Free Markets, Free People

RES

Are you willing to pay much more for green energy?

It is a legitimate question, wouldn’t you say, especially if government plans on forcing its use through mandates.

Here’s a list that gives the cost of a megawatt of power (2008 dollars) in 2016 according to the government’s Energy Information Agency:

•Conventional coal power: $78.10
• Onshore wind power: $149.30
• Offshore wind power: $191.10
• Thermal solar power: $256.60
• Photo-voltaic solar power: $396.10

That’s what it will cost you, depending on the method of generation, for the mandated “integration” of renewable energy if Senate Democrats have their way:

A nationwide renewables mandate, or RES, is a longstanding pillar of Democratic energy plans that requires utilities to source certain amounts of their electricity from renewable sources. The bill currently under consideration in the Senate would require utilities to derive 15 percent of their electricity from sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2021.

Here’s the problem.  At the moment, “renewables” comprise about 6% of the electricity generated in the US.  Not included by the Democrats is nuclear generation.   Oh, and btw, of that 6% renewables, half, or 3%, comes from hydro-electric.  There are no plans to increase that by Dems either.

So here we have the beginnings of a wooden headed plan to mandate the use of heavily subsidized “renewable” energy which would, without a doubt jack up the price of energy that is absolutely critical to the fundamental functioning of America.  David Kreutzer:

“Electric power is one of the most critical inputs to a modern economy. Thus, it is no surprise that forcing the cost of electricity to rise dampens economic activity. The cost increase for electricity can be viewed as a particularly damaging energy tax, because a renewable mandate, unlike the case of a normal tax, provides no revenue to at least partially offset the higher cost. By way of comparison, the highway use tax on gasoline raises the price of gasoline, but it also generates revenues for building and maintaining roads and bridges. On the other hand, a renewable energy standard raises costs in the form of less efficient production, which provides no economic benefit.”

As Con Carroll points out:

If electricity created by wind and other renewables was cost competitive, consumers would use more of it without a federal law to force consumption. But renewable energy is not cost competitive, hence the need for government coercion to force the American people to buy it.

And it will be both a job and economy killer as Kreutzer explains.  If this is “going forward”, then I’m all for bringing back the old America.  This is simply stupidity on a stick and another example of the Democrats being agenda driven instead of reality driven (so much for the “reality based” community, no?).  It’s a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” ideologically driven recipe for economic disaster.  

But if Democrats have their way, you’ll be paying the bill in a few years that could be much, much higher than it is now for no appreciable difference or reason other than that’s how they want it to be.  You’ll be paying it, that is, if you have a job.

Another reason to change the balance of power in the Senate and limit the danger Democrats pose.

~McQ

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