Following Obama’s re-election, the U.S. renewable energy industry collectively breathed a sigh of relief. Here is a man who recognises the critical role that the sector can play in securing America’s prosperity rather than dismissing it as an imaginary world of the future. Both the wind and solar industries have seen record growth under his stewardship in recent years.
Although Obama’s victory is encouraging, there still remain significant hurdles to be overcome. The fate of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind which expires on December 31st remains undecided though its chances of being extended are now far greater than might have otherwise been the case. Likewise, the Investment Tax Credit, which helps support commercial and residential deployment of renewable energy technologies, is also due to expire in 2016 and faces an uncertain future.
However, it’s not just Obama’s re-election that has offered up positive news for the industry. A number of renewable energy advocates were also returned to Congress signalling an endorsement from the electorate for their existing policy stances. It was also notable that in key swing States such as Iowa, Colorado, Michigan and Ohio which all have a significant wind industry base, Obama emerged victorious.
As we await the fate of incentives such as the PTC in a lame-duck Congress, at least the industry can rest assured that in Obama they have a leader who shares in their vision and understands that “we’ve got more work to do.”
Posted: November 9, 2012