Jonathan Weisgall

The political uncertainty on Capitol Hill and the uncertainty over expiring renewable tax credits has some players questioning whether production tax credits are a good thing for the industry. “The industry needs longevity, it needs certainty and a certain amount of de-risking and we’re not seeing much of that at the federal level,” Jonathan Weisgall, v.p. for legislative affairs at MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. , said at the 9th annual REFF-Wall Street conference in New York.

The production tax credit, which can defray up to 30% of a project’s cost and is set to expire at year-end, has been renewed several times in the past. However, the election year has compounded uncertainty regarding the potential renewal. “The big wild card is the November election,” said Keith Martin, partner at Chadbourne & Parke. While the main issue for renewing the PTCs is congressional gridlock, he added, “the Republicans are not giving us much hope.” Many wind sponsors are halting development pipelines in the U.S. beyond 2013 and some, such as Pattern Energy, are even looking to move business abroad.

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