[David Kruetzer is research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.. This is his first post at MasterResource.]
Building on the misconception that renewable energy is cheap, some legislators and activists propose mandating that minimum fractions of our electric supply come from designated renewables. Wind and solar are at the top of this list. Al Gore wants 100 percent renewables in less than a decade; others propose less ambitious targets.
The problem is that renewables are expensive, not to mention unreliable and environmentally questionable. Mandates would only force consumers to pay ever higher electric rates as this minimum in an renewable electricity standard (RES) grows year by year.
The Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation recently analyzed the economic impact of an RES, such as proposed in federal legislation.…