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Posts from December 0

Windpower Layoffs Making PTC Extension Increasingly Moot

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 6, 2012

“The spate of layoffs that wind industry advocates have warned about has accelerated in recent weeks, with workers losing their jobs in key wind states such as Iowa and Colorado in a trend expected to continue at least into next year.”

– Nick Juliano, “Wind Layoffs Mostly Hitting Constituents of PTC Supporters,” Greenwire, August 29, 2012.

Energy reality continues to set in for the government-dependent energy sector, industrial windpower. Part of the reckoning is economic–the increased competitive gap between electricity generated from natural gas versus wind. But the bigger part is the looming expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind. Twenty years of such political favor has not been enough for a product that is intermittent (read: sub-industrial grade).

As reported in Greenwire last week:

More than 2,200 jobs have been cut, are at risk or were never created, although an untold number more likely have been affected through cuts at smaller companies that may not have generated formal announcements.

"Wind Farms Canceled, Layoffs Starting" (government dependence is risky business)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 18, 2012

The major federal tax and grant subsidies for windpower and other qualifying renewables are scheduled to expire at year-end. And claims of robust economics, competitiveness, and growth have given way to fear of a freer, less preferential market in 2013 and beyond. Wind’s artificial boom/upcoming bust is the risky business of political capitalism.

Last Friday’s edition of Environment & Energy Daily ran this story (sub. req.):

The American Wind Energy Association estimates that 10,000 jobs will be lost by September — primarily among manufacturers of wind turbines and components facing a dearth of orders for next year. By the end of the first quarter of 2013, the industry will have shed about 37,000 jobs without quick action on a PTC renewal, according to a widely cited study AWEA commissioned from Navigant Consulting.