U.S. wind energy tax credit extended in fiscal cliff deal

The U.S. wind energy tax credit has been extended - an incentive that encouraged many to install wind turbines throughout 2012.

The Production Tax Credit has been extended - an incentive that encouraged many to install wind turbines throughout 2012. The credit was set to expire at the start of the new year, but the fiscal cliff deal passed by Congress on January 1 included an extension for the renewable energy credit for another year.

The New York Times reported the credit will save about 2.2 percent per kilowatt-hour of energy produced over 10 years from new wind-energy facilities. That means a large wind turbine will generate $1 million in tax credits, the article stated. Wind energy companies also have the option to ask for a lump-sum payment, which will cover about 30 percent of the construction costs of building and installing wind turbines.

The credit will apply to projects that begin construction this year but that do not become operational until 2014, the Denver Business Journal reported.

It's expected the credit extension will save about 37,000 jobs and revive business at some 500 wind factories, GigaOM reported. Yet, as 2013 approached and the credit still had not been extended, development slowed after record installations through the first part of 2012. The American Wind Energy Association said the lack of orders for 2013 has already led to layoffs in the industry.

More information about the wind energy industry in the United States can be found at PennEnergy's research area.

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