Fact Sheets

Economic Impact of the PTC
20% Wind Energy by 2030 – Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply
PTC Expiration Fact Sheets
Federal Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy Fact Sheet

What about jobs?

The American wind industry has already created thousands of manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S.A. According to a group of experts assembled by the U.S. Department of Energy, if we keep the right policies in place, over 500,000 more jobs will be created in the next 20 years and wind will generate 20 percent of America’s electricity. The most important of those policies, by far, is the PTC.

What is the PTC?

The PTC is short for “Production Tax Credit”. It’s a tax credit for wind-generated electricity, available for the first 10 years of a project. The PTC is based on project performance – it applies only to actual electricity produced from utility-scale wind turbines. In short, the PTC is a results-driven incentive for private investment dollars.

Is the PTC really just another subsidy?

No, the PTC reduces taxes on wind project developers and investors, making it easier for developers to raise private funds to build wind farms. The PTC is an effective tool to keep electricity rates low and encourage development of proven clean energy projects.

What is the “boom-bust cycle”?

The PTC has gone through several cycles of expiration and renewal. The inconsistent nature of the PTC has been a significant challenge for the wind industry, creating uncertainty for long term planning and preventing steady market development. Each time the PTC faces expiration, wind project developers become hesitant to plan future U.S. projects and American manufacturers see a marked decrease in orders, resulting in job layoffs. The wind industry is currently facing the recurrence of the boom-bust cycle it saw in previous years when the PTC was allowed to expire. In the years following expiration, wind turbine installations dropped between 73 and 93 percent, with corresponding job losses.

Is wind power actually working?

Yes, just ask any resident of Iowa. Iowa is already getting 20 percent of its energy from wind. And Iowa has benefitted from over $5 billion in investment by the wind energy industry, making it a national leader in wind energy installations and manufacturing.

How does wind power help local communities?

Wind projects contribute to sales, property, and state taxes – and that increase in revenue benefits local services such as schools, health care facilities, and roads. Investments in the wind energy economy create American jobs in both rural and urban communities and across many employment sectors, including technology, engineering, construction, and operations.

How much does wind power cost?

American wind power is one of the most affordable new forms of energy – innovations are pushing costs below most conventional sources. Wind energy costs have come down more than 90% since the 1980s. For example, in Kansas, the price of wind energy is now competitive with traditional sources of energy and because wind energy is inflation-proof, Kansas utilities have a guaranteed price for the next 20 years for the wind-generated electricity they buy.