Vestas & Gamesa Get Big Boost From U.S. Wind Tax Credit Extension

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The United States wind PTC (production tax credit) which was on the verge of expiring, causing firms to rush their wind energy projects has been extended late last night.

DONG Energy and Vestas Team Up on New Wind TurbineVestas is headquartered in Denmark, but the U.S. is a very significant market for the wind turbine leader. Based on the positive wind power news, shares in the Aarhus-based company increased by as much as 13%, the most in five weeks. As of 12:52pm Copenhagen time, they were up 8.7%, at 34.64 kroner.

Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, another big wind turbine company (this one based in Spain), jumped as much as 7.8%, which was the most in four months. And German wind turbine company Nordex SE (NDX1) saw its shares increase by 4.8%.

“It’s really good news for Vestas, because the American market and how it develops is extremely important,” Chief Marketing Officer Morten Albaek said today in a phone interview. “It’s a good way of starting the new year.”


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Nicholas Brown

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5 thoughts on “Vestas & Gamesa Get Big Boost From U.S. Wind Tax Credit Extension

  • This is great news – but it still begs the question, why only a one-year extension, when every other energy industry tax bill related to fossil or nuclear has a much longer period? In many cases these fossil industries benefit from permanent tax exemptions – here’s a typical blurb from a fossil fuel investment site:

    “Many experienced oil and gas investors permanently avoid federal income tax altogether by “reinvesting” their oil and gas income; that is, by continually reinvesting it in new oil and natural gas projects. In this way, they get a compounded growth of their oil and gas income in the ground tax-free forever. Few independent oil companies ever pay much income tax.”

    The only reasonable approach is to either eliminate the subsidies, exemptions and liability protections given to fossil and nuclear, or make the same standard available to wind and solar producers – and the latter approach makes more sense, economically. Given such a level playing field, solar and wind would be the preferred long-term economic investment.

    • The renewable energy industry does not have the political clout that the nuclear and fossil fuel industries have. They don’t have as much money to give to political campaigns.

      Renewable energy is hated by right-wing haters. It goes back to the “dirty hippie” era and making industry clean up its mess. Of course the fossil fuel industry is spending money to fuel right-wing hate. The Tea Party and other right wing groups are funded by the fossil fuel industry.

      I don’t see much hope unless we are willing to work hard enough to return control of the House to Democrats in 2014. If we do that then we might get some reasonable multi-year support for wind. Otherwise we stumble along for the next five or so years when renewables should be so much cheaper than fossil/nuclear that the market will take over.

      • That may have been the case in the past, but I think things are different now. Congressional and state politicians are now backing the energy industries that are most active in their own states – for example, coal-state Democrats, as the voting record shows, are mostly unified in their quiet opposition to renewable competition to coal. Similarly, Republicans from states that have large renewable energy generation potential are now starting to back these industries. There is also a rising sense of alarm in “America-first” circles (generally Republican) regarding the domination of new renewable energy technologies by China and Europe. Likewise, the fact that the U.S. military is now the largest single user of renewable energy in the U.S. – for very good reasons – has put the old ‘only dirty hippies promote renewables’ notion to rest. You’re now seeing a new kind of informed voter, one who puts renewable energy issues first, and political affiliation with this or that party second – and that’s a refreshing concept, in my opinion. Of course, you’re right about the Tea Party Republicans, they’re largely a creation of ideologically fixated fossil fuel interests such as Koch Brothers & friends, and are entirely beholden to those interests.

        • I’d say that things are changing. At the state level we’re seeing some Republican governors speaking out for support for the wind industry in their states. I haven’t seen any similar support for solar.

          The “wind states” are generally low population states. That means that they have few Representatives in the House.

          We can see the power of the fossil fuel industry when a Democratic Congress member from West Virginia has to vote to support coal and one from Louisiana has to vote to support oil.

          The Koch boys are fuel-industry plus. Their father, Fred Koch, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society. And the John Birch Society has large reformed as the Tea Party.

          Anything that the left likes must be opposed.

    • Turns out that the new legislation is better than the ‘one year at a time’ previous schemes.

      New wind farms will not be required to be finished by the end of 2013, just required to “begin construction”. And no time limit for completion is specified.

      That means that going forward the wind industry won’t get jerked around by having to stop work at the end of each year and wait for Congress to pass the next year’s subsidies. They can start projects late in 2013 and let that activity carry them forward while Congress puts on it’s annual financial drama.

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