Wind power, like many renewables, has been living off subsidies, artificially propped up by others people’s money as natural gas has produced without it.
Wind power’s federal subsidy, the production tax credit, is currently set to be phased out by 2020, at which point wind power will likely give way to solar and natural gas plant additions, which will replace retiring generating plants, mostly coal and nuclear, and satisfy slowly increasing electricity demand, according to EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook. The Energy Information Administration projects that wind additions between 2025 and 2040 will be a paltry 1.2 gigawatts, while solar power additions are expected to total 170 gigawatts and natural gas additions are expected to total 78 gigawatts. The investment tax credit for solar power phases down to a permanent 10 percent for commercial and utility investment in 2022 from 30 percent today.
Due to the production tax credit and state mandates for renewable power, wind power increased its share from 1.5 percent of electricity generation in 2000 to 6.3 percent in 2017. Development is higher in the middle part of the United States, where windy conditions prevail.