In This Issue
Lessons Learned
Fiscal Cliff Deal
PTC History
Lessons Learned

Wind power has enjoyed the benefits of a federal tax credit for a number of years.  During that time it has allowed us to gain valuable insight about the role wind energy may play in our domestic energy strategy.

First and foremost, we have learned that without large subsidies, wind
is not a cost-effective fuel source.  It cannot compete with mass amounts of cheap natural gas or nuclear power which appears poised for a rebirth.

Wind turbines require continuous winds above a certain speed to generate electricity. Where wind energy has been used in large quantities, we have seen reliability problems on the electric grid.

There are limits where turbines can be placed and they leave a large footprint, often on some of the country's most scenic views.

Residents living near wind turbines have  complained about excessive noise levels and environmentalists point to a growing number of migratory bird deaths.

We all support clean renewable energy but it's naive to think that it doesn't come without a financial and social cost.
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Topic: Wind Energy Saved by Fiscal Cliff Deal 
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Independent Energy Consultants, Inc. is committed to helping its clients make well-informed and cost-effective decisions regarding their energy supply and consumption. We are sending you this newsletter to help you understand how decisions made, or not made, affect your company's bottom line.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Breathes Life Back into
Wind Energy

Throughout 2012 manufacturers of wind turbines had been scaling back production and employment. According to an article in the New York Times, one manufacturer laid off 92 of its 115 workers by the time it completed its final order. Orders for new wind turbines ceased in 2012 as the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for Wind Power was held hostage to election-year politics.  Without the PTC, wind power simply cannot compete financially with other forms of energy.

The fiscal cliff deal that passed Congress earlier this month included a provision that would extend the PTC for another year.  The American Wind Energy Association quickly lauded the decision and estimates that it will save up to 37,000 jobs and rejuvenate work at 500 U.S. factories.
 
Production Tax Credit History

Tax credits for alternative "green" power sources have been around since the late 1970s. This particular credit began in 1992 as a part of the Energy Policy Act. It offered a credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour generated by renewable energy sources and it has since increased to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Since its adoption the credit has been allowed to expire 3 times, only to be renewed following a substantial drop in wind energy  production. Each time the credit was allowed to expire, annual capacity additions fell off by at least 73% in the following year.
 
 
The illustration above represents how the production of wind energy has fared with and without the Production Tax Credit over the past 12 years.  
At Independent Energy Consultants we monitor and support the efforts of all those trying to find innovative and cost-effective means to produce energy.  It's our job to help you understand where your energy comes from and how it may impact your bottom line.
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