Supporting Wind Energy Production

Thu, 2012-08-16 10:48

As the race to November continues, the national discourse has turned toward the issue of funding alternative energy sources, specifically wind. The issue revolves around the Production Tax Credit, or PTC, which currently provides a $12 billion tax credit for wind power generation and is set to expire in 2013.  Wind Turbines SunsetIf not renewed, the 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour tax break will not only dramatically shrink the wind industry, but also result in the loss of 27,000 jobs. One of the most prominent questions in the national debate involves why wind energy funding is important. Given the dramatic increase in wind energy production rates in the U.S. and the fact that Wind Turbines are Key to U.S. Energy Plans, continued support for wind energy will be paramount. Below are several reasons why supporting wind energy production in the United States is important:

The Energy Capacity in the U.S. Consistently Includes Wind Power

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. wind energy market demonstrated strong growth in 2011, representing an astounding 32 percent of all new electric capacity. Given the sustained growth of the wind energy market, and the support of tens of thousands of jobs, continued policy support and clean energy tax credits will be immensely important to the future of American energy sources. As noted by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, “this report shows that America can lead the world in the global race to manufacture and deploy clean energy technologies.”

The Price of Wind Power is Decreasing

The same 2011 Department of Energy report also denotes the diminishing costs of wind power, as wind turbine prices have fallen by an estimated 20 to 30 percent since 2008. As a result, the adoption rate of wind energy solutions has steadily increased as it proves to be more cost-effective.

The Geographic Spread of Wind Turbines Continues to Increase

A recent report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) indicates a dramatic increase in the installed capacity of wind turbines in the United States, especially in areas like the Great Plains. One of the fundamental reasons for the increase involves heavy state mandates for alternative energy sources, as found in states such as Texas (which maintains the highest concentration of wind power). There are, however, several states with no wind power generation, which are mostly found in the Southeast region of the United States (with the exception of Tennessee).

The United States is Catching Up With the World

In 2011, the United States maintained the second-fastest growing wind industry in the world, behind only China. However, the U.S. is still behind several countries in terms of using most of its electricity from wind, ranking 13 out of 20 countries. As the wind industry continues to grow, the U.S. will be able to rely more upon wind generated electricity, thereby increasing our world standing.

Ultimately, the continued growth of wind power is necessary to the development of a strong U.S. alternative energy solution. While funding will inevitably strengthen the wind industry, it remains to be seen how the issue of the PTC will be handled. Nevertheless, now is the best time to learn more about wind energy production. Everblue currently has an online Basics of Wind course for $99, as part of an "Everblue Cools Down With Wind Training" summer special. In the course, you will be introduced to the power of wind as an energy source and understand the intricacies of wind energy systems. For more information, please visit our Basics of Wind training information page, or call us at 800-460-2575.

By Peter J. Bock

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