Gone with the wind: Will the Texas wind energy industry end?

November 13, 2012

If you've driven out toward Corpus Christi, I'll bet you noticed those giant wind turbines spinning away. Wind turbines aren't quite as ubiquitous as sightings of cattle and oil derricks, but they've become a more common sight in Texas in recent years and the state has the most wind installations for generating electricity of any state.

However, the wind industry as a whole may be facing a slow-down if the federal tax credit expires at the end of December, according to Houston NPR station KUFH.

As the expiration date for the tax credit approaches, one Houston-based company, EDP Renewables North America, announced they were cutting their workforce by 10 percent while another, Vestas Wind Systems, announced they were closing the company's research and development center. Both companies cited concern over the tax credit as the reason for the cuts.

Texas, despite being oil country, has made a lot of progress on the wind energy front and stands to lose more than 6,000 jobs were the entire industry to go under, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

So now it's time to wait and see if the tax credits will be allowed to expire, or not.