News / Economy

Wind Power Firms Push to Extend Tax Credit

Wind Power Firms Push to Extend Tax Crediti
X
May 10, 2013 3:15 PM
The American Wind Energy Association says wind energy was the leading source of new electricity generation capacity in the United States last year. The increase in the number of wind turbines generating that electricity is due, in part, to the Federal Production Tax Credit, which subsidizes the cost of generating electricity using wind turbines. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, wind energy companies are pushing lawmakers to renew the program to help them remain competitive.
Kane Farabaugh
Kansas cattleman Pete Ferrell almost lost his ranch in the recent drought that ravaged much of the United States, but he credits a series of 100-meter tall wind turbines situated on his property for saving his business.

“In my case, it doubled my income stream, and it helped me essentially weather the storm," Ferrell said. "It was essential in my ability to maintain my livelihood.”

Wind farms like Ferrell’s are now a common sight throughout the United States. This alternative energy source helps power America while providing an alternative source of income for landowners.

“The wind blows, even during a drought, and it may be our best drought-resistant crop we have, and a lot of farmers and ranchers are really waking up to that fact,” Ferrell said.

But while farmers are waking up to that fact, so are U.S. lawmakers, who scrutinize programs like the Federal Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit when attempting to end tax breaks to close budget deficits.

The credit, which gives a 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour tax break to renewable energy production facilities, was shelved until last-minute negotiations brought the program back to life in January.

For Ferrell, the program is critical.

“The production tax credit drove the first project that I worked on, on the ranch, and it was essential to seeing that completed,” he said.

The Production Tax Credit, which has been offered off and on to renewable energy providers since 1992, is set to expire again at the end of this year.  Ferrell says with it go jobs and the stability of the industry.

“The wind industry tends to bounce with the production tax credit, immediately drops off and jobs are lost, and there’s a huge sucking sound as money is pulled out of the industry," Ferrell said. "Then, when it’s renewed, investments are renewed.”

The credit helps companies like EDP Renewables, the third largest provider of wind farms in the U.S., compete with more traditional sources of energy, like coal and gas, says project management director Erin Bowser.

“All sources of energy do get subsidies from the government, both federal and locally, so we want there to be a level playing field, and we know we can succeed if that exists,” she said.

At Wind Power 13, the industry’s largest trade show in the United States, the incoming CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, Tom Kiernan, told attendees his priority is getting the Production Tax Credit renewed, and encouraging lawmakers to develop longer term tax policies.

In the meantime, energy companies are taking advantage of the current program, which grants the credit to facilities that begin construction on new wind farms by the end of the year.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Mroz from: Illinois
June 04, 2013 2:17 PM
wind power is a joke. Please go away.

by: tomgraywind from: Norwich, VT
May 13, 2013 9:03 AM
Mr. Ferrell's concluding remark was also a good one: "Wind power might just be what we need to get us through the next drought."--Tom Gray, communications consultant to American Wind Energy Association

by: Dr. Susan K. C. from: UCSD USA
May 10, 2013 5:09 PM
come on guys... this is a silly idea... enough is enough... you had your run... it proved a waste of time and money... it is based on a British hoax... look what it did to Spain's economy... just take your "wind" energy and move away...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.