The US Senate voted Tuesday to extend the Production Tax Credit for the US wind industry for another year. Sadly, for the wind industry, Congress has been debating this so long that “another year” finishes at the end of 2014.
“Unfortunately, the extension to the end of 2014 will only allow minimal new wind development and it will have expired again by the time the new Congress convenes,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association.
The Senate voted 76–16 on a one-year extension of 55 tax policies including the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), after the House of Representatives voted 378-46 on December 3.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) had been lobbying hard for a 2-year extension so that the PTC and ITC would be carried through to the end of 2015, allowing developers to launch more products — a process it says can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months.
“The inclusion in this year’s tax extenders bill is a reflection of the continued bipartisan support for wind energy,” said Kiernan. “But when the 114th Congress begins, clean energy incentives will already be expired. There will be a lot of work to do as soon as possible in the new year to keep this important sector of the economy growing by providing longer term policy support.”
“These common-sense policies have succeeded in attracting an average of $17 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy,” added Kiernan. “American workers can make more of our own energy right here at home, but Congress must listen to the overwhelming majority of American voters who want these policies to continue.”
President Obama is expected to sign the bill sometime this week.
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