“The following overview on these issues, and my concluding remarks, should leave little doubt as to the worthlessness and serious consequences of pursuing policies of supporting and implementing wind plants in particular. Will the other side respond in the interest of more informed public policy?”
As shown in Part I (Introduction & Summary), Part II (Analysis Approach & Implementation Costs), Part III (Total Costs), and Part IV (Subsidies & Emissions), wind fails on the major considerations of cost and emissions. Yet unbelievably, it still enjoys general popularity and significant government support and subsidization. The answer must be in my response to question 1 in Part I: Wind is seen as a silver bullet – environmentally and politically.
On top of this, there are many other problems with wind that can cause serious, and needless, damage to society.…
The U.S. Department of Energy publishes periodic reports (see the latest) on federal government subsidies to energy production in the U.S. These reports total up the costs of direct financial support for various energy technologies, tax incentives, research related to marketing and implementation and price support.
Federal support for energy in FY 2010 alone includes the following activities:
Direct Expenditures to Producers or Consumers – $14.3 billion. Federal programs involving direct cash outlays that provide a financial benefit to producers or consumers of energy.
Tax Expenditures – $16.3 billion. Provisions in the federal tax code that reduce the tax liability of firms or individuals who take specified actions that affect energy production, consumption, or conservation.
Research and Development (R&D) – $4.4 billion. Federal expenditures aimed at a variety of goals, such as increasing U.S.…
Part I yesterday described Evergreen Solar Inc.’s recent bankruptcy protection filing, which has left Massachusetts holding the bag for tens of millions of dollars in tax benefits and subsidies for a Devens, MA solar panel factory. Massachusetts wanted to be a true believer, and the promise of 800 jobs in a recession was too good to pass up even if the risks were high.
For politicians looking for good press this was a great opportunity—until reality hit the fan. So what lessons does this failed ‘green’ energy experiment impart for other political jurisdictions eager to create jobs? I offer five.
1. Being green does not mean being sustainable.
Evergreen Solar expanded just as the solar market was reeling from feed-in-tariff (FiT) subsidy cuts in Spain and later Germany, the then hottest markets in the world.…