Pushback for wind energy

Dec 27, 2019  | 3 min  | Ep4519

The president is spending much of the holiday week at Mar-a-Lago. Prior to his settling in, he spoke about 12 miles away to the Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit.

His remarks on wind energy garnered attention, just days after the renewable industry scored a victory for 2020.

Peter Tubbs reports. Producer Contact peter.tubbs@iowapbs.org

One of the winners of the spending package approved by Congress before the holiday recess was an extension of the tax credit for wind energy. The credits for wind turbine projects were set to begin a step-down process in the new year, but now will extend through 2020.

The credit equals 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of new wind generation capacity in projects that are completed by the end of 2021. The extension of the credit was needed to cover wind projects that did not break ground in 2019, but are expected to be completed by the tax credit deadline.

At his last speech before Christmas, President Trump made the case for reducing support for wind energy.

President Donald Trump: “I know windmills very much I've studied it better than anybody I know it's very expensive. They're made in China and Germany mostly very few made here almost none but they're manufactured tremendous if you're into this tremendous fumes gases are spilling into the atmosphere you know we have a world right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes is spilling into the air, it's spilling. Whether it's in China, Germany, it's going into the air. It's already there everything right?

The American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group, issued a fact check blog post following the president’s remarks in Florida on several claims of expense, job creation and wildlife.

Energy analysts contend that electricity from wind is the cheapest form of energy in many parts of the country, and that the cost of generating each kilowatt hour has dropped by as much as 70 percent since 2010.

The wind energy industry cites 500 U.S. factories that make components for wind turbines, employing 25,000 workers. The Department of Energy estimates that more Americans work in wind energy that coal mining.

Roughly 9 percent of the electricity generated in the United States come from the wind, and the percentage is expected to grow in 2020.

However, residents in some states where wind generation is booming have filed suit to stop further expansion of the industry. The Madison County, Iowa Board of Supervisors issued a one-year moratorium on any renewable energy construction in October of 2019. 

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs.


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