Calling attention to a new report showing that wind energy accounted for nearly a third of the new electric capacity added in the United States last year, the Obama administration is asking for continued government support of wind energy, CNNMoney reported.
The report, released Tuesday by the Department of Energy, said the U.S. wind power industry is facing uncertain times. Although the sector is growing strongly, it could face a severe blow if production tax credits were to expire, the report said.
Last year, roughly $14 billion was invested in the wind industry, which accounted for 32 percent of new generating capacity, the report said. The United States has also become a major player on the manufacturing side, producing 67 percent of new wind turbine equipment used domestically last year.
Growth in the manufacturing sector created 75,000 full-time jobs in 43 states, including workers at manufacturing facilities, engineers and construction workers. In Iowa alone, the industry supported 4,000 to 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2010.
The federal government has been providing a tax credit for producers that amounts to roughly 30 percent of costs. That credit is set to expire at the end of this year and has yet to be renewed.
The wind industry claims that if the tax credits expire, the United States could lose 37,000 jobs.