First Wind applauds clean energy vision in state of the union and calls for level playing field with fossil fuels
Thursday, Feb 14, 2013

First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, today commended the clean energy vision outlined by President Obama in the State of the Union, and called for bi-partisan leadership to create a level playing field for clean energy and fossil fuels.

“To realize the clean energy vision outlined in the State of the Union, we need to put in place a predictable policy that allows access to capital for renewable energy in the same manner oil, gas, and coal have operated for decades.”

Immediately following the extension of the federal tax credits for wind energy by Congress last month, First Wind announced it is poised to increase its operating portfolio of wind projects by 50 percent in the coming years, and sees a pathway for more cost-competitive renewable energy if consistent policy can be implemented.

“Although the recent extension of the tax credits was key for the industry, we must now look toward more stable policy for wind energy to avoid the artificial boom and bust cycle for wind project development and construction that occurs as the tax credits expire,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “To realize the clean energy vision outlined in the State of the Union, we need to put in place a predictable policy that allows access to capital for renewable energy in the same manner oil, gas, and coal have operated for decades.”

In part because of the race to build before the end of wind’s tax credits, 2012 was the strongest year ever for the U.S. wind energy industry, with 8,380 MW installed during the fourth quarter alone according to the American Wind Energy Association. Wind energy represented 42 percent of all new generating capacity in the U.S., the report stated. But at the same time this record amount of wind power went online, U.S. factories and companies could not plan for continued growth in 2013 without predictable policy in place.

“Looking toward 2013 and beyond, the extension of the wind energy tax credits will allow for the continued growth of cost-competitive wind energy in the United States. However, additional certainty around federal policy will set the stage for long-term growth, especially because stable, predictable policy creates increased efficiencies within the industry,” Gaynor said.

Source: Business Wire

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