In the Philadelphia region, the rebirth of the defunct U.S. Steel site in Bucks County makes the best case for winning the high-stakes gamble being played out in Congress over extending vital, government incentives for developing wind-energy systems.
I suspect it would be cheaper and less wasteful to simply pay wages to these people to stay home rather than build useless monuments to pagan gods.
It’s at the old Fairless Works that the Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa has employed hundreds of people, and where predicted layoffs affecting 20 percent of the firm’s Pennsylvania workforce would hit hard.
Gamesa has grown by leaps, building wind-power equipment and wind farms that generate 40 percent of the state’s wind power – all while relying on domestic suppliers for an increasingly large share of its components.
But the planned cutbacks at Gamesa, reflecting similar layoffs at wind-energy firms across the country, stem from the uncertainty over continuing a 20-year policy of providing a 2.2 cents-per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for generating electricity with large-scale wind turbines.
Without a year-end renewal of the so-called production tax credit, orders will dry up for projects that typically take 18 months to develop. Wind-energy trade officials contend that as many as half the 75,000 jobs supported by U.S. wind-energy production are at stake.