A tax credit in the US for wind power production that had lapsed at the end of 2003 has been approved once again by both the House and the Senate. That bodes well for continued investment in wind power.
The credit, which provides for 1.5 cents for kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, had expired at the end of last year, seriously undermining the economics of new wind projects. The legislation will extend the tax credit retroactively from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2005.
Wind generation in the United States has grown rapidly. An estimated 1,687 MW of capacity was added in 2003, with total wind capacity approaching 6,400 MW. However, when the production tax credit became bogged down in the national energy bill, investments in wind projects in 2004 were put on hold.