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


U.S. Offshore Wind Power Industry Starting to Emerge

Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg A few miles off the coast of Block Island, a new U.S. industry is emerging from the Atlantic Ocean. That’s where Deepwater Wind LLC is installing a massive steel frame, more than 1,500 tons, that sits on the seabed and juts...

100-MW Kenyan Wind Farm Will Help Power Africa

Renewable Energy World Editors As part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, announced that it committed $233 million in debt financing to ...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

With 1.6 GW of Wind Capacity Installed in Q2, American Wind Power Continues To Ramp Up in 2015

David Ward, American Wind Energy Association With 1,661 megawatts (MW) of newly installed wind turbines coming online during the second quarter of 2015 and more than 13,600 MW under construction, American wind power continues to increase its contribution to the U.S. e...
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! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

StartUp Green

AREI, American Renewable Energy Institute, in partnership with ...

AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Exhibition

Building Up and Trending Forward With the construction of the Block Isla...


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

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

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

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

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

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


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now