Small wind is poised to get a significant boost from President Barack Obama and his $787 billion economic stimulus package. Obama and others have been advocating that the energy crisis and economic crisis may have a common solution: start utilizing alternative energy sources with made in the USA technologies.
Included in the package is a 30 percent investment tax credit for consumers who purchase small wind turbines to power their homes and/or small businesses. This will encourage increased investment in the small wind technologies which are almost exclusively manufacturered in the US.
An atricle in CNN recently cited industry experts who are extremely optimistic about these latest developments.
From the article:
Even amid a recession, this tax credit "is going to blow the top off the market," said Ron Stimmel, a "small-wind" advocate with the American Wind Energy Association.
The association predicts the federal subsidy could help the small-turbine market grow by 40 to 50 percent annually, a boost that would parallel the growth of the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry after a similar 2005 initiative.
Small wind is defined as any turbine that generates 100 kWh of electricity or less. The amount of electricity is generally tied to the wind speed and the size of the the turbine blades. An example in the article from CNN stated that a 10 kW turbine in a location with decent wind speeds could supply enough electricity to power an average American home.
Just to give a rough idea of the costs involved, a 10 kW turbine is currently available on Amazon.com for $23,902.00. There would be additional costs to get this up and running if you require the assistance of a professional installer, but let's assume you're going to install it yourself. The total savings would be $7,170.60 which is a subtantial improvement over the $4000 cap that was in place before the tax credit was expanded.
- 30% tax credit on all small wind turbines (less than 100 kW)
- credit now applies to installed cost rather than purchase cost as it was defined before
- $2,400 cap per turbine has been removed
- $4,000 total cap has also been removed
- States have also implemented rebates for small wind systems which can be used in addition to the Federal credit.
SkyStream has a useful FAQ and great overall resources on their site if you need more information: http://www.windenergy.com/news/news_tax_2-09.html.
Here's the link to the full article from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/09/small.wind.turbines/.
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