The government cash the industry has come to rely on may dry up very soon.

Wind_TurbinesNEW YORK – After years of rapid growth and darling status among many in Washington, the future of the American renewable energy industry is uncertain.

That’s because the government cash it has come to rely on may dry up on Dec. 31.

Before the Great Recession, renewable energy developments were helped by a tax credit, worth generally 30% of the cost of the project. When the recession hit, the stimulus package replaced those tax credits with direct cash grants of similar value. Cash is considered more beneficial than credit to the industry.

So far, the government has handed out about $5.4 billion, according to the Energy Department.

Congress could vote to extend the grants, but that’s highly unlikely.

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Source: Steve Hargreaves | CNNMoney.com