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Without Tax Credit Extension, Wind Power May Wither Out

Today, green jobs and making your business as green as possible is something to strive for. Those that work in the green jobs that undertake this task, such as a sustainability professional, a solar power professional or someone that works in green construction, are doing very well. Though these jobs are flourishing, another side of green energy and it’s jobs is slowly winding down thanks to the delayed renewal of the Production Tax Credit. Think: Wind power.

A while back, wind power was doing quite well. People realized how much they could benefit from utilizing the energy we get from the wind. However today, the wind power industry is stalled as the government puts off renewing the Production Tax Credit. The credit expires at the end of this year and if it’s not renewed it can mean big consequences for the wind power industry. The tax credit, according to the Associated Press, is the primary cost-saving policy for the industry. Since the industry relies so heavily on these credits, the uncertain renewal of it is effecting the payroll and the overall plan of the industry- and not in a great way.

Not sure of whether they will receive these credits again, the big businesses in the industry aren’t positive they can keep their employee numbers where they are and can’t make plans for even the near future. Leaders in the industry are certainly worried about how this will effect the overall standing of the industry. Jan Blittersdorf, president of Vermont-based NRG Systems, a 25-year-old company that manufactures goods for the industry, was quoted saying, “This is really serious. This is the first time in 30 years we’ve had to do layoffs and once you start to dismantle this system it’s hard to put it back together.” She’s not just referring to her own company though, she is referring to the entire industry.

If the tax credits are not renewed, it’s likely that less wind mills will be built or maintained, which means those that hold jobs maintaining them may dwindle. Once that happens, the production of these products will also dwindle since the demand will decrease. With that comes more job loss and the slow breakdown of an industry that’s rooted in creating clean energy for our country. The issue is interesting, though, seeing as though the industry is not lack for political support. Furthermore, those in power understand how heavily this policy effects the industry. It’s more of an election issue than anything. Robert Gibbs, a former presidential aide to Obama, states that since the political climate for this year’s election is really shaky, the decision to renew this policy likely won’t come until after the election.

Karl Rove, also a former presidential aide, was quoted saying, “My hope is that after the election people say, `Look, let’s start making some priorities and find some things that we can agree on, and maybe one of them is the Production Tax Credit.'” With so much at stake, it is the hope of many that this policy gets sorted out as soon as possible. In fact, many companies and developers have already started with lay-offs and with each quarter of the year it’s expected to get worse. Although the implications are huge and a lot is resting on the renewal of this policy, wind powerhouses will simply have to sit back and wait, just like they were last December when Spark News discussed the issue as it was back then.

SOURCE: Bloomberg Businessweek
IMAGE: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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