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The U.S. Wind Energy Production Tax Credit – time for a change

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Report summary

The wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) has driven expansive development of wind power in the United States. However more recently the PTC has skewed wind deployment into areas that probably didn t need it while shortchanging other areas. In some areas excess wind power is disrupting power markets. With tax policy support scheduled to decline for both the wind and solar industries a reasonable joint extension policy should recognize that they do not need perpetual support.

What's included

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    The U.S. Wind Energy Production Tax Credit – time for a change

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Table of contents

  • Key Takeaways
  • Introduction
  • Historical trends in wind power development and pricing
  • The wind PTC subsidy is actually “growing”, but unequally
  • Big winners of the recent PTC extensions
  • Market impacts of the PTC gold rush
  • Unintended consequences and buyer’s remorse?
  • It is time to replace the wind PTC with a phased-out ITC for all “mature” renewable technologies, plus additional support for “immature” technologies

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:

Images

  • Figure 1 Historical Wind PPA Prices 1996-January 2014
  • Figure 2 Location of U.S. wind farms operational after mid-2013 or under construction
  • Figure 3 Wind PTC revenue as a percentage of unsubsidized levelized costs
  • Figure 4 Estimated State PTC Revenues From Recent and Under Construction Wind Farms
  • Figure 5 MISO-MidAmerican Zone Real-time Prices and Weighted Wind Revenue
  • Figure 6 Correlation between hourly MISO wind generation and MidAmerican Implied Heat Rates
  • Figure 7 ERCOT HUB Real-time Prices and Weighted Wind Revenue
  • Figure 8 Correlation between hourly ERCOT wind generation and ERCOT Implied Heat Rates
  • Figure 9 H1 LTO historical and forecast capacity prices for selected Midwest zones (2015 $/kW-yr)
  • Figure 10 Estimated wind LCOE using PTC versus using 25% ITC

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