Although it's been a tough year for companies in alternative energy, the wind industry's latest victory came Thursday after the Senate Finance Committee voted to renew a tax credit for wind power that was set to expire at the end of the year.
Several Republicans joined Democrats to support extending the credit for another year at the cost of $3.3 billion. The production tax credit is a vital subsidy to the wind industry's ability to become more competitive with electricity generated from fossil fuels.
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Earlier in the week, a Romney campaign spokesman said that Mr. Romney would end the subsidy. “Mitt Romney believes it is time for a new approach to ensure our nation’s energy independence,” the spokesman, Shawn McCoy, told The Des Moines Register. “He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”
However, red states generally disagree. Wind turbines are more common in Republican legislative districts than Democratic ones, with over 81 percent of the nation's installed wind capacity in Congressional districts represented by Republicans, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
“We applaud the committee for this act of leadership to move critical policies forward in a difficult environment,” Denise Bode, the wind association’s chief executive, told the New York Times. “This was an extremely important step to provide critical certainty to keep people at work in wind energy manufacturing and construction.”
This year, 10 to 12 gigawatts worth of wind power are expected to be installed, up to three times the amount of power had the credit expired.