General Electric has released a study that says the taxes paid back to the U.S. government are more than the tax incentives given to wind energy companies by the government.
This story on CNNMoney.com says the study comes out just after the U.S. Senate failed to move forward a $57 billion renewable energy tax incentive package that includes renewing the production credit for wind energy production that expires January 1, 2009.
The GE unit estimates wind farms built last year will provide $250 million in tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury. Losses from the incentive program will be offset by income tax revenue from the wages of workers, project vendors and the project itself once the 10-year credit period expires, according to the GE study.
“Too often, politics, rather than economics, has shaped the debate about extending the production tax credit,” said Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy. “GE’s new study identifying additional economic benefits of the wind industry should bring all parties together.”
The production tax credit provides wind farms with a 2.1-cent credit for every kilowatt-hour produced during the first decade of operation.
GE has quite a vested interest in the success of wind energy. It makes up 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services’ more than $3 billion renewable energy portfolio that includes 34 wind farms in 13 states.