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Wind Energy Tax Credits Saved in Fiscal Deal

The last-minute fiscal cliff deal spared the lapse of the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit late Tuesday, saving close to 37,000 jobs across the country, StateImpact Texas reports.

The support was created in 1992 to help spur wind and geothermal energy exploration, and provides suppliers a 2.2-cent tax credit for each kilowatt hour of energy they make during their first ten years of operation. The one-year extension of the credit – approved as part of the fiscal cliff bill – is expected to cost $12.1 billion over ten years.

And why is this important to Texas? Well, on Christmas Day, ERCOT set a new wind-power record.

“Unlike traditional power plants, wind power output can vary dramatically over the course of a single day, and even more so over time,” said Kent Saathoff, ERCOT’s vice president of Grid Operations and System Planning, in a statement. “With new tools and experience, our operators have learned how to harness every megawatt of power they can when the wind is blowing at high levels like this.”

  • Peter Kurilecz

    while it may have set a new wind power record what was the overall demand for electricity on that day?
    “Unlike traditional power plants, wind power output can vary dramatically over the course of a single day, and even more so over time,” ”
    yes traditional power plants are available to produce according to demand and that flexibility is something severely lacking with wind power.

    PTC facts http://www.masterresource.org/2012/10/ptc-just-facts/

    Texas Windpower
    http://sppiblog.org/news/texas-windpower-will-negative-pricing-blow-out-the-lights-ptc-vs-reliable-new-capacity

    how about that time when the wind wasn’t blowing and the windmills weren’t producing?

  • Avid Reader

    Who would have known that lower taxes would lead to higher employment; sounds silly.

  • Lawrence

    I really love how the media always has to show everything as a “cost” to the government. The government produces almost no revenue other than taxes tariffs and fees. So this tax “credit” might be an incentive for someone to spend their own money, hire people who will pay taxes, purchase materials that will be taxed, purchase land that will be taxed, and build a giant wind tower that will produce energy for the grid. The wind farm will require on going maintenance and the interconnection of all the wind generators will require infrastructure, maintenance and monitoring which will create more taxes and jobs. In return they get a tax credit of 2.2 cents per Kilowatt against the taxes they will pay for something that didn’t previously exist, and somehow that is going to “cost” us money. That is why people listening to the media are so screwed up in their thinking.