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AWEA Blog - Extending PTC means Ohio jobs, says Buckeye State manufacturer

Extending the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) will save new manufacturing jobs in the industrial state of Ohio, according to the president of a company that makes industrial fasteners for wind turbines

In an opinion article published in yesterday’s Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, John W. Grabner of Cardinal Fastener, based in Bedford Heights, Ohio, notes that the Buckeye State led the nation in percentage growth of new wind farms last year, adding, “One reason for that spectacular growth is the fact that Ohio workers have the skills that wind energy manufacturing demands. Today, more than 4,000 people statewide are producing wind turbines and other components.”

Grabner briefly relates the story of his firm’s entry into the wind business in 2007 in response to a wind turbine supplier looking for quality fasteners, and points out that dozens of other companies across the country have joined the industry’s supply chain. Today, they make parts for the industry at nearly 500 plants nationwide and have pushed the value of domestic content in wind turbines from 25 percent in 2005 to more than two-thirds.

The domestic wind equipment manufacturing industry’s dramatic growth, Grabner says, has been fueled in large part by the PTC, an incentive that reduces taxes on the operators of wind farms and leaves more of the money they earn from electricity sales in private hands, helping to attract private investment not only in wind projects, but in component manufacturers, suppliers, trucking companies and more.

Concludes Grabner, “Last month the Senate Finance Committee, by a lopsided 19-to-5 bipartisan tally, voted to extend the tax credit for one year. Congress should finish the job this fall and send an extension to the president to ensure that wind projects and the tens of thousands of jobs dependent on them go forward into next year.”

The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale wind turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 110 cosponsors, including 25 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, the Toledo Blade, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.

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American Wind Energy Association
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
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