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We are happy to report that the election results were overwhelmingly good news for the wind industry, with one major exception. The most pressing issue facing the industry at present is the expiration/extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). This federal tax credit helps wind farm developers secure financing to build new projects and is set to expire at the end of 2012 if it isn’t extended. Wind developers throughout the U.S. have been ramping down project pipelines due to the potential impacts of losing this tax credit, and the entire wind energy supply chain has been affected, including plant closures and large layoffs.
A number of key results from last night’s election are a good first step in getting this crucial tax credit extended. Mark Del Franco at North American Windpower magazine gives a great summary.
Although energy independence and job creation in clean technology was part of the electoral platform, it remains to be seen how the results of the PTC, and other initiatives that may arise now that we are past election season, will impact the U.S. and climate change. Recent chaotic weather events like Hurricane Sandy have brought the stark effects of climate change into the broader national conversation, but what our government will actually do to turn the tide of that climate change remains to be seen.