Wind Power Wanes with Fading Federal Incentives

Wind power, one of the largest segments of the renewable energy market, will experience a sharp decline in growth this year.

Wind_TurbinesWind power, one of the largest segments of the renewable energy market, will experience a sharp decline in growth this year.

The slowdown comes as a surprise because the stimulus bill, which President Obama signed into law 18 months ago, included a big boost for renewable forms of electricity in the form of $43 billion for energy projects.

Last year, 10,000 megawatts of wind power were brought online in the United States — that’s enough to power nearly 300,000 homes. In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, that number will be 57 percent lower. It will be the first time in six years that the growth rate of the wind industry will actually decline.

There are several reasons for this, but probably the biggest factor has to do with government incentives. The wind industry typically rises and falls with the passing and expiration of federal tax credits.

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Source: Jeff Brady | NPR