After a relatively slow year in 2010, figures for the first half of this year show wind energy returning to growth. Strong political support from both parties, as well as increasing awareness within communities of the economic benefits of wind power developments, will hopefully make 2011 a strong year for wind energy. However, the impending renewal of the production and investment tax credit schemes has some in the industry concerned that a potential delay could damage and disrupt progress.
"It is important to have consistency in policy to support the continued development of wind manufacturing in the United States. Extending the production tax credit and the investment tax credit, without a gap, is critical to the health of wind manufacturing in our nation. The wind manufacturing industry in the U.S. would benefit even greater if the extension of these credits would be for at least seven years."
Joint letter from both Republican and Democrat party candidates urging the President to focus on wind energy development.
"The hardship on the industry is this sort of stop-start policy. If you look back it's always been extended, but the timing can really impact things."
Lisa Frantzis, managing director for renewable and distributed energy at consultant Navigant on the renewal of the government's energy support plan.
"Iowa is reaping the economic benefits of being a wind power leader because it had the foresight to plant a seed over 20 years ago with the implementation of strong, sound policy. Iowa is showing the nation how it can be done."
Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)