Your Fed and State taxes subsidize 40 percent of the full costs of installing a wind turbine or roof solar panels. These past 3 years $35 billion in subsidies have gone to bankrupt solar panel and battery manufacturers and for wind farms and home solar panels.
Without subsidies no one would install these devices since the cost of the electricity generated, without subsidies, varies from 29 cents a kW-hr for solar in sunny areas to 64 cents per kilowatt hour in cloudy ones. Wind energy costs average 22 cents a kW-hr for most small wind farms, and 18 cents for large wind complexes. For comparison, the average US cost for fossil fuel generated electricity, delivered to your home, is 12 cents per kW-hr.
In this 30th year of alternative energy subsidies, only 3 percent of US energy production is from wind, and less than 1 percent is from solar because it is so costly and inefficient. These systems are usable only 20 percent of the day for solar and 25 percent for wind, versus 70 percent capacity for fossil fuels and 90 percent for nuclear.
Forty percent of US corn is now diverted to inefficient ethanol, because of Federal mandates and subsidies, even though there is a global food shortage, and more than half of the US 2012 corn crop is endangered because of the 100 year drought now in process throughout the corn belt. Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy of gasoline, and it must be trucked or delivered by railcar because it corrodes pipelines.
Nuclear, coal, natural gas, hydro, and geothermal are the only alternative energy sources that make economic sense. Fortunately, with the modern technology of fracking and horizontal drilling, natural gas is now abundant and within 20 years will probably replace half of the current 50 percent US electricity dependence on plentiful coal. Hydro power will continue to decline as pressure groups mandate the removal of dams to allow fish passage.
Whenever you see a wind turbine or solar panels on a home, remember these are your tax dollars providing the welfare subsidy.
Joseph J. Neff, Corning