The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

The Big Question at Windpower 2012: What About the PTC?

Despite the looming expiration of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, WindPower 2012 kicked off with a message of confidence in continued growth.

“The wind energy industry today is no longer alternative, but it has become conventional,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, which hosts the event.

Wind energy in the U.S. has been growing at an unprecedented rate, Bode said, and represents 35 percent of new generation installed over the last five years. Wind energy in the U.S. will soon reach the 50 gigawatt milestone. 

Governors from two states, Arkansas and Kansas, spoke during the opening session, communicating how their states’ economies have boomed in part due to the wind industry.

“Three billion dollars of investment in wind has occurred in a 12-month timeframe in my state,” said Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas. “The PTC has worked.”

Gov. Mike Beebe of Arkansas said his state was able to ride out the recession because of new jobs created in the wind industry. “We’re all about wind right now in Arkansas.” 

With all the growth experienced in these states and others — five states now boast at least 10 percent wind generation — the PTC is still a necessity, according to the speakers. The tax credit, set to expire on Dec. 31, was originally implemented by President George W. Bush in 2005 and provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from utility-scale turbines during the first 10 years of electricity production. 

According to the speakers, an unextended PTC could demobilize the industry.

Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change, said the wind energy industry has never had so much to lose. “If Congress doesn’t act, factories will close and tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs.”

Brownback said Kansas has more wind turbines being constructed this year than any state in America, but that without a PTC extension, manufacturing jobs will begin dropping off in the next month or so. “Developers have already begun laying people off.”

In a non-election year, Bode believes the PTC would have already received an extension. However, she remains confident that the tax credit will be extended by the end of the year.

“The PTC has the highest level of bi-partisan support than any energy industry, especially in a Congress that’s more divided than ever.” 

One politician who has not expressed support of the extension of the PTC is Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, but Bode remains hopeful that he will soon join other conservative politicians in support of extending the tax credit.

“We think it should be the role of both the president and candidate Romney to support an all-of-the-above policy,” Bode said.

The speakers highlighted that while the PTC extension would allow for the continued short-term growth of the industry, a longer, reliable credit is needed. 

“We don't need the PTC renewed for a year. How can capital decisions be made off something that’s only renewed for a year?” Beebe said.

Brownback said a four-year phase-out of the PTC would be ideal. “I think that’s a reasonable, projectable time horizon.” 

Beebe encouraged conference attendees to stop talking to each other about wind power and start pushing it among outsiders. “Branch out and talk to people who are not connected to wind. If you don’t sell this, it won’t get sold.”

Image: auremar via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now


wind energy

Interior Plans November Auction for Offshore New Jersey Wind Energy Rights

Wayne Barber U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

Sage Grouse Removed as Threat to Biggest Wind Farm in U.S.

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg Billionaire Phil Anschutz’s plans to build a $5 billion wind farm in southeast Wyoming will no longer be stymied by t...


Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World Magazines Name Projects of the Year Awards Finalists

Tulsa, Okla. and Nashua, N.H., Oct. 5, 2015 -- The editors of Power Engineering and Ren... Welcomes Jennifer Delony as Associate Editor

PennWell Corporation is pleased to announce that Jennifer Delony has joined the company...

CleanTX Releases New White Paper on the Future of Texas Solar in Texas

We love this new White Paper from our clean energy partners CleanTX

Customized Energy Solutions Executes Agreement with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (“MassCEC”) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) for Important Energy Storage Study

Customized Energy Solutions (CES) has entered into agreements with Massachusetts Clean ...


New Hampshire Promotes Better Wood Heating

New Hampshire’s location in northern New England means that the winters are long and cold. Heating costs are hi...

Renewable Energy Starts to Makes Fossil Fuel More Expensive

by Chris Meehan A new report out from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) found an interesti...

Hawaii: World’s First Hydrogen Economy?

Can Hawaii become the world’s first renewable energy/hydrogen economy? Hawaii’s small size, isolation ...
energy efficiency

Beyond the Trend: Maximizing the Impact of Your Energy Efficiency Solution

A revolution is happening in the energy sector. From the new regulations pushed out earlier this summer by the EPA’s ...


Former associate editor for Power Engineering magazine where I used to EPA's regulations for the power industry in detail. For renewables, I write about solar and wind-related policies and technologies. I'm a native of Tulsa, Okla. with a bac...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is rapidly building out its national certified installer...

Wind Operator Congress Europe

The UK’s only business-focused O&M event for the European wind...


Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now