Extension of renewable energy production tax credit urged

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Washington, Apr 22 (UNI) Senior executives from four of the world's top wind turbine manufacturers GE Energy, Gamesa, Siemens and Vestas have urged the US Congress to act promptly to extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) which is set to expire Dec 31, 2008, although a one-year extension was recently approved by the Senate.

In a Rose Garden statement last Wednesday, President Bush focused on the problem of climate change. The four executives offered their companies' perspectives on wind power's growth potential and called attention to wind power as part of the climate solution at a meeting convened by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a Washington, DC-based trade group.

The four firms are the largest manufacturers of turbines sold in the US during 2007, as measured by installed generating capacity in megawatts (MW) and number of turbines, as reported by AWEA's annual survey.

The US has one of the most abundant wind resources of any nation in the world. Industry experts believe wind energy can provide 20 per cent of the nation's electricity needs by the year 2030, creating 500,000 jobs and more than 0 billion net present value in economic benefits, while helping reduce greenhouse emissions and other pollution from the electricity sector.

Industry expansion over the past three years can be directly credited to the renewable energy production tax credit, noted AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. Likewise, studies indicate that an expiration of the tax credit will place billion in renewable energy investment and 116,000 American jobs at risk.

Thanks in part to the PTC, US wind power capacity is now over 16,800 MWor enough to serve the equivalent of 4.5 million average households and wind has been the second largest source of new electrical capacity in the nation, behind natural gas, for the past three years, added Julius Steiner, CEO, Gamesa USA. Gamesa has added 1,000 new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. during that time period.

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