Wind proponents cite their industry as one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy, having doubled U.S. nameplate capacity since 2008. But let’s be clear: that recent growth is largely due to the massive infusion of public cash lavished on big wind under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which is anticipated to pay out $22.6 billion in direct grants with 85% claimed by wind.
Expiration of Section 1603 cash grants, coupled with record-low natural gas prices, will likely collapse the stimulus-induced bubble and push installations back to mid-2000’s levels. Even if the production tax credit (PTC) is extended, offsetting above-market wholesale prices, recent growth will not be repeated.
Wind and State RPS Policies
In the last ten years, more than half of the states adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that encouraged development of home-grown low-emission generation.…