Conservative hypocrites don’t want government certainty for the wind industry

Conservative hypocrites don’t want government certainty for the wind industry

[Ed. – Magical economic theory.]

Conservatives love to complain that uncertainty in government policy hurts business. Usually, they’re talking about the deficit, or health care regulations, or the Federal Reserve. … But there is at least one business that’s being killed by government-imposed uncertainty: the wind industry. “Wind energy is the poster child of uncertain government policy, or the poster child for unstable government policy,” says Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association. …

From a standing start, America’s wind industry has grown massively since 2007, as the chart below shows. About 90 percent of the country’s nearly 66 gigawatts of wind-generating capacity has been installed in the past 10 years. … China may have more installed capacity, but the U.S. leads the world in wind energy production.

Of course, like many young and old industries—banking, housing, mortgage finance, health care, defense—wind energy’s financial viability relies on a taxpayer subsidy.  [Huh??? – Ed.] The wind production tax credit, or PTC, provides owners with a 2.3 cent tax credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity a wind farm produces in its first 10 years of operation. …

But here’s the thing. For the past several years, the wind PTC has been an on-again, off-again deal. And that has contributed to a boom-and-bust dynamic in the industry. Now that the credit is off again, the wind sector’s long-term prospects appear to have gone limp.

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