After two years of research, the Department of Energy released a report on Thursday estimating how much energy the U.S. could get from wind in the next 35 years. The results were extremely optimistic: under an “ambitious but credible” scenario, America could get 10 percent of its power from wind by 2020; 20 percent by 2030; and 35 percent by 2050, the report said.
In order for this to happen, though, the report acknowledged that “new tools, priorities, and emphases” need to be set in place beyond the wind industry’s own efforts. Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), told ThinkProgress that one of the most important priorities is giving tax benefits to the wind industry.
“A key determinant is having a stable federal tax policy, which as you may know, every form of other energy source has — at least every other fossil fuel-based source of electric generation,” he said. “They have tax benefits, tax support, that are permanent in the tax code. For wind, major tax support is not permanent.”