As the White House and Congress negotiate a massive Covid-19 stimulus, the wind and solar industries are pushing for more PTC/ITC extensions. They are shameful and our political class can't be trusted. This letter to Congressional leaders emphasizes why the subsidies should expire as promised in 2015.
WindAction Editorials filed under Taxes & Subsidies
In another month, the wind PTC will finally expire after twenty-seven years. Taxpayers will still be on the hook for billions more in PTCs through the next decade but the burden should not increase. In that time, the wind industry has grown significantly reaching over 100,000 MW and now mainstreamed into the US electricity market. Big Wind is no longer a nascent industry, but one that must stand on its own, whether it's ready or not.
The US Treasury estimates the PTC will cost taxpayers $40.12 billion in the period from 2018–2027, making it, by far, the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law. ...After billions in public hand-outs, the wind industry has never been able to stand on its own and there’s no reason to believe this will change. Tax credits are now a required component of the industry’s economics. The outcome of an expired PTC is evident: wind installations will crawl to a near stop.
The Senate bill should serve as the PTC/ITC blueprint for the final bill. Any changes recommended by the conference committee should be addressed swiftly and fall within the envelope of the Senate bill. This is an important step, but only first step, toward a level-playing-field between electrical energies that will, longer term, improve grid reliability coast-to-coast, border-to-border.
The IRS flouted Congressional intent …and knowingly transformed the PTC phase-out into a 5-year PTC extension. Without reform, the PTC tax will grow to an additional $32+ billion in the next decade, not including the credits awarded projects already operating.