The leader of the Iowa Wind Energy Association says the state could lose lots of jobs if the wind energy tax credit isn’t extended. Association executive director, Harold Prior, says the industry is stalled until Congress decides whether to renew the tax credits.
“I believe it could be close to 3,000 Iowa jobs lost. Clipper’s already laid of 100. Acciona’s probably going to be laying off some more. Then the tower and blade people are going to be laying off. You know, that could be about 2,000 within the next three to four months,” according to Prior.
The industry doesn’t want to move ahead without knowing the financial future. “There are really no new U-S wind farms being planned, because they don’t know whether or not the financing package is going to be there or not,” Prior says. Wind energy jobs were touted as way to continue diversifying the Iowa economy, but Prior says the credit is important to keeping them.
Prior says, “I think at minimum, Iowa stands to lose 3,000 jobs in the wind energy industry if this is not renewed.” Opponents of the tax credit say the wind industry needs to stand on its own in this tough budget climate. The tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year.