Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Subsidy

The U.S. wind industry's production tax credit subsidy is set to expire at the end of 2008. The wind industry has received this PTC incentive since 1993 - nearly sixteen years - and it recently has begun to prove its worth. From the American Wind Energy Association:

Thanks in part to the PTC, U.S. wind power capacity is now over 16,800 MW—or enough to serve the equivalent of 4.5 million average households—and wind has been the second largest source of new electrical capacity in the nation, behind natural gas, for the past three years.
Bravo for the wind industry - they have definitely established themselves. My question now and many others also are wondering is: how long does the wind industry need to receive the PTC incentive? The AWEA still says they need it. Here's Kirk Sorenson's thoughts:
I keep reading on environmentalist websites how great wind is because it's supposedly cheaper than nuclear. They also talk about how terrible nuclear power is, with its government subsidies.

Well, if wind's so great, stand on your own two feet and let this subsidy expire! Then we'll really have a chance to see how wind will do on the open market.
I do need to point out that 6,000 MW of new nuclear plants built also will be allowed the same incentive. The PTC for nuclear power, however, is limited. Click here for a previous post on subsidies received by all energies since 1950.

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