A national story in our Jan. 2 edition painted a rosy picture of green energy and efforts underway in various states to force power companies to increase its use. Although Ohio has become the first state to freeze a scheduled increase in the amount of power to be generated by wind and solar, the story said other states are unlikely to follow suit.
We disagree. As more states get closer to the required green power targets, more of them will come to realize that while getting “free” power from the wind and the sun sounds wonderful, it remains a pipe dream.
The story reported that “technological advancement is making green energy more economically competitive compared to fossil fuel, especially coal. Electricity generated by wind power costs $28-$32 a megawatt hour, while natural gas is about $45 a megawatt hour, and coal generation is $48-$50 per megawatt hour.”
Actually, green energy is not economically competitive with fossil fuels like natural gas. The estimated levelized cost of new generation from the U.S. Department of Energy is $80 per megawatt hour for wind, $90 for coal and $65 for natural gas. However, the American Tradition Institute says wind is much more costly than fossil because levelized costs don’t consider factors like the higher costs of building transmission lines where power is most needed, the cost of using fossil fuels as backup when the wind isn’t blowing, and the shorter life for turbines, among other factors.
Those factors raise the cost of wind to triple what it costs for natural gas power generation – never mind billions of annual dollars in tax breaks for wind, a less efficient, more expensive technology, and never mind the tens of thousands of birds killed annually by wind turbines.
Renewable energy standards are in place in 31 states. They set reductions in the use of fossil fuels for generating electricity while increasing the use of green energy. And some actually require power consumption to decrease overall. That means residents, or companies and businesses which employ them, will be required to turn out the lights – a foolish proposition to say the least.
Mandating ever-increasing use of green energy will result in ever-increasing costs for electricity. That, in turn, will raise the price of everything else, from goods produced to shipping costs to home heating and cooling. One estimate is that households will see their electricity prices rise some 36 percent over the next 20 years.
Can you handle that?
Industrial users will see their power prices rise 60 percent, even after adjusting for inflation. That will double the cost of most of the goods and services you consume.
Can you handle that?