This blog was originally posted on AWEA's In The Wind blog.
Anemometry Specialists, of Alta, Iowa, is one of hundreds of wind companies, large and small, from coast to coast that are hoping for an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) before its scheduled expiration at the end of this year.
Company president Rob Hach told radio station KMA in an interview Saturday that the PTC, which provides tax relief to wind farm operators based on the amount of electricity they produce, benefits companies like his, which offers wind measurement services. If the credit expires, he said, jobs will be lost: "If we don't have the tax credit, then we're going to have to be paying for it with unemployment. I would rather be working, putting money into the economy, than sitting there collecting unemployment."
KMA also quoted Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Environment Group Clean Energy Program, as saying that layoffs are already beginning in the wind industry, which employs 75,000 Americans: "Causing this kind of turmoil and uncertainty in a market is completely unnecessary. There've been really no new orders for wind, and that is going to have a significant impact on jobs."
The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.