Wind energy rapidly expanding
The big value to the wind industry comes in a production tax credit or the alternative investment tax credit. Investment is needed to create infrastructure and create a new form of low cost energy for America, and it's important to have some incentive to drive the investment which totaled $25 billion in private investment last year, Kelley said. All that private investment needs to have a signal, reason to continue to enter the market.
Infrastructure is a major need because transmission bottlenecks are keeping the low-cost energy from reaching the market in some cases. Parts of the country have wind energy that could be sold across state lines but new transmission lines are needed. But, Kelley contends that we've always had the need for more transmission in this country, but meeting the need for transmission lines has occurred in the past as other forms of electrical generating has come along. Defining how to share the costs of new transmission lines equitably is a work in progress.
According to Kelley, “I think the progress is being made. It's not the case that this is a huge challenge but rather something we need to chip away at and we're making progress on.”
Kelley and his association make the point that support for wind energy makes more sense than other forms. Support is needed for “installation of as much wind energy as we can, as fast as we can, to meet the need for low carbon and low pollution energy, to create energy that will never run out, to insulate against price shocks in the future and to save water.” No water is used in any aspect of energy production; therefore, it is a great system for water short states.
Kelley’s last point was that research in new technology will keep lowering costs. “There's still technology out there that can bring down the cost further by being developed.”