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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.

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member photo "If wind energy lived up to its hype, there would be no need for production tax credits to make it competitive." Can you give an approx, size of the subsity?
# Posted By Don Hirschberg | 3/4/12 7:08 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
member photo 2.2 cents per KWh.
# Posted By Mark Wooldridge | 3/8/12 7:37 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
member photo Forgot to include that in a merchant based power market, 2.2 cents per KWh is significant compared to the wholesale price that other generators get.
# Posted By Mark Wooldridge | 3/8/12 7:40 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
member photo What I find most troubling is how addicting the ptc is and how it affects more than the wind energy companies. The manufactures are addicted to it. The politicians are addicted to the AWEA money. Now America is seen merchant transmission lines luke Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) being built based on the wind energy profitability from the PTC.

In 2010 we paid $56.29/MWh for our wind energy with the PTC and ITC and obama stimulus "grants". The DoE accountimg office estimates we will be payong over 1.5 billion through 2016 for windmills and the ptc.

Looking at AWEA numbers we installed over 11,000 MW of windmills in 2010 but the nations capacity grew by a hair over 5,000 MW. These companies areso addicted to the PTC, they know they are better off running wind farms in the ground and build new ones. The government only pays the PTC on new installations and not repairs.


The last thing America needs to do right now is build an infrastructure to an industry that won't function without government intervention.

There is a difference between an industry being mature and addicted. An
Addict never matures.
# Posted By Scott Thorsen | 10/9/12 6:49 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
 
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