Looking back at 2012, one thing is certain in the sea of the year’s uncertainty; renewable energy experienced significant growth. The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%. A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy – over $250 million spent in the 2012 election – the industry has gained strong public support across the country. Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.
Originally published in the National Journal's Energy Experts Blog
By Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn
President of the American Council On Renewable Energy
It is important to address our country’s fiscal issues by promoting economic productivity in the short term while reducing the deficit over the long term as I mentioned in my last week’s Energy Experts blog post. It’s fundamental to an overall healthy economy to extend key tax credits that create American jobs and generate private investment, and the PTC is one of the important tax credit programs.
February 28 -- Whether he was working to amend the production tax credit's (PTC) definition or speaking out in favor of wind energy during the U.S. presidential campaign, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has repeatedly found himself in the middle of efforts to extend the wind energy industry's biggest legislative priority. After all, Grassley is not known as the father of the modern-day PTC for nothing. >>View Article
January 16 -- At the first industry gathering since Congress extended the PTC and changed the language to help the industry return to substantial growth by 2014, keynote speaker Dan Reicher and others talked about what might be ahead at the American Wind Energy Association’s Western Regional Summit. >>View Article
January 3 -- There is plenty to dislike about the last-minute fiscal-cliff deal that Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell hashed out on New Year’s Eve. But the technology and energy provisions are bright spots. >>View Article
January 2 -- Congress approved a fiscal cliff deal on Tuesday and in it included an extension of the wind energy tax credits for wind projects built in 2013. The wind energy industry is breathing a sigh of relief and says 37,000 jobs will be saved. >>View Article
December 31 -- Key federal incentives for wind power are set to expire today as fiscal cliff negotiations stretch into the final hours of 2012. The production tax credit provides a 2.2-cent tax break for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced from large-scale wind farms. >>View Article
December 28 -- The Portland (Me.) Press Herald today joined dozens of newspapers from coast to coast in calling for an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), saying in part, “If we are serious about developing domestic energy, we should look beyond a single source, even if, like gas, the source is plentiful and relatively inexpensive.” >>View Article
December 26 -- Energy generation from wind is on target to beat natural gas in 2012, thanks to a mad dash by wind producers to finish projects, as the wind tax credit is set to expire on January 1st. >>View Article
November 30 -- As Congress debates how to solve the looming fiscal cliff, time is also running out for renewal of a tax credit promoting wind energy production. Its end-of-year expiration date is creating a sense of urgency for Colorado lawmakers, and it’s bringing together some unexpected groups to back the cause. >>View Article