Wind farms provide only 3.5% of U.S. energy

By Rolf E. Westgard, Brainerd Dispatch:

On May 24 this year, President Obama visited wind turbine blade manufacturer TPI Composites in Newton, Iowa. There he announced that his “To Do List” for Congress, included extending the wind energy’s Production Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC, which expires at the end of 2012, gives 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour(kwh) to wind energy producers.  For all of 2012, U.S. wind farms are expected to provide about 3.5 percent of U.S. electric power, or 145 billion kwh, making wind producers eligible for $3 billion in tax credit subsidies.

On May 30, candidate Mitt Romney took up Obama’s Iowa challenge to his energy policies. Romney’s campaign spokes person told the Des Moines Register that Romney “will allow the wind credit to expire in 2012, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”

Through 2011, the wind industry had the option of a 30 percent investment tax credit that could be received as up-front cash grants, instead of having to wait until power was generated.  Of the most recent  $1 billion in wind energy grants handed out by the government, 85 percent — a total of $849 million — has gone to foreign wind turbine companies, such as Germany’s Siemens , Spain’s Gamesa, India’s Suzlon, and Denmark’s Vestas. Spanish utility company, Iberdrola S.A. alone has collected $545 million in recent years through its American subsidiary… Read more

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