Wind Turbine Installations Outpace Natural Gas-Fueled Power Plants For The First Time, Establishing Wind As Significant Energy Source

Congress has not yet renewed the tax that provides incentives for wind farms that are completed before December 31. By almost outpacing natural gas, wind is establishing a foothold as a valuable energy source.
Five years ago, it was difficult to get utility companies to see the value in wind. Now, they have teams of experts who understand that the wind energy industry has matured and is thriving.
Some credit the incentives for the banner year. Others feel the strength of new installations shows that the wind energy sector can survive without the subsidies.
An increase in natural gas prices would make wind more competitive. Gas futures are up almost 15% in 2012. There are 29 states that require utilities to increase the renewable resources from which they get their supplies regardless of whether the tax credits are renewed.
General Electric is the largest supplier of wind turbines to the US and has been the prime beneficiary of the surge in new orders.
The tax credit has been in force for 20 years. A bill to extend it was approved by the Senate Finance Committee in August and supported by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who sponsored the first tax credit for wind energy development in 1992.


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