Over 20 US investors with more than $800 billion at their disposal repeated a call for an urgent extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable power, which will lapse at the end of the year.
In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, minority leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, asset managers including Impax and Trillium, along with state treasurers warn that allowing the PTC to expire will “severely damage” US competiveness.
The wind power sector, the letter points out, has been a “bright spot” despite the recession for employment and is currently one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the US.
But that will change if the PTC expires, says the letter, and the uncertainty has already led to thousands of layoffs. In previous years when the PTC has been allowed to lapse, the wind industry has stalled with installations falling from 73-93%.
Over the last 20 years, the PTC has supported the renewables sector and has largely been responsible for its expansion to the point where it now makes up nearly half of new generating capacity in the US.
To avoid future ‘boom-bust’ cycles, the signatories urge the politicians to instigate a multi-year extension to the PTC as soon as possible to provide much-needed market certainty.
“It is not just investors in wind turbine manufacturing or builders of wind farms that care about the Production Tax Credit. This measure supports the broader renewable power economy,” says Matthew Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management.
If the situation can be resolved it will be good news for NRG Bluewater Wind, which has just been granted a lease by the Department of Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to build a 450 MW wind farm off the coast of Delaware.
The project is one of a handful of offshore wind farms in development in the US, which also include the high profile Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound off the Massachusetts coast and Deepwater Wind’s 30 MW development off the coast of Rhode Island.
For further information:
Renewables makes up nearly half of new US generating capacity (24-Oct)
Market uncertainty leads to clean energy investment slump (10-Oct)
US businesses urge Congress to extend tax credits for renewables (19-Sept)
California wind farm starts operations but US wind industry in peril (13-Sept)
26 October 2012