From 2012 – An estimated 37,000 jobs could be affected due to Congress denying an extension of the production tax credit (PTC) that was first enacted in 1992. Since 1999, the PTC has received short-term extensions seven times, and has lapsed three times. This boom-and-bust cycle of uncertainty has impacted long term planning of wind projects over the past ten years.
Vestas one of the world’s largest producers of wind turbines, said it may need to lay off 1,600 people in the coming months without more policy certainty. The PTC, a credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, is given to an owner of a wind-energy project once a wind turbine begins to produce electricity. According to the American Wind Energy Association the U.S. wind energy industry has invested $60 billion since 2005.
It’s uncertain as to the potential impact of several wind farm projects just starting in Michigan’s Thumb. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the failure to pass the PTC may halt more than 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects in Illinois. The current PTC tax credits expire at the end of 2012.