It took an energy insider this past week to expose the dirty little truth about the future of wind energy – it’s too costly, too unreliable and only getting more so because of government subsidies.
Take that, you green zealots.
Patrick Jenevein, CEO of Tang Energy Group in Dallas, the nation’s largest producer of wind energy, actually deplores the government subsidies, which he wrote in an oped piece in the Wall Street Journal, are ruining the industry.
“Government subsidies to new wind farms have only made the industry less focused on reducing costs,” he wrote. “In turn, the industry produces a product that isn’t as efficient or as cheap as it might be if we focused less on working the political system and more on research and development.”
The feds have poured about $8.4 billion into wind energy since 2009, succeeding largely in raising the price to consumers – a phenomenon we here in Massachusetts are anticipating with the construction by Cape Wind of that wind farm in Nantucket Sound. According to the Energy Department’s own figures, the per megawatt-hour price for wind increased from $37 in 2005 to an average of $54 today. “It is possible that developers have seized this limited opportunity to build out the less-energetic sites,” conceded a report by the Department of Energy.
The 8.7 percent “haircut” for wind energy brought about by sequestration could be a blessing in disguise, Jenevein concludes, especially if it brings about a reevaluation of the subsidy program.
“Wind energy will make marginal – not revolutionary – contributions,” he wrote. And he confirmed what every business leader knows, that without government subsidies distorting the market entrepreneurs will always “find a way to compete” and bring good ideas to market.
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