Wind Credit Dealt Blow by Congress

After a deal to renew a tax credit failed, the wind power industry is bracing for layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects. That’s according to the Chicago Tribune.

The extension of the income tax credit – which is equivalent to 2.2 cents/kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from wind turbines — was tied in with legislation to extend payroll tax cuts. In the end, it was not included in the bill.

The Tribune says the wind power tax credits could still come through as a stand-alone bill or tied to other legislation, but that is unlikely before the November election. The wind industry says that will be too late to prevent layoffs and project delays.

In order for developers to receive the expiring tax credit, they must have turbines operating before the end of the year. As a result, the Tribune says 2012 is shaping up to be a banner year for wind energy.

But few such projects are slated for 2013.

In addition, The Washington Post notes that as long as the carbon impacts from fossil fuel sources remain unpriced and unregulated, renewable sources like wind will have a tougher time competing on their own.

Even if the clean energy credits come up for renewal when Congress tackles tax legislation after the election, the delay will have a significant impact on wind and solar projects. Combined with cheap natural gas that is also making renewable development more difficult, wind and solar power are facing a rockier future, the Washington Post says.

To read the full article by The Washington Post cited in this story, click here

To read the full article by The Chicago Tribune cited in this story, click here

Tags: Policy

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