In Mark Whitworth’s commentary on Tuesday titled “Wrong direction for net metering,” he presented analysis of a number of documented and researched problems with wind turbines and with net metering, but he did not take it far enough. Net metering is a program that buys electricity from non-utility owners of renewable power generation sources (solar, wind, etc.). The utility must buy this electricity at a premium price well above what it costs the utility to make the same amount of power. An owner can zero out his utility bill by selling back less than he uses. It would not take many of these types of contracts to reduce the thin profit margins of the utilities. The utility must then pass on its costs to the rest of the users or go out of business. That’s not a viable program for energy efficiency.
As Mark pointed out, historical data shows that wind turbines are a net loss to the taxpayers and to the utility. The only reason they are being promoted is that there is mandated net metering and a long list of subsidies that benefit the real, usually out-of-state, owners and investors of the turbines. Those subsidies are paid by Vermont taxpayers and by costs passed to the ratepayers of the utility.
When will our politicians stop making feel-good, green policies that are neither green nor cost-effective? When will verifiable and indisputable historical data from hundreds of worldwide wind turbine installations that shows they are not sustainable, green or cost-effective be used to guide policymaking? When will we accept that most renewable energy is not sustainable without large taxpayer-paid subsidies? Let’s get real.
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