Wind Power Credit Extension Summary

Environmental Training Resource
February 4, 2013 — 857 views  
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The fiscal cliff, a steep descent in the US budget deficit, seems to have been mitigated to a certain extent. The congress included tax credits for wind energy in a bill intended to alleviate the fiscal cliff. The tax credit was to expire in 2012. There existed no express guarantee that the tax credit would be extended. The wind industry seemed to have hit a rough patch and layoffs had already begun. However, the move by Congress to save the production tax credit for wind power has breathed new life into the wind industry. The bill signed by the president has several improvements. Most important of these is the applicability of the wind power production tax credit to any project started by the end of the year.

About the Credit Extension and Economy

The 75,000 odd wind power workers rejoiced over the extension of the tax credit. This move is expected to save as many as 37,000 jobs and is set to create a lot more jobs in the days to come. The extension has also revived more than 500 manufacturing facilities across the USA. By extending the production tax credit, the congress has ensured continued growth in the wind industry. This optimism is in stark contrast to the gloom that had surrounded the wind industry following the uncertainty around the extension of the production tax credit. Companies were idling factories due to lack of orders, and workers were being sacked. However, the new bill has put to rest all the above apprehensions, and the wind industry is already gearing up to perform. Come 2030 and Wind power is expected to fuel 20% of America’s energy needs.

Factors that Might Have Influenced the Decision

The decision to extend the production tax credit may have been influenced by several factors. Perhaps the most important of these was the aversion of the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff would have threatened tax increases for US workers and needed to be averted. Also, non-extension would have cost the wind industry almost 37,000 jobs and this becomes another important factor that might have influenced the decision. The wind industry is expected to provide 20% of USA’s energy needs by 2020. This would mean creation of as many as 500,000 jobs in the USA. Lastly, the decision might have been influenced by the fact that wind energy is renewable and clean.

Importance of Clean Energy

The importance of wind energy in the context of national security cannot be emphasized enough. It is a matter of the utmost importance to reduce reliance on potentially hostile countries for energy needs. It would greatly reduce the complexity in formulating foreign policies for such hostile countries. In this backdrop, clean energy is of the greatest significance. Wind energy has an edge over nuclear energy too. One of the greatest drawbacks of nuclear energy is the disposal of the highly radioactive nuclear waste which makes it a very dangerous and sensitive resource. Wind energy is thus a much cleaner resource and its use must be encouraged. Given the advent of global warming, use of clean energy resources like wind energy is all the more necessary. With the world running out of fossil fuel, the time has come for mankind to explore other greener and renewable sources of energy.

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