The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.
Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.
Wind isn’t the only alternative energy industry to get a boost from the Fiscal Cliff deal. Also included is a tax credit for algae growers encouraging biofuel production that could one day power cars and boats.