The US wind energy industry depends heavily on the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in order to make building wind farms financially feasible. The PTC provides a 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for the first 10 years of operation for large-scale projects. Last year, the PTC was extended but for only one year, which isn’t long enough to have a lasting impact on the development of wind energy projects because of the length of time it takes to permit and build these projects (years). We need a long-term extension of the PTC in order to truly advance the development of wind energy.
Why does it matter? Wind energy needs to the PTC in order to:
- Grow as a source of clean energy
- Contribute to energy independence in the US
- Provide green jobs to American workers
- Avoid air pollution that comes from coal and natural gas
- Avoid the nasty processes related to securing coal and natural gas (like mining and fracking)
- Avoid greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change and result in:
- Extreme weather events, causing deaths + property damage
- Worsening allergies + asthma
- Heat waves + more resilient diseases
- Droughts, which affect our food systems
- Fires, causing loss of homes + firefighter deaths
- Impacts to animal populations around the world
- Destroyed natural beauty, like coral reefs
- Less reliable weather (which threatens our favorite activities – like skiing!)
- and, sadly, climate change affects our daily lives in many more ways – check out Climate Reality Project for more information on the effects of climate change. We know the causes: greenhouse gas emissions, which come from using dirty energy. Supporting the PTC is one way you can help. It’s not too late to do something.
For more detailed history/background on the PTC, read up on the Union of Concerned Scientist’s website.