AWEA released its 2011 Annual Market Report yesterday, portraying an industry that continued last year to achieve strong double-digit growth, but faces a damaging period of uncertainty going forward because of the impending expiration of its primary incentive, the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).
AWEA CEO Denise Bode noted the wind power industry's strong track record during the past five years, in which the industry has enjoyed a stable policy environment, commenting, “American wind energy is creating American jobs and affordable electricity all across the country. We are powering one of the country’s biggest sources of Made-in-the-USA manufacturing jobs and a vital source of economic development despite the down economy.”
She added, “In hard economic times we’re creating jobs and delivering clean, affordable electricity, but we will lose all these consumer benefits and a brand new, growing manufacturing sector if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire. Businesses need certainty. That is why it is urgent that Congress extend the PTC now … “
The industry's numbers are definitely impressive. Quoting from AWEA's news release on the report:
“The U.S. wind industry installed 6,816 megawatts (MW) in 2011, 31 percent higher than 2010, for a total of 46,916 MW installed in the U.S. to date. And there are more than 8,300 MW under construction …
“South Dakota and Iowa led a record five states that received more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind in 2011. Seven states have at least 4,000 wind jobs apiece, and the list shows the industry’s geographic reach, stretching from Iowa to Texas to Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, California and Michigan. Meanwhile, Kansas’s position at the top of the list for under-construction wind projects is setting the stage for a very strong 2012.
“In the past five years of bipartisan policy stability, American wind power has:
– Brought in as much as $20 billion annually in private investment to the U.S.
– Created one of the largest providers of new American electric generation with 35% of all new power capacity, right behind natural gas.
– Driven technology advances that have made wind more affordable than ever. A typical wind turbine now generates 30% more electricity – all while driving down costs.
– Created nearly 500 new American manufacturing facilities and employed 75,000 overall, including 30,000 in the manufacturing sector, from coast to coast.”
The release cited a recent report from Navigant Consulting, which found that if Congress allows the PTC to expire, jobs in the wind industry will be cut in half, meaning a loss of 37,000 American jobs and a one-third cut to American wind manufacturing jobs, while private investment in the industry would drop by nearly two-thirds. Job losses, Navigant said, will begin now and accelerate with each month the PTC nears the expiration deadline. By contrast, extending the PTC will allow the wind industry to grow to almost 100,000 American jobs in just four years and stay on track toward supporting 500,000 American jobs by 2030.
(For more information on acquiring the annual report through the AWEA Wind Market Analysis Suite, go here. Media should contact Michael Lock, mikel@waggeneredstrom.
A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 90 cosponsors, including 20 Republicans, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, the Denver Post, and the Daily Oklahoman.
Iowa city prospers, hopes for PTC extension, April 12, 2012
Denver Post editorial writer: PTC extension 'important to nation, Colorado,' April 11, 2012
From Nevada, Michigan, Montana: Calls for PTC extension, April 10, 2012
Sierra Club, BP agree: Extend the PTC, April 9, 2012
South Dakota newspaper joins others in endorsing PTC, April 6, 2012
National Governors Association: Extend the PTC, April 6, 2012
Sen. Bennet tours factories, pushing jobs and PTC extension, April 5, 2012
WindTV Holiday Special: Church lives mission with wind power, April 4, 2012
Montana county commissioners call for PTC extension, April 3, 2012
'Father of PTC' explains wind incentive's value, March 30, 2012
Citing 'all of above,' former FERC chair urges PTC extension, March 29, 2012
Manufacturers tell Senate panel: PTC extension urgently needed, March 28, 2012
WindTV: Colorado county gets big boost from wind power, March 26, 2012
Former Congressman Boucher sees PTC extension likely, March 26, 2012
WindTV: Wind power breathes new life into small Colorado town, March 21, 2012
Citing need for certainty, BP's Landis calls for PTC extension, March 20, 2012
In op-ed, Kansas Governor, Senator call for PTC extension, March 19, 2012
Bipartisan group of Senators introduces bill to extend PTC, March 16, 2012
Houston Chronicle editorial supports PTC extension, March 15, 2012
Southern Alliance head urges: Extend the PTC, March 14, 2012
WindTV: Missouri manufacturer grows with the wind, March 12, 2012
Oklahoma and America need wind technicians–and a PTC extension, March 8, 2012
WindTV: An American family, powered by a paycheck from wind, March 5, 2012
Salazar, citing 'race we cannot cede', backs extending PTC, March 1, 2012
Kerry, Brown win praise for bipartisan support of PTC extension, February 29, 2012
Wichita Eagle editorial blog endorses PTC extension, February 28, 2012
Daily Oklahoman: PTC extension “makes sense,” February 27, 2012
Bipartisan group of Illinois Representatives supports PTC extension, February 24, 2012
Kansas City Star backs PTC extension, praises Brownback, Moran, February 23, 2012
Bennet visits composites factory, urges PTC extension, February 23, 2012
Moran visits Siemens factory, pushes PTC extension, February 22, 2012
WindTV: PTC key to wind power manufacturing jobs, February 21, 2012
Topeka Capital-Journal: Extend the PTC, February 21, 2012
U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA): PTC is jobs engine conservatives should support, February 17, 2012
Bennet, Moran continue bipartisan push to extend PTC, February 16, 2012
Major U.S. consumer brands like Nike on extending the PTC: Just Do It!, February 15, 2012
Oklahoma Gov. Fallin urges conferees: Extend the PTC, February 15, 2012
Michigan worker's plea: Extend PTC, help wind power create U.S. jobs, February 13, 2012
Bipartisan letter from entire Iowa Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC, February 10, 2012
Senate Energy Chairman Bingaman: Act now to save clean-energy jobs, February 9, 2012
Bipartisan letter from Colorado Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC, February 8, 2012
Republican governors push for PTC extension; Senators express support, February 2, 2012
U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins broad range of groups endorsing PTC extension, February 1, 2012
WindTV: Wind power drives commerce in small-town America, January 24, 2012
Denver Post endorses PTC extension 'sooner rather than later', January 18, 2012
WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 2012
Red State Energy, Red State Jobs, November 29, 2011