No Free Lunch In Wind

“…the California Air Resources Board adopted a requirement that the state obtain 1/3 of its electricity supplies from renewable energy resource by 2020…NJ’s Gov. Christie signed the Offshore Wind Development Act in Aug 10 that requires 1,100 megawatts of wind generation to be developed off the NJ Coast…but forcing consumers to buy high-cost electricity from subsidized renewable energy producers cannot improve overall economic well-being…”green” energy mandates like those of CA and NJ are a new version of ‘Gresham’s Law,” in which subsidized renewable resources drive out competitive generators, leading to higher electricity prices and reduction of economic growth…

“…Cape Wind, to be built off Nantucket Island, is ardently supported by MA governor D. Patrick…Cape Wind is more expensive than onshore wind generation projects which themselves already require government subsidies…

“…Several economic fallacies underlie green energy… green jobs advocates fundamentally misrepresent wealth transfers as wealth benefits…”green jobs” studies toute renewables development’s generation of unbridled economic growth…but they ignore the adverse economic effects of the resulting higher electricity that high-cost “Feed-in Tariffs” bring.  They are cost-benefit analyses that ignore the cost part…

“…A Nov’09 report by College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley recommends aggressive energy efficiency improvements and renewable generation predicated on the theoretical creation of between 900,000 and 1.9 million new jobs and increases of per-house income of $500 to $1.200 per year…The study never considers the effects on businesses and households from higher electricity prices and taxes to fund these energy efficiency programs.

“…Case in point is Cape Wind:  Without off-shore wind generation of electricity, the forecast market prices increases from around $110 per MWh in 2013 to just over $150 per MWh by the year 2020, then hovers there through the contract’s end in 2027.  In contrast, by the last year of the Cape Wind contract, the price paid by National Grid ratepayers would be almost $350 per MWh.  The estimated above-market cost for the electricity that would be paid by ratepayers is just over $75 million in the first year of the Cape Wind contract, increasing to over $140 million in the last year of the Cape Wind contract…

”… Industries that require never-ending subsidies simply cannot increase overall economic welfare. To conclude otherwise is to believe in “free-lunch” economics of the worst kind. Yet, free-lunch economics are driving the push for renewable energy…”

Gresham’s Law of Green Energy

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