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Why U.S. Wind Installations Are Slowing

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- August 3, 2013

“[AWEA says] utilities ‘see value of having 20-year contracts that provide electricity at lower costs than ever and that protect against volatility in fossil fuel prices.’ That’s a statement only a wind promoter could believe.”

This year, the wind industry added just 1.6 megawatts of new operating capacity in the United States, virtually unchanged (a 0.0027% increase) over 2012 installations.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) wasted no time blaming the precipitous drop in development on a lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, which in ‘wind speak’ means uncertainty surrounding extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC).

It’s true that incremental extensions of the PTC have had an impact on slowing wind development but other, more significant factors contributed to this year’s drop-off, the primary one being the expiration of Section 1603 cash grants.…