PRESS RELEASE: Fiscal cliff negotiations critical to avoiding sudden wind industry downturn

PRESS RELEASE: Fiscal cliff negotiations critical to avoiding sudden wind industry downturn


Ellen Carey

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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2012 – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is calling on Congress to include an extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit in any legislation to avoid the "fiscal cliff," or risk half the jobs in the wind industry if the Production Tax Credit expires Dec. 31.

To make plain what's at stake all across America if this successful policy is not extended, the association released to YouTube a light-hearted video animation, "PTC Explained."

In two-and-a-half minutes of white-board sketching, the video explains how the PTC works and why it's important for America. It ends with a call to action: "Visit www.awea.org to take action today." The link lets supporters write their senators and representative in Congress.

If Congress doesn't act this month, a new U.S. manufacturing sector and 37,000 jobs could be lost by the first quarter of 2013, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.

And Congress needs to pass the version that earlier cleared the Senate Finance Committee, Aug. 2 on a bipartisan 19-5 vote – which will allow any project that starts next year to qualify for the credit. Otherwise, there won't be enough time to complete many projects because a wind farm takes 18-24 months to build.

"It's down to the wire on wind, and Congress has a choice," said Rob Gramlich, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at AWEA. "If they do nothing, the wind industry will fall over its own fiscal cliff and America will lose most of its wind installations next year."

And, he said, "if we lose America's 500 wind energy factories now, they may never return."

AWEA will provide regular updates to the media, including new videos made by wind workers, as the countdown to the end-of-the-year "fiscal cliff" deadline for the wind industry continues.

For further information, quotes from industry leaders or comments on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, please call Ellen Carey at 202.249.7357 or Peter Kelley at 202.270.8831.

Today's "News You Can Use" update on the PTC

The PTC is a good deal for taxpayers.Erroneous and exaggerated figures are circulating that include incentives for other technologies besides wind. The Congressional Budget Office "score" for even a long-term extension of the PTC is less than $14 billion.

Wind energy will more than repay that amount of tax relief in taxes paid over the life of the resulting projects, according to a NextEra Energy Resources study.

Unless the PTC is phased out rather than ended abruptly, there will be much less wind installed in America. Pulling the plug on the incentive will cost much of the $15.5 billion a year in private investment in U.S. wind farms, and the taxes they pay.

That doesn't include billions of dollars of savings to electric consumers from lower-price, fixed-cost wind energy. Those are documented for instance by a May 2012 report from Synapse Energy Economics.

AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.


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