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Braley pushes bill to promote wind energy

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, said today that he is introduced a bill to extend the wind energy production tax credit until 2017. The current credit, which was extended last year, is set to expire at the end of 2009. Braley told reporters Thursday a long-term extension will create some certainty in the market and spur greater development.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, said today that he is introduced a bill to extend the wind energy production tax credit until 2017.

The current credit, which was extended last year, is set to expire at the end of 2009.

Braley told reporters Thursday a long-term extension will create some certainty in the market and spur greater development.

Wind projects can take years to develop, and developers often hesitate to build if there's uncertainty the credits will be available, according to renewable energy advocates.

"The most important thing we can do to make wind-energy development in Iowa a long-term prospect is to expand the length of that credit," Braley said.

Iowa ranks fourth in the nation in wind-energy production, at 1,273 megawatts, or enough to power 320,000 homes. There's capacity for much more, however.

The American Wind Energy Association says Iowa is among the top 10 states in production potential. The association has asked for a five-year credit, and a spokesman said Thursday a long-term incentive would help "dramatically."

The credit, which was created in 1992, provides a 2.1-cent incentive per kilowatt hour of production.

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U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, said today that he is introduced a bill to extend the wind energy production tax credit until 2017.

The current credit, which was extended last year, is set to expire at the end of 2009.

Braley told reporters Thursday a long-term extension will create some certainty in the market and spur greater development.

Wind projects can take years to develop, and developers often hesitate to build if there's uncertainty the credits will be available, according to renewable energy advocates.

"The most important thing we can do to make wind-energy development in Iowa a long-term prospect is to expand the length of that credit," Braley said.

Iowa ranks fourth in the nation in wind-energy production, at 1,273 megawatts, or enough to power 320,000 homes. There's capacity for much more, however.

The American Wind Energy Association says Iowa is among the top 10 states in production potential. The association has asked for a five-year credit, and a spokesman said Thursday a long-term incentive would help "dramatically."

The credit, which was created in 1992, provides a 2.1-cent incentive per kilowatt hour of production.

Greg Wetstone, a spokesman for the industry association, said when the credit lapses, there's a steep drop in wind capacity. Once reinstituted, there's a sharp rebound.

The past three years the credit has been steadily available and capacity grew at a record pace, association figures say.

Even with a long-term credit, however, there's a more pressing need in the wind industry at the moment.

Because of dwindling profits, the tax credits aren't as valuable as they once were. As a result, the association's short-term goal is to get Congress to craft a provision in the stimulus bill to make the credit refundable.

That would continue to provide a financial incentive for wind-energy production.

Jeff Giertz, a Braley spokesman, said the congressman would be open to any idea to improve the industry.

President-elect Barack Obama has proposed extending the production credit for five years and requiring that 10 percent of electricity come from renewable sources, including wind.

He's also said that he wants to see renewable energy be an important part of the stimulus package.


Source: http://www.siouxcityjournal...

JAN 8 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18525-braley-pushes-bill-to-promote-wind-energy
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