Wind power has been good to Iowa, attracting more than $5 billion in private investment, creating thousands of jobs, and giving farmers a new cash “crop” that provides income year in and year out. The emerging clean, affordable, homegrown energy source now generates 20 percent of the Hawkeye State's electricity. But as this two-minute segment on the wind power industry from KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, makes clear, a key federal incentive that has helped propel the industry's dramatic growth is currently scheduled to expire at the end of next year, and the Iowa Wind Energy Association and AWEA are pushing for its extension.
The federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), wind power's primary incentive, has been allowed to expire periodically since its inception in 1992, creating a boom-bust cycle. When taxes on the industry have increased, wind energy installations have dropped as much as 93%. Extending the PTC will help wind power become increasingly cost-competitive and keep generating both manufacturing jobs and badly needed income and taxes for rural communities.
Tim Hemphill, a farmer who raises hogs, corn and soybeans near Milford, Iowa, and who is featured on KCAU-TV and in the first installment of AWEA's new WindTV weekly video service, offers this: without new sources of energy, he said, “I think someday even in Iowa we're going to flip a light switch and nothing is going to happen. So it's cheap, renewable–there's no end to the energy from windmills.” Hemphill hosts two wind turbines on his land, and is a strong supporter of the industry.
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