In its closing hours, the 109th Congress passed a one-year extension for a wind energy tax credit. Fresh Energy, Minnesota non-profit group, has issued a report emphasizing the importance of that extension.
"This study concludes that the single most important federal incentive to invest in wind is the Congressional Production Tax Credit," says Dee Long, Transportation Policy Program Director at Fresh Energy.
The extension pushes back the program's expiration date to Dec. 31, 2008. Fresh Energy says the move will help to stabilize wind energy. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, backed the extension and authored the bill that first established the tax credit.
"Investors need certainty about tax policy before putting their money into a wind energy or biomass project. The tax extension gives them certainty for another year," Grassley says.
The Fresh Energy report, written by economists C. Ford Runge and Douglas G. Tiffany of the University of Minnesota and co-sponsored by the State of North Dakota and John Deere, encourages a longer extension of the tax credit, citing previous disruptions in wind energy developments due to short-term extensions.