Sunday’s article “Wind farms generating revenue” paints a pretty tax income picture. But, there is both a credit and a debit column in accounting. In the debit column we need to consider the amount of taxpayer dollars being spent to subsidize wind projects. In 2014, Forbes reported that the IRS is giving $13 billion per year in wind energy subsidies.
In 2008, Missourians voted to mandate that our investor-owned utilities purchase at least 15 percent of their power from renewable generation by 2021. I understand it can cost up to 2.5 times more to generate electricity from wind than from coal or gas. The Institute for Energy Research stated in 2010 that electricity prices were already nearly 40 percent higher in the states with renewable energy mandates. Then consider that wind and solar energy is so unreliable we must maintain our coal, gas and nuclear generation to supply 100 percent of our needs at any and all times.
Missouri has no regulation or statutes for wind generation except zoning statutes for local government. Washington Township, in DeKalb County, and Clinton County (both zoned) are being sued by NextEra Energy to gain access in spite of zoning. What is the cost to taxpayers to defend these suits? What is the loss in tax base to these counties when people stop moving in and start leaving because of the wind complex? In addition, studies indicate up to a 40 percent decline in property value if you live within 3 miles of a wind turbine.
Space limitations require me to stop here, but as taxpayers and electrical ratepayers, you are paying for the windfall others are enjoying!
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