Energy & Environment

US Clean Energy Investment Down 9% In 2013

Wind power installation fell more than 90% to less than 1 GW.


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Windmills in West Texas [Photo by Mose Buchele]

Houston prides itself on being the world’s energy capital — encompassing renewables as well as traditional oil and gas. So when investment in clean energy drops off, the city takes a hit.  

Clean energy investment in the United States fell by 9% in 2013, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. That follows a drop of more than a third in 2012. Installations in the wind sector dropped off by more than 90% — from 13 gigawatts in 2012 to less than 1 GW.

Phyllis Cuttino is head of the Pew Trusts’ Clean Energy Program. She says a big factor in the decline is uncertainty over tax credits for clean energy technology.

“With the uncertainty, the kind of episodic renewal of the Production Tax Credit, which is really aimed at wind production, it’s just been very troubling to investors. And so that’s why you’ve seen this kind of see-saw effect, with not only wind investment but wind deployments here in the United States.”

The Senate is considering a bill that would extend the Production Tax Credit through the end of 2015, but action by Congress is unlikely ahead of the November elections.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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