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.
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.

Kane Farabaugh

Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8874
JPY
USD
120.83
GBP
USD
0.6497
CAD
USD
1.3271
INR
USD
66.162

Rates may not be current.