Skip to comments.Study: Wind Power Costs Taxpayers Billions of Dollars
Posted on 10/15/2013 11:32:48 AM PDT by jazusamo
According to a new study conducted by Texas Tech University Professor Dr. Michael Giberson for the Institute for Energy Research, the government and wind lobby aren't telling taxpayers the whole truth about how much wind energy really costs. The study comes as the wind lobby is set to receive another extension on massive subsidies with little results to show for it.
"As Big Wind's lobbyists fight tooth and nail to extend the wind Production Tax Credit, it is important that we look at the true costs of wind power to taxpayers and ratepayers," IER President Thomas Pyle said about the study. "Despite being propped up by government mandates and billion dollar subsidies for decades, wind power continues to be an expensive and boutique energy source that the American people cannot rely on for power when they need it. Although lobbyists for the wind industry prefer to downplay the real costs of wind power, Dr. Giberson has produced a fact-based study that demonstrates just how expensive it really is."
According to the study, wind energy costs taxpayers $12 billion per year and shows wind power costs $109 per megawatt hour, nearly double government estimates of just $72 per megawatt hour. The study also shows wind power doesn't decrease the cost of electricity as environmental groups and government advocates claim, but instead shifts costs onto taxpayers. In addition, wind energy subsidies allow those who start wind projects to easily game the system.
"Wind power projects often obtain additional production subsidies, and these subsidies allow the wind project owner to profit even when power prices go negative," the study states.
Plus these monstrosities kill a half million birds EVERY YEAR.
Exactly, and that was basically covered up until the last couple years.
Wind power is nonsense. If it was viable, private industry would be developing it for a profit!
Time to eliminate the subsidies to wind and solar power. Then they’ll either stand or fall on their own merits.
$109 per megawatt hour for wind power while 0bama and his EPA run coal generating plants out of business, little wonder he needs to keep raising debt ceiling.
Don’t forget the icing on the cake, destruction of wildlife habitat, ugly structures destroying the view, and the absolute best, the slaughter of thousand upon thousands of raptors and migratory birds! I love that here in taxifornia they are banning lead bullets to save wildlife but the mayhem caused by windmills is OK because they are “earth” friendly.
This has always been the problem with Wind power. It is just not cost effective at all. I’m all for energy options but wind especially the idea of fields of wind turbines is just dumb outside of limited applications. There is a huge cost of maintenance. There is huge risk especially if you put these things in areas like the great plains that are highly prone to tornados etc. Sure there are some big business guys who love the idea because these things are a guaranteed cash cow for them that goes on forever.
You just can’t beat coal and natural gas where energy production is concerned and todays coal plants in the US are extremely clean that is if you don’t buy into the stupid CO2 hysterics. Sure we can’t use coal and natural gas forever but we have hundreds of years to work things out and the last thing that is going to help is to neuter the US economy
which will slow technological development not increase it.
You make an excellent point about CA banning lead bullets to save birds while promoting wind turbines, the enviro-nazis are most hypocritical.
Agreed...The new EPA regs on coal plants is criminal, IMO. The people that came up with them should be prosecuted, at the least they should all be fired.
That’s $1.09 per kW/hr! FReepers can look at their electricity bills and see how ridiculously expensive $1.09 per kW/hr is. I think 12 to 14 cents per kW/hr is a typical rate in most areas of the country.
I love to point out the poor results of wealth redistributionist programs, like EBT cards. However, there’s a whole different group of people who are also on welfare. I’m talking about all the industries, like wind power, sugar, and ethanol, that are sucking at government’s teat. If an industry is thoroughly dependent on subsidies to survive, than it’s an industry that deserves to die (or evolve into something that can pay its own way).
Just like welfare programs for the poor, government subsidies allow businesses to become lazy. In the long term, they rob our nation by rewarding businesses for being impractical and inefficient. Who knows what improvements, what amazing new technologies, will never be developed due to government interference in the free market?
