America needs homegrown energy resources to power the nation, and with our economy struggling, we’re in dire need of American jobs. Wind energy delivers in both of these areas. The renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) is an effective tool to keep electricity prices low and encourage development of proven clean energy projects. However, the PTC expiration is looming and we need to act fast to protect wind industry jobs.
The wind industry pushed hard to include the PTC extension in the payroll tax reduction legislation, but this bill was finalized on February 16th without the PTC. There is tremendous bipartisan support in Congress to extend the PTC, though, and we must continue to emphasize the urgency of the extension.
With the uncertainty of the future of the PTC, businesses are hesitant to plan future U.S. wind projects, American manufacturers have seen a drop in orders, and layoffs have already started. For the purposes of our industry, the PTC has already effectively expired. Half of the U.S. wind industry’s workforce is at stake. To preserve tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs, the wind industry urgently needs Congress to take action to extend the PTC immediately.
The long project development and manufacturing lead times for wind energy projects mean that the PTC has already effectively expired. Right now, wind project developers are not making plans in the U.S. and American manufacturers are not receiving orders. The wind industry is facing the recurrence of the boom-bust cycle it has seen in previous years when the PTC was allowed to expire. In the years following expiration, installations dropped between 73 and 93%, with corresponding job losses. I don't want this happen again.
Equipped with the PTC, the wind energy industry has contributed impressively to U.S. economic development. The PTC has been instrumental in helping the wind industry to:
-Lower the cost of wind power by more than 90%
-Manufacture components for wind turbines at over 400 U.S. manufacturing facilities
-Power the equivalent of 10 million American homes
-Provide 35% of all new U.S. power capacity in the past four years
Please work with your colleagues to pass a PTC extension as quickly as possible. In doing so, you will give the wind industry the certainty that it needs to continue to grow its American manufacturing base and invest in clean, affordable, homegrown wind power.
Thank you for your consideration.