Commentary

'Green' Industry Sees Red In 2013 As Tax Breaks Expire

By Craig Bannister | November 27, 2012 | 1:18pm EST

The “green” job market suffered a big hit in the third quarter – and 2013 could be even worse due to expiring tax breaks – a clean energy consortium warns.

According to the Third Quarter 2012 Clean Energy Jobs Roundup produced by the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), there was a "dramatic decline in [clean energy] job announcements from previous quarters."

The E2 report blames Congress's failure to extend the green industry’s Production Tax Credits (PTC):

"Decline in clean energy job growth is attributable to Congress's failure to extend the Production Tax Credit and uncertainty created by some campaign proposals to end or dramatically scale back federal support for renewable energy."

But, E2 is predicting a bleak year for the clean energy industry in 2013 – even if the PTC is extended before year’s end.

Jacob Susman, a member of E2 and the founder of windfarm developer OwnEnergy, says, "I think, if you look industry wide, kind of top down, 2013 is going to be a bear of a year.”

Even if the PTC is extended, "It's just coming too late in the game,” Susman says:

“[T]oo many manufacturers have slowed down their manufacturing, too many developers have slowed down development, so there's no getting around that 2013 is going to be a difficult year."

The PTC, according to the Database of State Incentives For Renewable and Efficiencies, is a "is a per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the taxable year.

Originally enacted in 1992, the PTC has been renewed and expanded numerous times, most recently by H.R. 1424 (Div. B, Sec. 101 & 102) in October 2008 and again by H.R. 1 (Div. B, Section 1101 & 1102) in February 2009." It is currently under deliberation in Congress for possible extension.

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