April 2013
Environmental Law (00462276);Spring2013, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p211
Academic Journal
In January 2013, the wind energy industry appeared to dodge a bullet when Congress extended the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for another year. Wind power development stagnated while the industry awaited IRS guidance regarding implementation of the PTC. By the time the IRS issued the guidance in April 2013, the industry had lost significant time and opportunities to develop new facifities. The guidance itself seemed likely to facilitate a renewed boom-and-bust development cycle. This is nothing new; Congress has consistently failed to provide renewable power with long-term or predictable support. This Essay explores how these intermittent subsidies weaken the renewable energy sector by considering how the PTC has affected the wind energy industry. The author concludes that regardless of the precise details of subsidy reform, providing predictable and long-term wind subsidies will be essential to ensuring a more sustainable transition to renewable power.


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