tax incentives, did not yet make it to the Senate floor. The House has not acted on the credit.

The industry will shed 37,000 jobs if the credit expires, according to a study by the consulting firm Navigant that was commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).  Fearing the loss of a subsidy that helps them compete with cheaper natural gas, some wind companies including a U.S. unit of Siemens AG (SIE) are already cutting jobs, adding urgency to a lobbying push in Washington. Since July, about 2,000 jobs have been shed by wind developers and suppliers, according to IHS Emerging Energy Research, a unit of IHS Inc. (IHS), based in Englewood, Colorado.

While wind is still a relatively small slice of the overall energy mix, about 2.3 percent of the electricity generated in 2011, it’s growing at a fast clip. Wind accounts for about 35 percent of the new generation capacity added in the past five years, second only to natural gas, according to the American Wind Energy Association, a Washington-based lobbying group. (The Hill, 11/8/2012, Bloomberg Business, 10/7/2012, DOE-EIA)

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