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Published on December 21st, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown

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A CEO’s Comments On Wind Tax Credit Longevity

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December 21st, 2012 by
 
 
I briefly interviewed Donn Pendergrass, the CEO of ATI Casting. ATI Casting is a firm headquartered in La Porte, Indiana that manufactures customer-specified gray and ductile iron castings, some of which are for wind turbines.

floating wind turbine

Mr. Pendergrass made some interesting comments about the state of the wind industry and the impact that the longevity of wind energy PTCs (production tax credits) have on it.

He said that the current 1 year PTC is too short because it takes years just to construct factories for wind turbines, and it takes a year even to construct a wind farm alone.

Due to the fact that many Republicans are against a production tax credit for wind energy, the tax credit expires and is renewed too frequently.

For something like this to work, it has to last 3-5 years, according to Mr. Pendergrass, who has seen some of his colleagues lose their jobs due to tax credit uncertainty.

Entrepreneurs need to be certain that the tax credits will be available when they need them, before they undertake manufacturing and wind farm construction endeavors, which are expensive and risky enough as they are. A long-enough tax credit provides them with the financial security necessary to complete their projects.

This is a good excuse to highlight the importance of linkage industries and the relationship between ATI Casting and its customers in the wind industry.

It is very common for industries to rely on each other for materials, and even consultation, inspection, etc. But just how much do they depend on each other?

To be brief: Tremendously.

The scope of this is much greater than most people will see because it isn’t terribly obvious. This also means that the scope of job losses caused by a wind industry collapse would be tremendous as well, because it isn’t only the wind industry that would be impacted.

Wind turbines comprise various electronic, iron, copper, aluminium, and composite parts.

Within the iron industry, there are iron mining organizations, as well as smelters and recycling firms.

The electronics alone are created by literally dozens of manufacturers. You would be surprised at how many people manufactured even one little television, for example.

You are likely to see parts from Fairchild Semiconductor, Siemens, Motorola, Intel, Toshiba, ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments, and many more manufacturers on only one circuit board.

Imagine a wind turbine.

Apart from the numerous electronics manufacturers that are partly sustained by the wind industry’s purchases of electronics from them, the iron industry partially relies on them as well because wind turbines are largely constructed of steel, and steel is an iron product. A wind turbine also contains other elements to improve its resistance to rust and overall performance, such as carbon, tungsten, vanadium, manganese, and chromium.

Of course, there is an entire industry for every one of those materials. I have mentioned ten industries the wind industry helps to support, and that isn’t all of them.

The expiration of the PTC would likely cause job losses in all ten, since the wind industry purchases from them all in considerable amounts. Fewer purchases translate into shrunken revenue, and the laying off of employees.

Not extending the PTC would harm numerous industries, hundreds of companies, tens of thousands of US employees. It would be an obvious attack on a considerable number of hard-working Americans who are improving our world.

Photo Credit: qayaq

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • Jim Wiegand

    The only thing that can save the wind industry is corruption. I say this because over the last several years enough evidence has surfaced against the wind industry to shut down every one of their projects. At the very least a moratorium should in place until honest wind turbine research is conducted because bogus research has been produced by the wind industry for over 28 years. It is still being rigged to hide the truth, yet these projects keep getting approved.

    A few months back I looked over the Environmental Impact Report produced for a Wyoming wind project. It was one of the worst such reports I have even read. The writers said they couldn’t comment about certain impacts to eagles and other raptors because the property owners would not give them access. A 12 year old could see through right through it, let alone a judge. The project was approved.

    The other day I looked a report for the Searchlight Wind Resource area on BLM land in the Mojave Desert. To me the comments about the golden eagle
    living there are a clear case of silent fraud. Here is what was
    said………”Golden eagle nests were restricted to cliffs and were located at
    least 4 miles from the project boundary with 2 of the nests being approximately
    10 miles from the project boundary. Based on data from Idaho, golden eagle home range size should not overlap with the project boundary.”

    The statement that the project should not overlap with the home range of the golden eagle is in my opinion criminal. The dense pocket of eagles living along the food rich Snake River in Idaho has nothing to do with the eagles living in the barren Mojave region. It is well established that an eagle’s home range for this desert region is far greater and requires at least 50-100 square miles. A few miles is nothing to an eagle so the food sources and wind currents will bring them right to this planned wind project where they will be killed. The project will not only kill the local eagles, but it will be killing dispersing eagles and migrating
    eagles.

    The history of wind turbines slaughtering golden eagles is well known, yet for a
    dollar the authors choose to say something else. This is the way it
    is……..All wind farms located in golden eagle habitat will kill these eagles, there are no exceptions. Here is another truth. The wind industry is systematically killing off the golden eagle population across America.

    What I just wrote about is typical of the industry’s deception that has been
    going on for decades. Virtually every wind industry document I have ever read
    has been written with deception or has had research methodology designed to hide the truth. I could provide dozens and dozens of similar examples from all over the country.

    Surely enough questions have been raised about the wind industry and enough whooping cranes have disappeared to warrant Congressional hearings about all this. I would love to attend so I could expose anyone willing to stand up and lie about the impacts to golden eagles or to justify the wind industry’s ridiculous
    studies.

    But instead of hearings to expose the truth, Congress is considering a multibillion dollar gift from taxpayers in the form of tax credits.

    Congress really needs to pay attention because they may have the power but it is really the taxpayers money. These taxpayers are now more educated and they are realizing that the “Green” image promoted by the wind industry has all been a complete fabrication. So if Congress is willing to look past all the lies and give this industry new tax credits, it will send a message of corruption that will
    resonate for centuries. Their vote will always be linked to the whooping cranes
    and other species that are quickly disappearing from our skies.

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