Is the wind lobby’s most precious subsidy finally losing steam in Congress?

posted at 8:41 pm on April 16, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Via the WFB, we can only hope. The egregiously generous wind production tax credit (which provides a guaranteed 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy during the first ten years of a project’s operation, by the way) has been through fits and starts of expiration in Congress only to be followed by belated renewal over the past two decades — and funnily enough, the construction of wind projects has correlated rather conspicuously with the credit’s fortunes. What might we suppose that suggests about the nature of this heavily subsidized and politically prized form of renewable energy? That is has yet to achieve the type of cost effectiveness that would allow it to successfully compete in the free market based on its on merits and that is has been living a lie courtesy of the taxpayer, perhaps?

Expired federal tax credits for the wind industry are in front of Congress again, but the political future for the long-standing subsidies is anything but safe, according to a new report.

Experts at Capital Alpha Partners, one of a burgeoning group of research firms that provides political intelligence for investors, wrote last week that the appetite on Capitol Hill for continuing the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) is declining.

In a report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Capital Alpha writes that a combination of flagging political will and changing market environments could signal the decline, and possibly the end, of the two-decades-old tax credit for the wind industry.

“There comes a time when subsidies which are popular to start with become less popular as conditions change,” the report says. “The wind PTC may be reaching that point—not just because some in Congress are losing patience with the so-called tax extenders, but also because fundamental market conditions are putting the traditional utility model under stress.”

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t count on Congress not finally succumbing to the wind lobby and tacking an extension onto some bill or other under the radar, and even if they don’t — the wind production tax credit might be the single most significant subsidy for wind, but it certainly isn’t the only one. There are investment credits, loan guarantees, renewable quotas, state subsidies, etcetera etcetera for the taking, and I have little doubt that ‘environmentalist’ investors will shortly find a way to lobby/make up for their lost income somehow. Ugh.


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“No one ever lost a dime in political contributions by voting to support a special interest tax credit.”

John “Weepy” Boehner

PolAgnostic on April 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Are those dark speckles on the ground…

Dead birds?

Electrongod on April 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM

How can they not be making money? They aren’t going to be fined for wiping out endangered raptors, and bats, and owls, and birds…../sarc

lfwest on April 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Are those dark speckles on the ground…

Dead birds?

Electrongod on April 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM


NO!
Those are aerial trespassers who NOT have paid their FAA license fees! They are equally lawless when they are harassing our solar power electrical generating facilities!”

Harry “Pederast” Reid

PolAgnostic on April 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM

No sweat. Congress will double down on failure (it’s whut it does)and increase the subsidies two-fold in order to make that ‘energy source’ more ‘competitive’. After all, the Dems haven’t totally wiped out every raptor and migratory bird in the country – yet.

vnvet on April 16, 2014 at 8:52 PM

End the tax subsidies for Big Wind! Big Wind harms the environment.

rbj on April 16, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Masterresource.org did a piece where they analyzed in depth all the costs of wind power, and concluded: wind plant implementations cannot be sustained because they divert a large portion of national wealth into unproductive debt-laden investments. My comment:

Exactly. Look at Europe, on the verge bankruptcy after spending bundles of money on heavily-subsidized green energy. So, when the Democrats passed their cap & trade bill in the House in 2009 that mandated insane 83% CO2 cuts by 2050, if the bill had made it to Obama, we wouldn’t have seen wind and other fanciful green energies making up more than an iota of this lost energy. Our country, already in a fiscal mess, could not maintain such wasteful spending.

Moreover, as far as the full cost to society of wind power, consider also the documented health problems and loss in property values in the vicinity of windmills. And the thousands millions of pretty little (and mostly BIG) birds, and Bald Eagles, killed by these monsters. Wind power is truly a monstrous proposition.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:05 PM

When is congress going to start defunding.

crankyoldlady on April 16, 2014 at 9:05 PM

I often hear that “someday” green energy and wind will be economically viable, so we should subsidize it now. No, when someday comes, then go ahead and produce your greenie windmills. Actually, don’t. It is a hazard to the birds. No joke. It’s killing birds by the thousands, including the bald eagle. Stop it.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Send in federal troops to defend the wind generators from those evil birds.

Send in federal troops to defend the monuments from those evil veterans.

Send in federal troops to defend the grass from those evil cows.

Send in federal troops to defend the borders from rapists, murderers, drug traffickers and terrorists.

Um, no scratch that last one. Somethin’ about love….

MichaelGabriel on April 16, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Send in federal troops to defend the borders from rapists, murderers, drug traffickers and terrorists.

Um, no scratch that last one. Somethin’ about love….

MichaelGabriel on April 16, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Jeb Bush, Rubio too, loves rapists, murderers, drug traffickers and terrorists.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

The more uneconomical, heavily subsidized, bird killing, landscape marring wind power that we have, the higher our electricity costs will be, and there will be only a miniscule reduction in “carbon,” and btw in fact there is no evidence at all that CO2 affects climate temperatures (really). Fortunately Obama and the leftist loons haven’t been able to do to us yet what has happened in Europe with “renewable” energy. Here’s another one of my masterresource comments:

In an article titled “Germany faces rising electricity costs and at least $270 billion for wind power with an exit from nuclear power,” Nextbigfuture reports:

According to the Institute for Energy Research, this year German electricity rates will increase by over 10% due to a surcharge for using more renewable energy and a further 30 to 50% price increase is expected in the next ten years.

