January 3, 2013 in Renewable energy
Congress extended wind energy tax credits for another year by including the tax credits in the bill to avoid going over the so called fiscal cliff. The tax credits apply to all wind projects that begin construction in 2013. Extending the tax credits for wind energy will save up to 37,000 jobs, and will revive business at almost 500 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., according to the trade association, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Wind energy installed 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. Wind energy led the electric sector. In comparison, natural gas installed 30 percent, and coal even less. The U.S. Department of energy projects that wind energy can supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity by 2030, which would support about 500,000 jobs.
The AWEA is happy about the tax credits being extended. “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,” said 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.,” said Rob Gramlich, who becomes AWEA’s interim CEO on January 2.
The venerable environmental group, the Sierra Club, is also excited about the extension of the tax credits. Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement that extending the tax credit “will put thousands of Americans back to work, and will ensure that the wind industry continues to provide clean, renewable energy to our homes and businesses.”
“The renewal of the PTC will re-energize clean energy growth and jobs,” Brune added. “We are pleased that this latest barrier to protecting clean energy jobs in America has been overcome, and we will continue our work to ensure that our nation creates jobs and a secure climate future with clean energy.”