No one in Washington, D.C., is a bigger champion of the wind energy production tax credit than U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, according to Bob Eschliman, the news editor at a suburban paper outside Des Moines, Iowa.
Indeed, Grassley is the father of the wind energy tax credit, having sponsored the first-ever provision enacted in 1992, and has sponsored and secured numerous extensions of the wind energy incentive since its creation.
Grassley’s unfailing commitment to wind energy is reflected by his state’s overall success in the industry: Iowa leads the nation for the percentage of electricity generated by wind energy at 24.7%. The state boasts 101 wind farms producing 5.1 GW of energy, third in the nation, according to AWEA.
It was largely Grassley’s advocacy for the PTC that secured its most recent renewal. The production tax credit and investment tax credit, which both support on-shore and off-shore wind-energy developments, expired at the end of 2013.
“Renewable energy supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in investment across the country,” Grassley said in a statement. “Public policy continues to help renewable energy develop and generate electricity and fuel from natural resources. It’s good news for the economy and for energy diversity.”
Iowa is home to several major windpower suppliers, including turbine manufacturer Acciona and two major blade manufacturers, Siemens and TPI Composites. Another large component manufacturer, Trinity Structural Towers, also calls Iowa home. These facilities have created investment and opportunity throughout the wind energy supply chain for Iowa-based manufacturers.
“A strong and vibrant renewable energy sector is good for jobs and economic growth. It is also vital for American security to foster the growth of homegrown fuels and energy,” Grassley told the Senate Committee on Finance in April. “We do not want to have our hands tied in foreign affairs as many in Europe have found themselves to be, due to their reliance on foreign sources of energy.”
As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in 2001 and 2005, Grassley’s legislation significantly expanded and extended the production tax credit for wind energy.
“We grow a lot of things in Iowa,” Grassley said in a statement. “It’s wonderful to see Iowa growing rapidly as a producer of wind energy and wind equipment manufacturing.” WPE