Area Development
A number of companies that produce alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power and biofuels may curtail or cancel planned expansions as they await the U.S. Congress' renewal of approximately $500 million in investment and production tax credits. According to the Associated Press, the Solar Energy Industries Association says approximately 20 utility-scale solar plants are at risk, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is predicting losses of 76,000 jobs and $11.4 billion in investments if the tax credits are allowed to expire on December 31st. Congress let those credits expire in 2000, 2002, and 2004; in those three years, wind capacity installation dropped 93 percent, 73 percent, and 77 percent, respectively. The AP reports that several members of Congress are blocking the extensions due to add-on expenses and the additions to the federal budget deficit.