Fears of losing tax credit take the sales out of the wind turbine business

Source: Nathanial Gronewold, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Wind energy enthusiasts in Texas are beginning to think the time has come to look beyond federal support for their industry, turning their attention instead to Austin and other regional state capitals. With the survival of the federal production tax credit (PTC) hanging in the balance, new investment in towers and turbines in the nation’s largest wind energy state is coming to a screeching halt. Ongoing projects are scrambling to be completed by the end of this month to make them eligible to receive the tax credits for 2012, but new projects aren’t happening, according to the offices of the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse in Sweetwater.

Desperate ranchers chase after wind in vain scramble for financial lifeline

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

In renewable energy, just as in real estate, the game is “location, location, location.” And Tenorio and his neighbors found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their efforts to secure a link to the electric grid fizzled this year when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., ruled that the proposed line they needed couldn’t proceed until other projects were built.

PTC opponents target lawmakers from non-RPS states

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Opponents of a key renewable tax credit are urging lawmakers whose states do not require renewable energy to oppose an extension of the credit, arguing it leads their constituents to subsidize activity in other states. The letter comes as Congress continues to deliberate the fate of the wind production tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of this year. Supporters remain optimistic the credit will win an extension as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal, but it is attracting intense opposition from fiscal conservative groups that argue it is too costly. Six conservative groups, including the American Energy Alliance, Heritage Action for American and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, today are sending a letter to 158 members from states without renewable portfolio standards urging them to let the credit die.

Non-wind renewables voice support for PTC modification

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

While wind has grabbed most of the attention in the push to extend the production tax credit, other renewable energy industries are lobbying in support of a small but significant tweak to the credit’s eligibility requirements endorsed by a Senate committee earlier this year. Representatives of the biomass, hydropower, geothermal and waste-to-energy industries wrote President Obama applauding his support for the PTC.

Congress girds for a long December

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

It’s looking less and less likely that Congress and the White House will reach agreement on the year-end “fiscal cliff” before Christmas, leading to predictions Washington is in for a long December waiting for a resolution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) continued to blast Republicans over the fiscal cliff negotiations — which cover a suite of impending tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts lawmakers and President Obama would like to avoid, although they have not agreed on how. And he doused expectations that a resolution would present itself in the next two weeks.

With deadline looming, PTC backers focus on eligibility requirements

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

They may not be able to do much to influence the “fiscal cliff” negotiations that remained at an impasse last week, but wind energy supporters are continuing to pound the halls of Congress with a somewhat nuanced request that will have an outsized influence on the state of the industry. The ask all year has been for an immediate extension of the wind production tax credit, which expires Dec. 31 without congressional action. But at this late stage of the game, simply changing the date in existing law won’t be enough to do much good for the industry, supporters say. Instead, they are focused heavily on persuading House Republicans to accept a modification to PTC eligibility requirements that already has won bipartisan backing from the Senate Finance Committee.

Western governors urge PTC extension, eventual elimination of all energy subsidies

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, December 9th, 2012

The bipartisan Western Governors’ Association is urging Congress to immediately extend the wind production tax credit for projects that begin construction next year as a first step to eventually eliminating all federal energy subsidies. In a letter sent to congressional leadership today, Govs. Gary Herbert (R-Utah) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) — the chairman and vice-chairman of the 19-state organization — urge an immediate extension to the PTC, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts.

Western governors ask for extension of tax credit for wind energy

Source: By Howard Pankratz, Denver Post • Posted: Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Western governors Friday called on Congress to extend the wind-power tax credit rather than let it expire at the end of December. In a letter to the U.S. House and Senate leaders, Western governors said that extending the credit now is critical to achieving the country’s clean-energy goals, building the nation’s manufacturing base, creating jobs, lowering energy costs and strengthening security.

World has jumped the proposed 2-degree-Celsius ‘guardrail’ and is moving to a more dangerous climate, expert says

Source: Lauren Morello, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 7th, 2012

The world has missed its chance to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the level many scientists and governments say is necessary to avoid “dangerous” climate change, former U.K. environment adviser Bob Watson said yesterday. Keeping under that 2-degree guardrail would have required industrialized countries to begin cutting their emissions in 2010, he told attendees at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting. “We are not on a pathway to a 2-degree world,” Watson said. “Much more likely, it will be 3 to 5” degrees Celsius, roughly 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wind energy has small slice of energy pie but big lobbying push for tax credit

Source: Written by Raju Chebium Gannett Washington Bureau • Posted: Friday, December 7th, 2012

Wind power makes up a small slice of the nation’s energy pie, but its advocates have mounted a big lobbying campaign to persuade Congress to renew an expiring tax credit viewed as crucial for the industry’s survival. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., is playing a prominent role in this effort as he joins advocates who want Congress to extend the wind-energy production tax credit beyond its Dec. 31 expiration date. Udall and Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who authored the first wind tax credit 20 years ago, want Congress to include it in a broader legislative package aimed at blocking sharp tax increases and automatic spending cuts set to take effect next year.