U.S. wind subsidy no longer intermittent

November 2005
Power;Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 149 Issue 9, p8
Trade Publication
This article focuses on the future of wind power in the U.S. With the recent extension of the 1.94/kWh federal production tax credit (PTC) for new wind farms, the future of the U.S. wind power looks bright. Even GE Energy, the only wind turbine manufacturer with a factory on the U.S. soil, is having trouble meeting demand. The U.S. wind power advocates are justified in feeling bullish about the state of the domestic industry. The new generation will represent a 35% increase on 2004's installed base of 6,740 MW--an impressive growth rate for any industry. Now that the Congress has extended the PTC through December 31, 2007, the U.S. industry can breathe easy for another two years. This marks the first time that the PTC was extended before it was allowed to expire. In light of the past six years of boom-and-bust cycles caused by successive expirations, the lack of any uncertainty going forward should be a boon to wind power deployment. According to American Wind Energy Association Executive Director Randall Swisher, it is significant that this year's congressional action was an extension rather than a reinstatement.


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