But it’s worth it because without one watt of electricity being produced,
windmills accomplish the primary goal of the left -
making them feel good as “good people” because they “care about the erf”.
That’s correct on the kW/hr cost.
I hadn’t checked our rate for some but just had the wife give me the latest bill. We’re very fortunate here in the NW due to the amount of hydroelectric power generated on the Columbia river and others.
The rate here is 8.16 cents per kW/hr and there’s a blurb that states more than 75% of our electricity comes from hydropower.
Good name for it.
What a bunch of garbage. Saying wind energy "costs" taxpayers $12Bn/year because of the Production Tax Credit is like saying homeowners "cost" taxpayers $[ ]Bn/yr because of the mortgage deduction.
And if wind power costs $109MWh, why are so many wind farms in the US Midwest responding to power off-take solicitations from utilities with prices in the $25-35/MWh price range, FLAT over a 25 year period??
Shhhh, here is a secret. Everyone of those wind turbines are full of copper wire.
You did not hear it from me.
You have to work in the industry to get that one.
109 is just barely ~50% greater than 72. How is that nearly double?!
I don’t know that that is what is says but it may.
From the report:
“The Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind
power was scheduled to expire at the end of
December 2012. At the last minute, as part of
the fiscal cliff negotiations over the federal
budget, Congress passed the American
Taxpayer Relief Act which, among other
things, extended the PTC to all wind facilities
that start construction by year-end 2013.1
The change in language from the wind plant
being required to be in service to simply
requiring it be under construction will allow
wind projects completed in 2014 and 2015 to
qualify for the subsidy, so long as a small
amount of expense is incurred in 2013.2 The
one-year renewal is projected to eventually
cost the federal budget more than $12 billion
in revenue. 3”
Correct me if I’m wrong but those prices of $25-35/MWh price range, FLAT over a 25 year period you quoted don’t include taxpayer subsidies and tax credits that the companies receive, do they?
If not it seems those selling prices would be much higher.
It’s not double and it’s the writer of this article. In the report it states it’s over a 50% increase.
I have traveled in areas of TX, OK, KS, NE, IL, MA and perhaps several other states with wind power turbine installations. What surprised me was the amount of time and the percentage of the turbines that were inactive. I remember never seeing any spinning turbines when flying over IL. There is no viable storage method to store generated energy when wind is sufficient for operation, to provide for time periods when it is not. Truly a stupid, costly idea providing payback to the corrupt political power taking the taxpayers into un-survivable debt, along with many other subsidized debacles.
I know it was the article writer. Permit my rants on inaccurate usage of numbers. ;)
Okay, permitted. :-)
For some of us, knowing math is a blessing.
For many others, math is a curse.
Agreed...One of the first wind turbine installations I was familiar with was the Tehachapi Pass in So CA over thirty years ago. Though it was fairly new it was the same way then.
Yes, but our hydroelectric here in the NW is not deemed to be “green.”
It is time for TTU to study the effects of these unsightly propellors on the weather downstream of these monstrosities.
Energy is removed from the moving air mass and converted into electrical energy — work is being done just like in an expander/generator — downstream air should be cooler than upstream, etc. What effect does it have on ground level temperatures?
Man, you got that right.
The enviro-nazis would have every dam not only in the NW but the whole country blasted to smithereens if they had their way.
Those dams are a blight on the eco-system, ya know. :-)
No, the prices are what the utility pays the wind farm. The wind farm investor then seeks the $0.023/kWh PTC from the Feds against their quarterly tax liability to enhance the "after-tax" return of the project over an average 20 year period.
Much like the price of oil or other forms of energy don't include all the subsidies those industries receive - it's baked into what you pay but at the investor level.
Again, a tax "credit" is not the same as actual taxpayer money spent by Mordor. It's tax revenue forgone, which Mordor thinks was theirs to begin with anyway.
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