Environmental awareness has never been at the forefront of our collective consciousness the way it has been in the last decade or so. Our attention has been paid more and more to the earth and how we can continue to go about making sure we’re protecting it in every way we have available to us. We’ve seen the government and large corporations ensuring that the ecosystem is being respected and making sure that polluting is not getting out of hand, and the results have been some impressive developments towards a more sustainable existence. We’ve been able to develop hybrid cars and find other ways to use alternative energy means to power our everyday lives, and wind farming has been a pretty big part of these developments. Wind turbines can produce energy in a cleaner and more sustainable way than any other method, and as such have been turned to as an important tent pole for a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of doing things. Recent developments have both strengthened the evidence behind a claim like this, while threatening its continuation at the very same time.
So far, 2012 has seen what’s been described as a record-shattering number of wind turbines installed in the United States. This means that more and more clean energy is being produced and consumed by a country whose efforts are being focused on the environment to a greater degree all the time. In fact, a group very close to the industry known as the American Wind Energy Association (also referred to as the AWEA) has recently put out a study saying that an impressive amount of wind farms have popped up across the country this last year, putting the industry at a capacity that exceeds 50 thousand megawatts (or 50 MW). This is about enough power to take care of nearly 13 million homes, and it’s a capacity that’s never even been approached before. Clearly, the wind energy industry is doing a bang-up job of saving the environment, but that very same study contains something of a warning, as well.
There’s been a tax credit for wind farm production that’s been in effect since 2005, which has resulted in over $15 billion invested in the wind farming industry in the years subsequent. This tax credit is due to expire at the end of the year, and the AWEA warns that if this is what goes down, the wind industry could be in huge trouble. Massive layoffs have already started, with industry giants anticipating the end of the year. Clearly this is some bad news for the wind farming industry, which, together with solar power, is one of the cleanest ways we have of producing energy. If its very existence is to be threatened by the expiration of a piece of legislation like this, it’s important that we do everything we can to make sure that production tax credit gets renewed. Wind farming is one of the best hopes for a more sustainable future.