Luckily for the Bison Wind Energy Center, North Dakota’s new turbines should be completed by the end of 2012. On December 31, 2012, the production tax credit (PTC), which provides about $1 billion a year in incentives for wind energy, expires. Congress has renewed this PTC previously, but it may become a thing of the past. With the upcoming presidential election, Congress is split, based on the candidates. President Obama has been showcasing his support for the tax break. Romney, on the other hand, opposes it. He and the Republicans in Congress claim the wind industry should be able to survive without the subsidy by now. Taxpayers aren’t getting enough return on investment for wind energy to keep the PTC.
With the renewal of the PTC in question, the wind industry is starting to blow away. Major technology producing companies have had to lay off many of their employees. According to the New York Times, Siemens is laying off 945 workers. The world’s largest turbine manufacturer, Vestas, laid off 3,700 employees globally. Katana Summit, a tower manufacturer, will shut down operations in Nebraska and Washington without a buyer.
In other words, it's not looking like New York will get some awesome, more efficient, and quieter Dino-turbine hybrids anytime soon. In fact, it’s questionable if we’ll be getting any more wind energy technology for awhile. Waiting on Congress to make a decision is putting some serious turbulence in wind energy’s path.