No, the wind industry hasn’t given up on their expired production tax credit

posted at 7:31 pm on February 5, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

For the wind lobby, the expiration of their all-important wind production tax credit at the start of the year is hardly a reason to abandon their constant quest to redeem it; after all, the credit has had several other close shaves with expiration over the years, only to have Congress relent and tack it back on to some bill or other at the last minute. After a brief expiration, the industry managed to procure just such a retroactive extension in the debt-deal deliberations at the start of 2013, good for just the one year, and with the added provision that energy companies need only to have begun development of new wind projects by the time the credit expired at the start of the new year in order to qualify for its benefits (a mighty generous subsidy of a little more than two cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity provided for the first ten years of a wind farm’s operation).

That would help to explain why 2013′s fourth quarter was witness to a whole rash of new wind projects getting off the ground, and the number of wind power megawatts currently under construction in the U.S. is now at a record high — and why the wind lobby is continuing their ever-vigilant push for the PTC’s renewal. Via WaPo:

Wind power advocates urged Congress on Thursday to quickly restore the production tax credit that expired at the end of 2013, saying that a prolonged period without it threatens gains made in recent years.

Officials from a wind power company, a steel company and the American Wind Energy Association said the loss of the 2.3-cents per kilowatt hour tax credit will directly translate into lost jobs. Despite continued demand, steel companies, wind energy firms and utilities will not devote their money and resources to wind power without the certainty that the credit provides, they said.

“We have to have a quick extension” of the credit, said Jaime Steve, director of government affairs at Pattern Energy, which runs wind power projects in the United States, Canada and Chile. “This is about people’s jobs. …

Congress allowed a variety of tax breaks, worth a total of about $50 billion a year, to expire on Dec. 31. The 2013 production tax credit, designated specifically for wind power, cost $12 billion over 10 years.

Ugh. Despite more than thirty years of generous government subsidization, the wind industry still quite literally lives and dies by the corporate welfare they receive via taxpayer largesse, and you can be darn sure they’ll but up a fight for it. They’ll do everything they can to once again persuade Congress to capitulate to their demands for continued top-down market manipulation, but perhaps they should examine the scenario currently playing out in Spain. In just the past year, the government was forced to acknowledge the fiscal and economic disaster they brought on themselves with their heavy renewables subsidization, and they are now engaged in a precipitous comedown from their ambitious renewables central planning — and yes, their wind industry is also flipping out about it, via the WSJ:

The new formula, described in more than 1,500 pages of documents, calculates a level of “reasonable profitability” that each type of project can expect during its decadeslong life span. The calculations take into account, for example, how long a wind farm has been generating power and how much in subsidies it has already received. The level of “reasonable profitability” would determine the size of future subsidies the project can receive.

AEE, Spain’s wind-energy association, said wind farms representing 37% of the country’s installed wind-power capacity would receive no further subsidies under the proposal and would have to derive revenue only from selling electricity at market price. The rest of the wind farms would see their subsidies halved, AEE said in a written statement, and some companies would have trouble paying debts if the proposal passes.

The proposal “is a historic mistake,” the association said.

Reasonable profitability“? Yeah, that’s a thing that Spain does now. Perhaps the “historic mistake” was doubling down on so much unsustainable subsidization without regard to price efficiency, no?


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I see acres and acres of abandoned wind farms in our near future.

It has already happened in Spain.

In Hawaii there is an eyesore wind farm abandoned years ago.

They don’t make enough energy to cover maintenance and overhead…or to even equal the energy spent in making them.

These are international bandits sucking on tax credits and when the credits dry up, the wind farms are abandoned.

ajacksonian on February 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

‘The Wind Lobby’…

Jesus……

BigWyo on February 5, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Thanks for the roundup on this and the other topics you bring to light here Erika. We do appreciate it.

kahall on February 5, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Trust me there are very big players that have big investment (on both sides of the isle), this will be even a bigger rip off than the Synfuel rip off. That was also brought to you by a Democrat president BTW, with more that a little help from the other side of the isle.

whbates on February 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

last year driving through TX on I-10 half of them appeared to be broke. Pointing every which way stationary in a windstorm.

wolly4321 on February 5, 2014 at 8:04 PM

…have to pay the ‘bundlers’…some how!

KOOLAID2 on February 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Love the ‘Galaxy Quest’ reference! What an awesome movie!

Midas on February 5, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Oh good, retroactively. Get to use that example when teaching advanced legal research in the morning. Thanks, Erika.

rbj on February 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I see acres and acres of abandoned wind farms in our near future.

It has already happened in Spain.

In Hawaii there is an eyesore wind farm abandoned years ago.

They don’t make enough energy to cover maintenance and overhead…or to even equal the energy spent in making them.

These are international bandits sucking on tax credits and when the credits dry up, the wind farms are abandoned.

ajacksonian on February 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html

dmacleo on February 5, 2014 at 9:03 PM

I see acres and acres of abandoned wind farms in our near future.

It has already happened in Spain.

In Hawaii there is an eyesore wind farm abandoned years ago.

They don’t make enough energy to cover maintenance and overhead…or to even equal the energy spent in making them.

These are international bandits sucking on tax credits and when the credits dry up, the wind farms are abandoned.

ajacksonian on February 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Last I heard, they are still licensing and building new wind farms in Hawai’i to replace the dead ones, but those reports never mention that they’re in different locations.

As for Spain, they have a wind company called Ibredola, who have been getting fat off our taxpayer money here in New Hampshire. They built a huge wind farm just south of the White Mountains but all of the energy it produces is sold out of state.

Before it was built, the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) had absolutely no objections to this project, because they claimed the “view impact” of the 400 foot tall towers beyond 10 miles was minimal. This despite the fact that the towers would be visible from a section of the Appalachian Trail just a few miles to the northwest, as well as being less than 5 miles across the valley from one of the only Peregrine Falcon Nesting sites in the state.

The wind farm went online just over a year ago. Its “view impact” since that time has been observed some 40 miles to the east from above Lake Winnipesaukee.

Oh, and at the same time, the AMC is opposed to the Northern Pass project, which will bring Hydro Power from Canada (natural and renewable and cheap) down here to New England.

Because the Northern Pass towers are 4 times shorter than the wind towers are.

Progress!

Del Dolemonte on February 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Del Dolemonte on February 5, 2014 at 10:39 PM

We cannot fix stupid.

We can vote it out of office and vote in those unwilling to pay for it.

ajacksonian on February 6, 2014 at 6:53 AM

Let us assign a Leftist politician or their supporters to each existing windmill in the U.S. and just let them spew-forth hot air to rotate the windmills blades.

MSGTAS on February 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Wish the Republicans would adopt the “Galaxy Quest” tagline on such things as “invasion” better known as “illegal immigration”, we might be able to save the country.

polarglen on February 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM