Right now the majority of the tax-related news I’m reading is about the pending expiration of the payroll tax cut. While that will have an impact of millions of Americans, there is another tax credit that could cause bigger problems for tens of thousands of workers if it is allowed to expire. The production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy is set to expire next year and if it does, the wind industry could see a significant reduction in its workforce.


The PTC is the biggest source of federal financial support for the wind industry. Although the credit isn’t scheduled to expire until December 31, 2012, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is already talking about the effects that an expiration may have on the industry.


“American manufacturing jobs are coming back, with tens of thousands of new jobs from wind power,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “But these jobs could vanish if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire, in effect enacting a targeted tax increase, and sending our jobs to foreign countries. Congress must act now to keep this American manufacturing success story going.” Source: AWEA


According to the results of a study conducted by Navigant, continuation of the PTC would create or save 54,000 jobs and keep the industry on track to employ 500,000 people by 2030. If the PTC expires, approximately one-third of existing wind industry workers would be out of a job and an additional 17,000 industry jobs would not be created.

Wind industry tax credit tied to sector's success
If the tax credit is not extended at the end of 2012, tens of thousands of jobs could be lost.