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Whatever other feelings you may have about the Biden-McConnell bill, its extension of the Wind Energy Production Tax is good news for the wind industry, the 37,000 workers who's jobs have been saved, and us Democrats, and President Obama, who have fought for it for over a year.

We have scored an important victory, and much appreciation, from our nation's 75,000 wind industry workers and America's growing wind energy lobby. If future generations of earthlings who will have a cleaner atmosphere with less carbon dioxide had a voice, they would also say thank you. In 2012 our nation installed 11,800 megawatts of wind farm electrical generation making it the largest source of new capacity, according to New Energy Finance. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind energy could "supply 20 percent of America's electrity by 2030."

According to a press release from the American Wind Energy Association, entitled,   Congress extends wind energy tax credits for projects that start in 2013
“Fiscal cliff” deal preserves America’s leading source of new electric generation:

"On behalf of all the people working in wind energy manufacturing facilities, their families, and all the communities that benefit, we thank President Obama and all the Members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014," said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA for the past four years. ...

America's 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating tonight over the continuation of policies expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country. The extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects, will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, with factories or wind farms in all 50 states.

The version included in tonight's deal would cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18-24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm. ...

Wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, according to the Energy Information Administration, leading the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.

Democrats gained advantage in the 2012 elections, especially in Iowa, as Mitt Romney and many other Republicans opposed extension of the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit, running afoul of the growing numbers of workers and American businesses in the wind energy industry, as well as the the increasingly strong wind lobby. The workers and business in this rapidly emerging energy well know it has been Democrats pushing for this bill, over the last year, and Republicans who have opposed it.

Uncertainty over the bill's extension has caused delay, and a drop in initiation of new projects, due to unpredictability of the financial and tax implications.


However, America's wind energy workers have been living under threat of the PTC's expiration for over a year and layoffs had already begun, as companies idled factories because of a lack of orders for 2013. Uncertain federal policies have caused a "boom-bust" cycle in U.S. wind energy development for over a decade.

Half the American jobs in wind energy – 37,000 out of 75,000 – and hundreds of U.S. factories in the supply chain would have been at stake had the PTC been allowed to expire, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.


Nearly 70% of wind turbines installed in the U.S.A. are made in the U.S.A. and this legislation helps keep these important technologies and industries in America.  The U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind energy could "supply 20 percent of America's electrity by 2030."
 

That would support roughly 500,000 good quality jobs in the U.S., with an annual average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry.
China would be more than happy to scoop up this new industry just as its becoming profitable, just as it has many of the solar energy technologies invented in the U.S.A. and nursed through the first decades of their development learning curves.

In U.S. Credit Extension May Revive Stalled Wind Industry, we learn:


Wind energy has the potential to supply as much as 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Department. AWEA, based in Washington, estimates that extending the tax credit will save as many as 37,000 jobs, according to a statement yesterday after the House passed the budget bill.

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Originally posted to Kosowatt on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Keynesian Kossacks, SciTech, EcoJustice, And Now for Something Completely Different , and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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