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Barnhart Law PLC - Articles & Outlines:

Incentives for Wind Energy Development in the U.S.

Published in EnergyPulse, November, 2008
Updated March, 2009

View and print PDF Version of this Article

AUTHOR’S UPDATE MARCH 8, 2009: As described in the following article, the federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy (Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) was previously set to expire on December 31, 2008. Since this article was written, the PTC has been extended by law two times:

First, The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on October 3, 2008, extended the PTC for wind energy through December 31, 2009. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 contained within it Division B, entitled the “Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.” Title 1(A), Section 101 of this Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 extended the PTC for wind and for refined coal facilities for one year, making it applicable to such facilities placed in service before January 1, 2010.

Second, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (popularly known as the Economic stimulus package), signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, extended the PTC for wind energy for an additional three years through December 31, 2012. Division B, Title I(B), Part I (Tax Provisions; Renewable Energy Incentives), Section 1101, extended the PTC for wind energy, making it applicable to
wind energy facilities placed in service before January 1, 2013. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also provides several other very significant federal incentives for wind and solar energy development in the United States, which will be the subject of another article.

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2008: The United States wind energy generation market is booming, attracting more and more foreign investors. In 2007, for the second year in a row, more new megawatts of wind generation capacity were installed in the U.S. than in any other country in the world.(1) The American Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council have confirmed that a record 5,244 Megawatts were installed in the U.S. in 2007, more than double the 2006 number, meaning that U.S. wind power generating capacity grew some 45% in 2007.(2) This was the third consecutive year of record-setting growth in U.S. wind energy, with remarkable and accelerating growth continuing in 2008. The European Wind Energy Association projects that the U.S. will overtake Germany as the world leader in installed wind energy capacity by the end of 2009.(3)

International wind energy investors and industry players are flocking to the U.S. They see that the U.S. is the fastest-growing market in the world for wind power, with greater potential for future growth than European markets, given that wind energy projects still provide only 1% of installed generating capacity in the U.S., as opposed to as high as 10% in some European countries.(4) In addition, the U.S. has more large open spaces with high winds, allowing the installation of larger and more efficient projects than possible in much of Europe.(5)

Several factors are now encouraging this remarkable growth in U.S. wind energy development and investment: Read more….

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All Footnotes found in attached PDF Version of this Article.

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Constance R. Barnhart
Attorney At Law, Managing Member
Barnhart Law PLC

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