WASHINGTON, D.C., January 1, 2013 – Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in final passage of a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.
America's 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating tonight over the
continuation of policies expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create
far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing
facilities across the country. The extension of the wind energy
Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Investment Tax Credits 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 tonight's 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 this morning and
the House tonight. The bill is expected to be swiftly signed into law by
President Obama, who consistently supported the wind energy tax credits
throughout the process.
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
However, America's wind energy workers have been living
under threat of the PTC's expiration for over a year and layoffs had
already begun, as companies idled factories because of a lack of orders
for 2013. Uncertain federal policies have caused a "boom-bust" cycle in
U.S. wind energy development for over a decade.
Half the American jobs in wind energy – 37,000 out of 75,000 – and
hundreds of U.S. factories in the supply chain would have been at stake
had the PTC been allowed to expire, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.
In the closing days of this year's "lame duck" session of
Congress, America's wind energy workers have been posting videos to tell
their stories of working in the new industry. The 2,000 companies that
belong to AWEA have sent delegations to Capitol Hill repeatedly, invited
Members of Congress on tours of wind farms and factories, and delivered
hundreds of thousands of letters from constituents.
"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
with Bode's return to private practice as a tax attorney, as previously