Tester fighting for Montana's wind industry - Senator Jon Tester is pushing to extend the wind production tax credit to keep Montana's wind industry growing and to create more jobs in the Big Sky State.
If wind energy lived up to its hype, there would be no need for production tax credits to make it competitive. But, it does not live up to its hype. It is too intermittent, too variable, and too unreliable. It cannot be dispatched. Its poor capacity factor and its typically off-hour maximum output are disrupting baseload generation rather than supplanting lower efficiency, higher polluting generation. Its variability and intermittency means there has to be fossil generation running to back it up but the impact of the PTCs has been to disrupt normal market forces that justify replacement of inefficient plants and construction of the most efficient new plants because investors and developers have a hard time justifying the expense due to not being able to predict how much revenue they can expect because of uncertainty about generation from subsidized wind.
In addition, the good senator is probably not considering that someone must pay for the transmission lines from these remote windfarms to load centers--a cost wind proponents have been careful not to bring up.
The senator then is wanting the rest of America to help fund Montana's projected windfall (pun intended) by causing the taxpayer in the remainder of the USA to pay taxes to subsidize windfarms that are otherwise not a cost competitive technology. I do not know about the rest of Americans but I struggle to pay my bills with the rising cost of fuel to go to work and the rising cost of food to put on the table. The PTC and cash grant programs are BS and are helping to wreck the US economy.