AWEA asks for six-year PTC phase-out

UNITED STATES: A six-year phase-out of the production tax credit (PTC) would enable the US wind industry to become fully cost-competitive, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Stability for wind industry development

The industry trade group floated the idea in a 12 December letter to Congressional leaders. It said a tax credit that starts at 100% of the current $0.022/kWh for projects due to start construction next year and ramps down to 60% of that value before ending in 2019 "would sustain a minimally viable industry, able to continue achieving cost reductions".

Momentum for a PTC phase-out has been building in Congress, but this is the first time AWEA has suggested what that could look like.

CEO Denise Bode said AWEA began the analysis last spring and has been in parallel talks with policymakers on Capitol Hill about a short-term extension of the credit and a long-term vision for its future.

"We began this process in order to be a part of the solution on our nation's fiscal challenges, while creating needed stability for wind industry development," she said.

At the same time, Bode emphasises, the industry has not abandoned its main priority of getting an immediate extension of the PTC before it expires at the end of the year.