The Senate Finance Committee recently approved the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012 by an impressive and bipartisan 19-5 vote. The bill’s main raison d’etre is to extend a number of tax cuts, but one of its measures would extend an existing production tax credit (PTC) for wind projects.
The bill would not only extend the deadline for receiving the credit from 2012 to 2013, but it would also, more importantly, change the criterion for projects to qualify – instead of being placed into service in 2013, projects would need only to begin construction in 2013 to be eligible.
While the bill still has a ways to go through Congress, the potential incentive to put steel in the ground before the end of 2013 could spur significant activity in the wind sector over the next 18 months. And that’s exactly what AWEA and other industry supporters will be working hard to make happen here in the States.
Across the pond, Europe is working towards a large-scale system of interconnections between countries to allow for energy to move across national borders, and let the whole continent benefit from the best renewable energy resources available to each individual country. Part of this effort involves harnessing the significant wind resource coming off the Atlantic in countries with ocean borders. Meg Cichon’s great piece on the “European Supergrid” notes that more than 100 gigawatts of offshore wind are in either planning or development phases across Europe as the project works towards realization.
The combination of potential incentives in the U.S. and a hefty European pipeline suggests a period of heightened activity for wind power producers in the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.
Considering that wind power often faces hurdles somewhat unique among clean energy generation technologies (with wildlife protection concerns and significant NIMBYism often generating resistance to project development), if we are, in fact, on the verge of a blitz of activity in the sector, technology providers and project developers alike should be thinking ahead to their PR strategies, to ensure they are able tell their stories simply and clearly.
Posted by Dave Lipson on August 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM