NB: The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a tax break that enables wind farms to offset the cost of electricity production during the first 10 years of production.

GE just reported it is expecting a tough year in 2013 for its wind power business in the USA. While the production tax credit’s eleventh-hour extension improved the forecast for 2014, it came a little too late to help the company this year.

As a result of the low expectation on activity for 2013, Vestas is reducing its manufacturing footprint. Also,…

…it was cutting about 10 percent of its 1,100 manufacturing workforce in Colorado. It blamed the battle in Congress over a tax credit for wind generators.

Perhaps if the USA congress would cease manufacturing misinformation about renewable energy technologies, and provide the industry with long term agreements (LTAs), this industry could take off in a massive manner, post haste.

Berkeley Lab sees wind power as cost-effective, long-term hedge against gas prices

In the near term, the U.S. “dash for gas” is making it harder for wind power and other renewable energy technologies to compete on price alone, according to the report. But a comparison of existing wind power purchase agreements, which lock in rates that utilities pay, against scenarios that contemplate rising natural gas prices reveals that wind power continues to be a strong long-term bet.

If the politicos could only grasp and comprehend the longer term notion that wind power has a high degree of price stability, making wind energy a strong, long-term hedge against rising natural gas prices–which mind you, according to the Berkeley report, the price of natural gas is slated to start rising again as early as 2014.

But LTAs supporting production of renewables should not be the only focus. We need to enhance the electrical distribution network and implement more storage and smart(er) grid technologies to handle the intermittency of renewables for better load management. USA R&D jobs creation would also be a nice consideration, too.

Can I get an ‘Amen!’ for funding being earmarked for more R&D, so we can better deal with making this transition off fossil fuels more expediently?