Wind-Boosting U.S. Climate Bill Signed Into Law
August has been a remarkable month for the wind industry. Detailed below, this wind-boosting climate spending bill will have a significant effect on the industry and green energy as a whole. For reference, the bill was passed by the U.S. Senate on August 8th, the U.S. House on August 15th, and President Biden on August 17th. While the bill covers a handful of different things, we’ll be giving you the TL;DR and focusing on the pieces affecting the wind industry.
The Wind Production Tax Credit
One of the most significant effects of this bill is that the wind production tax credit (PTC) will be extended for another 10 years. The PTC is basically in place to provide a tax credit of 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity generation for utility-scale wind. In other words, it’s now more profitable via tax credits to develop more windfarms nationwide.
The Inflation Reduction Act
Another feature signed is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). While the main headlines focus on this for electric cars, it also applies to wind turbine components. This essentially creates advanced manufacturing tax credits which act to support the production and sale of major wind components (such as nacelles and blades). In summary, this means that domestic production of wind turbines is now easier than before.
East Coast Offshore Energy Auctions
Another upcoming change is that the U.S. is set to auction offshore wind energy rights on the east coast. There are two large sites up for auction, which can generate 1.3 gigawatts of power (enough to power nearly 500,000 homes along the east coast).
What Do These Changes Mean for Me?
Well, if you’re interested in training to become a wind turbine technician, the industry is certainly ready to take you on! The projected amount of industry and job growth from these changes is extremely upcoming. As these changes have only just been approved, a career outlook for wind techs has not been projected yet. However, even discounting this bill, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 68% growth in wind turbine technician careers between 2020 and 2030.