Today, The New York Times profiled the challenges facing the wind energy companies given their dependence on government handouts. With renewal of the Wind Production Tax Credit in jeopardy, many wind energy businesses may not survive in the free market. The American Energy Alliance’s Director of Communications, Benjamin Cole, spoke to the New York Times and explained IER’s opposition to continuing subsidies for the wind industry.
“Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry Is Withering”
The New York Times
Opponents argue that the industry has had long enough to wean itself from the subsidy and, with wind representing a small percentage of total electricity generation, the taxpayers’ investment has yielded an insufficient return.
“Big Wind has had extension after extension after extension,” said Benjamin Cole, a spokesman for the American Energy Alliance, a group partly financed by oil interests that has been lobbying against the credit in Washington. “The government shouldn’t be continuing to prop up industries that never seem to be able to get off their training wheels.”
But without the tax credit in place, the wind business “falls off a cliff,” said Ryan Wiser, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who studies the market potential of renewable electricity sources.
Industry executives and analysts say that the looming end of the production tax credit, which subsidizes wind power by 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour, has made project developers skittish about investing or going forward.