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
First and foremost, we have learned that without large subsidies, wind
not a cost-effective fuel source. It cannot compete with mass
amounts of cheap natural gas or nuclear power which appears poised for a
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
There are limits where turbines can be placed and they
leave a large footprint, often on some of the country's most scenic
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.
|Your Energy Manager|
Topic: Wind Energy Saved by Fiscal Cliff Deal
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
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.
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