Local leaders joined wind energy advocates at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland to push for an extension of a federal tax credit for wind energy production. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.
The renewable energy production tax credit began in 1992, and costs the Treasury about $1 billion to $3 billion a year. Congress has only approved the credit temporarily, so supporters periodically have to lobby for its renewal.
At a press conference organized by the Sierra Club, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald pointed to the Lake Erie wind farm proposed by LEED Co. as a project that would directly benefit from the credit, and create jobs for local businesses.
FITZGERALD: "There's companies in Ashtabula and Lorain and Lucas County and Cuyahoga county that, as this project becomes a reality, they have the skill sets already to do each stage of the process."
There are hundreds of wind turbines in Van Wert and Paulding counties in western Ohio.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur says she hopes to see wind turbines become more efficient.
KAPTUR: “I look forward to the day when NASA here in Cleveland, working with the science center and all of our engineers and scholars and scientists and business leaders, will develop new kinds of turbines. Maybe two-bladed turbines that can survive winter months out on the lake.”
In the past few years a boom in domestic natural gas has hurt demand for renewable energy. Advocates say wind and other renewable energy will eventually become more cost competitive.