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Wind energy’s true costs

I object to how Paul Krugman’s Oct. 5 column, “Enemies of the Sun,” characterized research done at Utah State University.

The corporate wind lobby may not like the results, but our recent “True Cost of Energy: Wind” study is based on sound data. These data have previously been employed by others to investigate this subject.

Critically, our studies examine the economic impact of available energy sources, are peer-reviewed and fact-checked for accuracy, and rely on academically accepted practices and methodologies. This study happens to reveal that the true cost of wind energy is being masked by taxpayer subsidies afforded to corporate wind producers.

The wind report is a first in a series of “True Cost” reports that explore the economics of multiple energy sources, including fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, and that will ask the same questions about the subsidies these energy sources receive. These studies will undergo the same double-blind, peer-review process.

We are academic researchers, and our job is to ask questions. Our goal is to look deeper, at more indicators, to present the facts and to inform the decisions of policy makers. It is not surprising that Washington lobbyists, paid to preserve these policies, undertake efforts to keep these results out of the national discussion.


Logan, Utah

The writer is research director of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University and co-author of its study of wind energy.