With stable tax policy, the wind industry can create and save 54,000 American jobs over the next four years, as well as grow the wind energy manufacturing sector by one-third, to 46,000 jobs, finds a new study by Navigant Consulting.
According to the analysis, this will keep the wind sector on track toward supporting the prediction of 500,000 jobs by 2030, which the U.S. Department of Energy projected during the George W. Bush administration.
The report finds that if Congress allows the production tax credit (PTC) for wind to expire, jobs in the wind industry will be cut in half, meaning a loss of 37,000 American jobs and a one-third cut to American wind manufacturing jobs, while private investment in the industry would drop by nearly two-thirds.
On the other hand, extending the PTC would create 17,000 American jobs, Navigant finds.
With the support of a stable PTC, U.S. domestic production of wind turbine components has grown 12-fold to more than 400 facilities in 43 states over the last six years, shifting manufacturing jobs from overseas back to the U.S., Navigant notes.
In addition, the Navigant study finds that wind energy's geographically diverse manufacturing base would spread job gains around the country. States that would see significant job and private investment gains from a PTC extension include Colorado, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, North Dakota and Ohio.
"We have made a significant investment during the last three years, creating several hundred jobs for the state of Illinois to support the wind industry domestically," says Terry R. Royer, CEO of Winergy Drive Systems Corp. "With the uncertainty of the PTC extension, we are seeing the hesitation of our customers to make continued commitments for orders in late 2012 and 2013. An immediate extension is needed to support the investment we have made in our operations and secure the jobs that have been created."