Fiscal cliff deal gives wind production tax credit another year


By: SGN Staff


There probably weren't a lot of observers betting on whether the wind production tax credit would be extended for another year as fiscal cliff negotiations drew to a close this week. While support from a variety of stakeholders and supporters grew steadily and vocally over the past several months, conservative groups and several lawmakers actively fought against the extension.


But the wind tax credit was extended for another year as were production tax credits for geothermal projects and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore wind projects, all as part of the package Congress finally approved. Also included were tax credits for energy efficient homes and appliances.


As a story in The Hill reported, green and wind industry groups worked hard for the extension, cautioning that allowing it to expire would cut 37,000 jobs. While the U.S. wind industry was one of the fastest wind power markets in the world in 2011, the uncertainty over the tax credit's future and other issues led many of the industry's major players to announce layoffs and delayed or rolled back projects in 2012.


And some companies said that even if the extension was passed the uncertainty had lasted long enough that they would likely not accelerate their project plans to previous levels, according to an article in Sustainable Business.


"We thank President Obama and all the members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014," said Denise Bode, departing chief executive for the American Wind Energy Association.


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