As much of the talk on this blog has focused on the renewal of the biodiesel and ethanol tax credits (see Cindy’s post), the leading advocacy group for wind energy in this country is reminding Congress of the danger of not including its green energy in the package to renew tax credits.
This press release from the American Wind Energy Association says tens of thousands of American jobs would be in peril if the 1603 investment tax credit for renewable energy is not part of the tax break renewal package:
“We have people being laid off right now, and we expect to see more without fast action on the tax extenders now being negotiated,” said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA. “The 1603 tax credit extension would help bring them back as soon as possible.” According to the trade group’s research, there are over 15,000 jobs in the manufacturing pipeline alone. “We are risking those jobs by not sending a clear signal that America remains open for business in wind energy,” Bode said.
The 1603 tax investment credit saved 55,000 jobs in wind energy, as estimated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Overall employment has reached 85,000 in the American wind industry, as installed capacity has grown 40 percent in each of the past two years. Wind now generates 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa; and on Oct. 28, high winds pushed wind power to 25 percent of the electrical generation in Texas.
AWEA officials are optimistic the credit will get extended.