Tax Credit Expiration Threatens Texas Wind Energy Jobs

Texas ranked sixth for job creation in the clean energy sector during the third quarter of 2012, up nine spots from the second quarter. But the industry as a whole is slowing down, and steep job losses may be on the way.

Texas has more wind installations for generating electricity than any other state. It’s also one of the top manufacturers of wind energy technology. So the state stands to take a massive hit when the wind production tax credit lapses at the end of December.

“And if Congress doesn’t do something about it, an estimated 37,000 Americans will lose their jobs.”

Bob Keefe is a spokesman for the business group Environmental Entrepreneurs.

“We’re already seeing significant numbers of layoffs all year long, but pronounced in the third quarter, and folks are just shelving their plans in the wind industry right now, because they don’t know what’s going to happen in the next six weeks.”

(updated: Nov. 14th) EDP Renewables North America, a Houston-based wind developer, cut its workforce by 10% in September 2011.

Last month, Vestas Wind Systems announced it will close its research and development operations in Houston. Both companies cited uncertainty over the tax credit as the reason for the layoffs.

For more information, visit the American Wind Energy Association’s Texas page.

 

 

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...