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

American Wind Manufacturers Lay Off 1,100 Workers In One Month, Citing Expiring Wind Tax Credit

In just over one month, wind manufacturers in the U.S. have announced layoffs of more than 1,130 workers around the country. The layoffs come in states such as Colorado, Florida, and Iowa that are considered "battlegrounds" in national elections.

Every company shedding employees has blamed the looming expiration of the production tax credit for wind, which is set to lapse at the end of this year.

The latest announcement comes from LM Wind Power, a manufacturer based in North Dakota. The company said yesterday that it will lay off lay off 345 workers because of lagging demand for product. The company also cited the production tax credit, which Congress has failed to extend past 2012.

“It is important to emphasize that the challenging situation in the U.S. wind market is not specific to LM Wind Power, nor to Grand Forks manufacturing facilities,” said the company in an announcement. “The whole sector is affected.”

So far this year, companies in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have all cancelled projects or laid off workers. In the last month alone, more than 1,334 manufacturing workers have lost their jobs. That tally comes from individual announcements made by companies since late August.

The world’s largest wind manufacturer, Vestas Wind, says it may lay off 1,600 American workers in the next year if the production tax credit is not extended. That temporary credit offers owners of wind farms 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of wind generatedThe American Wind Energy Association says the credit has helped raise $20 billion in private investment over the last five years, supporting 75,000 jobs.

However, according to analysis from a prominent consulting firm, the wind industry could shed up to 37,000 jobs if the wind tax credit is not extended past 2012.

As the layoffs continue, extension of the credit has become a major issue in the presidential campaign. President Obama wants to extend the credit; Republican challenger Mitt Romney wants to end it. Romney’s stance has raised major concerns from fellow Republicans who live in states where wind has been a major economic driver. According to the American Wind Energy Association, 81 percent of wind projects are installed in Republican districts.

Some voters are also saying that wind will play a role in how they cast their votes in the November elections.

The fight over wind credits has also uncovered major contradictions in national energy policy. While Congress continues to stall on extending the temporary production tax credit, many politicians opposed to federal wind investments continue to support permanent tax credits for the fossil fuel industry.

Earlier this month, 47 House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (who’s home state supports more than 5,000 wind jobs) asking him to kill the production tax credit for wind. Out of the 47 Republicans calling for an end the wind investments, 46 voted last yearagainst closing tax loopholes that let oil companies collect $4 billion in annual government support.

This article was originally published on Climate Progress and was republished with permission.

RELATED ARTICLES

Rooftop Solar Panels

Hypocrisy? While Buffett Champions Renewables, His Company Fights Rooftop Solar

Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar and Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.
Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in to...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

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

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

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

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS