Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 7:01 am | Fair 47º


New Report Highlights Growth of Wind Energy in California

Capps uses the report to call for extending the renewable electricity production tax credit

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, a senior member of the Committee on Energy & Commerce, highlighted on Tuesday a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy, the 2011 Wind Technologies Market Report, detailing the growth in wind energy production and manufacturing in California.

According to the report, in 2011 “California added more new wind power capacity than any other state.” California added 921 megawatts of wind power capacity to the U.S. grid, representing nearly 14 percent of wind power capacity added nationally in 2011. Overall, California ranks third in cumulative megawatts of wind power capacity with 3,917.

Additional analysis from the American Wind Energy Association demonstrates that the United States will surpass 50 gigawatts of installed wind power capacity this week, which represents enough power for more than 13 million American households a year. In 1999, wind was predicted to deliver only one quarter of that amount by 2012.

“This report offers more evidence that California is helping to lead the nation in expanding wind energy production, and that the U.S. can lead the world in transitioning to cleaner, safer sources of energy and away from fossil fuels,” Capps said. “That would be good for our workers, public health and national security.”

Capps also noted that the report highlights the importance of extending the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) to ensure growth in wind energy production and manufacturing. The PTC, which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by a renewable energy source, has been a key factor in wind power’s expansion over the last decade. Unfortunately, the PTC is set to expire on Dec. 31 without congressional action.

“The owners and employees of Central Coast companies, like Clipper Windpower and Infinity Wind Power, have told me repeatedly that extending the PTC will help them grow and hire,” Capps said. “We shouldn’t pull the rug out from underneath these cutting-edge companies by letting this key federal incentive lapse, as Mitt Romney and some in Congress are actually suggesting. This would devastate the wind energy industry and would eliminate thousands of jobs across the country, including some here in our area. It’s time to give these innovative companies certainty by taking up a multiyear extension of the PTC as soon as Congress returns to work next month.”

“This report highlights the positive impact this industry has on our economy,” said Matt Riley, chief executive officer of Santa Barbara-based Infinity Wind Power. “With sound and consistent policy from Washington, the wind industry will continue to add important manufacturing jobs across broad geographic regions of the U.S. In the short term, rapid action to extend the expiring production tax credit is essential to ensuring this industry keeps contributing substantially to our country’s economic recovery. The PTC enjoys strong support from both political parties and can be a shining example of how Congress can work together to help Americans get back to work.”

In May, Capps spoke about the importance of the PTC with Infinity Wind Power at a news conference in Santa Barbara. She has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation, the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011 (H.R. 3307), to extend the PTC through 2016. She also wrote to the speaker in May urging him to bring this legislation to a vote.

Earlier this month, the Senate Finance Committee included an extension of the PTC when reporting a bipartisan tax bill just before Congress adjourned, but the House has yet to act.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth Wagner
"I consider myself to be an up front and honest agent and willing to talk my clients out of purchasing a property that isn’t right for them or won’t meet their needs in a year or two."

Full Profile >