We are seeing a ramp up of project activity, perhaps propelled by a threatened phase out of the in-state mandate or perhaps the true end of the PTC. We think local elected officials are waking up to the fact that wind loses in every cost benefit analysis. Granting tax abatement to facilitate a bad deal for taxpayers, ratepayers, industry, property owners and wildlife is poor public policy.
Iberdrola appears to be holding out a threat to Van Wert Commissioners that if a tax abatement is not granted, they might choose their Leipsic project instead. Really? After spending so much time and $ in that area- with a transmission line readily available? An idle threat with laughter under their breath…
We salute all of you who are educating your policy makers, you who are running for office to help tackle the issue at the State level and you, our letter writers and commenters who refuse to let the pro-wind PR machine go unchallenged. Thank you…
The Senate Finance Committees new chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden, has indicated his first order of business will be to extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013.
One break that should be excluded is the Wind Production Tax Credit PTC — the main handout for the wind industry.
Seemingly innocuous, the PTC gives wind companies $23 in a subsidy for each megawatt-hour of electricity they produce. But this money adds up quickly; it costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.
Rarely does an industry enjoy such disproportionate favoritism. Even though the wind industry produces only 3.5% of the countrys electricity, it receives 42% of the federal governments electrical financial support.
Combined with other targeted incentives, the federal government gives wind producers $56.29 per megawatt-hour, according to the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas, oil and coal power, by comparison, only get 64 cents, while nuclear power receives $3.14.
In addition to all of this support at the federal level, wind power gets a lot of support at the state level. Currently, 30 state governments enforce purchase mandates called Renewable Portfolio Standards that require utilities to buy a certain percentage of their electricity from green sources.
The PTC, when combined with such standards, gives wind producers a gross advantage over other energy producers. Its so generous that it exceeds half of electricitys wholesale price in many areas of the country.
This subsidy is so high that it leads many wind farms to sell their electricity at a substantial loss, just to collect the credit. These companies are literally paying utilities to buy their product — and yet theyre still turning a profit because the taxpayer foots the bill on the front end….
According to the Institute for Energy Research, taxpayers in 30 states paid more in taxes than their state received in subsidies.
New Yorkers paid $162 million more. Ohioans forked over an additional $103 million. And California came off the worst, paying $195 million that immediately left the state.