Just days after turbine maker Gamesa said it was laying off 165 workers at its two Pennsylvania plants, the United Steelworkers (USW) called on Congress to extend the expiring production tax credit (PTC).
‘The PTC is vital to creating a strong U.S. renewables market with clean energy manufacturing jobs,’ said Leo W. Gerard, USW International president. ‘Without it, there is little incentive for existing U.S. wind manufacturers to keep doing business here. Nor is there any incentive for other wind manufacturers to invest in the domestic wind sector.’
The PTC helped to establish the wind market in the U.S. 20 years ago. However, history has shown that when it has been allowed to expire, as it did in 1999, 2001 and 2003, the U.S. wind market stalls and jobs are lost. With no orders for U.S. wind manufacturers for 2013, this industry and its workers are facing yet another bust cycle, the USW notes.
The USW also says it is necessary for Congress to renew the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which expired last December. The credit helps the building of a strong U.S. clean energy manufacturing industry since it provides incentives for domestic manufacturers to make component parts that can be used in renewable energy applications such as wind and solar.
Without policies like the PTC and 48C, the USW notes the U.S. will continue to fall behind countries like China and Germany, which are investing significantly and have comprehensive policies to ensure their growth.