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Wind Plus Production Credit Equals Growth

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On a percentage basis, wind power is the fastest growing electricity source in the United States. This didn't happen in a vacuum. The federal renewable production tax credit has promoted the development of wind and other renewable energy. But this simple, effective idea -- invest in renewable energy and Uncle Sam gives you a credit on your tax bill -- could be history unless the Senate acts soon.

Second largest source of new power production added in 2007:
Wind power at 30%

Years with continuity in production tax credit:

2005 through present

Years renewable production tax credit was allowed to expire:
2000, 2002, 2004

Average drop in added wind capacity in years after tax credit expired compared to previous year:

Next expiration date of current production tax credit:
December 31, 2008

Number of months the current Congress has been in session:
20 ½

Number of months it took Congress to enact a new renewable production tax credit:
Has yet to happen

Number of months left before renewable production tax credit expires:
Less than 4


American Wind Energy Association -

Bill Chameides is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He blogs regularly at

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