Insiders are optimistic that Congress will extend wind energy tax breaks, but that doesn’t mean Iowa’s wind industry will see a quick boon.
The federal wind energy production tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year. Wind developers and pro-renewable policymakers have called on lawmakers to extend the tax credit, warning that failure to do so will cost thousands of industry jobs, like the estimated 6,000 wind jobs in Iowa. But if and when the tax credit is approved, some say the time it takes to complete wind projects means it could be more than a year before the industry is back on track.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m hearing it’ll get done and that it’s a high priority,” said Joe Baker, CEO of ACCIONA North America, which operates a wind turbine plant in West Branch. “It would be irresponsible of Congress to let this expire.”