News and Tribune

Community News Network

December 13, 2012

Tax credit debate sucking the wind out of wind industry

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The wind industry's turbines are stalling over doubts about the future of a 20-year-old tax credit, and the uncertainty is already costing jobs and cancelling projects.

A Gamesa turbine plant near here, in Cambria Township, has laid off more than 160 workers so far this year because of slacking demand for windmill parts. Iberdrola Renewables recently canceled a 24-turbine wind farm planned for mountains south of here, near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.

Wind developers aren't planning new projects, said David Rosenberg, Gamesa's vice president of marketing and communications, which means the supply chain is slowing and thousands of people are out of work. The wind industry employs about 75,000 people in the United States, and most of its projects are on 12- to 18-month schedules

Clouding their future is uncertainty surrounding the federal tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. Wind energy producers get a 2.2-cent credit for every kilowatt hour they put into the power grid. The credit enables some to cut as much as one-third of their operating costs, which supporters say inspires more wind development.

"It’s very important to get the tax credit. It's very important for the industry," said Dan Lagiovane, a communications manager for EverPower, a Pittsburgh company that operates four wind farms, including two in Pennsylvania, and is building two others in the state.

If renewed by Congress, the credit will cost $1.36 billion per year between now and 2015, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. The American Wind Energy Association says the credit, in turn, leverages $15.5 billion in private investment each year.

The tax credit's survival isn't certain, despite President Obama's support for it during the fall campaign. Obama's negotiations with Republican House Speaker John Boehner over the budget deficit have cast doubt over most tax credits and loopholes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.