German electricity is already about triple the price of electricity in the USA and four times the price in Canada. Without a change in course, says the government, costs could rise to 40 cents/kWh by 2020 [or much more as it already costs as much as 34 cents / kWh].

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/09/germany-faces-rising-electricity-costs.html

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:16 PM

People that advocated for this boondoggle should be strung up on them as a lesson for future generations.

Murphy9 on April 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Obama drew a red line in the Nevada desert and the cows took a dump on it. Those cows should be very, very afraid.

If Obama didn’t use harsh language, next thing you know, those cows would be invading Utah.

Next up, sanctions on migratory birds. They have no respect for sovereign borders.

“If it flies, whack it.”

MichaelGabriel on April 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

British birdwatchers witness rare swift fly into wind turbine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJWILGGAUpw

Bird killed by green energy. 30 seconds. Graphic. Painful. SAD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwVz5hdAMGU

3 minute “BIRD STRIKE” discussion on Fox News of massive Eagle & bird deaths caused by windmills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEersoJLtRw

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 10:31 PM

If anybody watches the second of the three videos that I highlighted above, and after that gruesome spectacle, is still for producing more windmills, I’d be shocked. I mean it would be one thing to say keep the windmills that we have, don’t tear them down just because of birds, but to say that we should produce more of these ghastly bird killers, I would be at a loss for words. And this is just because of the birds, and see that video and you will see that the birds are reason enough, but also it makes no sense from an energy or economic or even a climate perspective to construct these eyesores. None.

Oh: this is gruesome bird killing video, take 30 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwVz5hdAMGU

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 11:00 PM

We haven’t seen yet how a wind farm will manage a tornado or a hurricane that makes it inland. I’m guessing they will be a total loss that some kind of insurance will have to pay for. Too big to fail?

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Oh: this is gruesome bird killing video, take 30 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwVz5hdAMGU

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Screw the birds. If that damn asteroid off of the Yucatan couldn’t do the job, what’s not to say we finish it.

Science.

Sarc.

WryTrvllr on April 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Is the wind lobby’s most precious subsidy finally losing steam in Congress?

…how are they going to get money…to give to JugEar’s people?

KOOLAID2 on April 17, 2014 at 12:02 AM

so let’s mellow ‘em out with some grass.

AppraisHer on April 17, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Just put lots of taxpayer-funded solar panels around the wind farms. The birds will be sliced by the blades, incinerated by the solar panels’ reflected heat, and land in ready-to-eat portions.

Problem solved, and a new restaurant menu item created!

xNavigator on April 17, 2014 at 12:21 AM

What the heck??? Wrong quote in my post above. Meant to quote this:

Are those dark speckles on the ground…

Dead birds?

Electrongod on April 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Woopsie on me. Edit button? EDIT? Argh!

xNavigator on April 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Woopsie on me. Edit button? EDIT? Argh!

xNavigator on April 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Hey! Fire one up for me too!!

WryTrvllr on April 17, 2014 at 12:29 AM

so let’s mellow ‘em out with some grass.
AppraisHer on April 17, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Just put lots of taxpayer-funded solar panels around the wind farms. The birds will be sliced by the blades, incinerated by the solar panels’ reflected heat, and land in ready-to-eat portions.
Problem solved, and a new restaurant menu item created!
xNavigator on April 17, 2014 at 12:21 AM

What the heck??? Wrong quote in my post above. Meant to quote this:
Are those dark speckles on the ground…
Dead birds?
Electrongod on April 16, 2014 at 8:44 PM

No, no, xNavigator, you’ve stumbled onto some capitalism here. *Munchies For The Mellow*…in ready-to-eat portions.

AppraisHer on April 17, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Birds burned alive at Ivanpah CA solar project:

“Although not analyzed in detail, there was also significant bat and insect mortality at the Ivanpah site, including monarch butterflies,” the report said. “It appears that Ivanpah may act as a ‘mega-trap,’ (original emphasis) attracting insect-eating birds, which are incapacitated by solar flux injury, thus attracting predators and creating an entire food chain vulnerable to injury and death.”

Solar flux is the intense radiation coming off the reflecting mirrors. At Ivanpah, the radiation is so intense it creates what look like small clouds around the boilers at the top of the project’s three 459-foot-tall solar towers. These clouds appear to be attracting the insects which in turn attract the birds.

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/04/07/birds-going-smoke-brightsource-energys-ivanpah-project/7448299/

anotherJoe on April 17, 2014 at 4:44 AM

WE cook birds to order at our solar site!

Want a fried Golden Eagle? WE have them and exempted by Obama so please his donors!

Life is so sweet when you bundle money for Obama!

You can graze cattle anywhere and no one in government will care!

Just bundle the money and send it to Obama!

Want to be an Ambassador?

Send Obama a Donation!

Obamatrix on April 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM