As advocates of wind power feared, two key tax credits for the renewable-energy source expired on Dec. 31. However, both survived the Congressional negotiations that resulted in the budget deal President Obama is signing today.
The Production Tax Credit and the Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit will be in effect for wind projects begun in 2013.
As reported here in November, one industry spokesman blamed uncertainty over these credits for the cancellation of at least three wind projects in Western Pennsylvania — part of a long-term boom-and-bust cycle for new wind power that’s been closely linked to federal tax policy.
Experts says the revival of the two tax credits should now pave the way for renewed construction of wind-power projects.
Wind advocates tout its benefits for the environment compared to conventional energy sources, including reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollutants and reduced water use. (Coal-fired power plants and nuclear plants, for instance, are huge users of water.)
“We applaud our leaders for recognizing these tremendous benefits to our health and environment, and for acting to ensure the continued development of pollution-free wind energy,” said Mary Kate Ranii of the group Penn Environment in a statement today.
Penn Environment also credited President Obama and members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation for supporting the bill. The latter group includes Sen. Bob Casey and Reps. Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Mike Doyle.