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  • Today's Calamity: Don't Forget About Renewable Energy Mandates

    Cap and Trade Calamities

    It’s easy to forget that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill is not just about cap and trade. There are a number of other problematic provisions buried in the 1,427 pages of legislation. Cap and trade should receive the most attention because it’s the most economically devastating part of the bill, but Waxman-Markey also includes a renewable electricity standard that mandates 6 percent of the nation’s electricity come from renewable sources, chiefly wind energy but also others like biomass and solar, by 2012. The mandate increases each year until it reaches 25 percent by 2025. It’s a provision that’s had a difficult time moving through Congress in previous bills.

    Wind and solar power are promising ideas. They are renewable and clean, and parts of the U.S. are very rich in solar and wind resources. But right now it costs far too much money to generate energy from these sources. Established energy sources like nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas are far more efficient. If any renewable energy source is economically competitive (free of government subsidies that create government dependence), it will have its place in the market, but it’s not up to the government to pick winners and losers among energy sources. Doing so could crowd out energy sources we haven’t even discovered yet.

    Government subsidies for renewable energy are only necessary because renewables are too expensive to compete in the market otherwise. In effect, the government is forcing costlier energy options on electricity consumers. Since renewables are lavished with substantial tax breaks, a national mandate will mean higher taxes and higher electric bills for Americans.

    This isn’t just a game of estimates; we can learn from example. Britain’s renewable energy plan will cost 11 to 17 times more than the economic benefits it will bring. In Spain, electricity bills are 10 times higher because of renewable mandates.

    Right here at home, Austin, Texas, electricity providers gave consumers a choice to purchase renewable energy. The problem is people aren’t buying it because it’s too expensive and now utility companies are spreading the costs to all the consumers. Moreover, in West Texas, wind suppliers are actually paying people to take their energy.

    Renewable energy and other innovative ideas to create energy have potential, but their fate should be decided by the market—not Members of Congress.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Today's Calamity: Don't Forget About Renewable Energy Mandates

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      As there is no observance of destruction from the GOVERNMENT'S man-made global warming, this is simply a ploy to destroy.

      The market is efficient, reasonable and rational. They use their own money, giving us the freedom of choice to purchase. And if the market can't afford it, it shouldn't be MANDATED by government to impose on taxpayers. Especially when the government inherited soooooo much! Mind your own business, government! And stay out of ours! Use the natural resources in THIS COUNTRY and stay out of others! WE WANT, DESERVE AND HAVE THE MEANS TO BE ENERGY INDEPENDENT.

    2. Roger S., Ma. says:

      While we're at it, why don't we just learn from the past to rise when the rooster crows and go to sleep with the cows. For getting up in the night, mostly the moon will help, and when it can't, our government will have provided each of us with a candle stick and a two-candle ration per month. Furthermore, covered wagons haven't been "in" for some time now. Maybe we should learn to rearrange our long-distance travel to give them a shot?! How about a new horse for each prospective "GM Volt" buyer. Our dying breed of saddle-makers could use the work.

      How did we get where we are today, without government regulation ?! Come on, now. It MUST have been a miracle! Can we imagine the discovery of oil without gov., or the means to turn it into gasoline without a subsidy? How about creating motors to burn it? Wasn't the government involved somehow? Surely, our inventors required their permission and advice!

      It's time to Taxman-Snarkey the gov. back to a manageable, non-toxic, size. Cap them and trade them, I say. We'll soon have more energy and technology to use it efficiently than most of us know what to do with, even while the Sierra Club is NOT looking.

    3. Ward, Texas says:

      Will Cape Cod finally get its renewal energy power sources via the off-shore windmills now that the biggest opponent is gone?

      Kennedy opposed this as a NIMBY source of energy.

    4. MIKE KANSAS says:

      WHY DO WE ALLOW IDIOTS IN WASHINGTOTO CONTINUE TO CHASE GHOSTS SINCE THERE NO MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING WHY DO THE INSIST ON FIXING SOMETHING THAT DOSENT EXIST WE NEED TO FIRE ALL THE IDOITS IN WASHINGTON AND START OVER WITH SOMEONE WITH A GLIMMER OF INTELIGENCE

    5. Chris Madison, Washi says:

      The "Calamity" post misstates the facts about wind energy and other renewables.

      Electricity produced by utility-size wind energy is now competitive with the cost of electricity produced by other power plant built today and at the same time avoids considerable environmental costs of other fuels, including carbon emissions and water use.

      Wind will become even more economical as prices for other fuels increase–the price of wind is constant—and as new transmission infrastructure is built to serve increased electricity demand.

      As for subsidies, the U.S. Department of Energy has documented that wind energy is far less subsidized than “conventional fuels.” The fact is that no energy source “competes in the market” without subsidies of some kind.

      Spain’s renewable energy costs stem in part from the so-called feed in tariff, which requires utilities to pay as much 60 cents per kilowatt hour. The U.S. is not adopting that approach in the legislation now before Congress.

      In fact, the RES has an escape clause that permits utilities to pay a preset penalty if they cannot use renewables to generate power or purchase renewable energy credits. But the cost of the penalty will be nowhere near the Spanish example.

      As for the experience of Austin,Texas, the city-owned utility now admits it overestimated the extra cost of bringing wind-generated electricity east to Austin. (That extra cost will disappear when new transmission is built.) The utility is now revising the program and lowering the cost of the Green Choice program.

    6. Bill Clark says:

      I SEE THIS AS AN EFFORT TO TRY TO CONTROL OUR EVERY DAY LIVES. I SEE IT AS A WAY TO STEAL OUR FREEDOMS IN THE NAME OF SAVING SOMETHING OTHER THAN OUR PRECIOUS GOD GIVEN LIVES.THE PLANET IS CERTAINLY FRAGILE AND WE NEED TO PROTECT IT BUT I SURELY WILL NOT WORSHIP IT. THESE PROGRAMS ARE DESIGNED TO STEAL OUR COUNTRY AND GIVE IT AWAY. BILL

    7. Thomas, Utah says:

      September 2, 2009 Chris Madison, Washington DC writes:

      The “Calamity” post misstates the facts about wind energy and other renewables

      To Chris who is an obvious plant from the left: I think its funny that you admit the City owned utility in Texas admit to underestimating: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CITY,STATE, OR GOVERNMENT GET INVOLVED. No wonder people dont trust the leaders in the Country. This happens all the time. In my City it was 2 school districts splitting, saying dont worry pulic this wont cost you anything. Now some how mysteriously there is a 40 million dollar short fall. As the article states above, this is not a good bill or a sound bill. When the government tries to run something (they dont treat it like their own or ours, or even like a business) they run it into the ground, under calculate, and pass the burden onto the hardworking backs of the TRUE Americans.

    8. TonyfromOz Coomera A says:

      What people don't really see is that when one of these 'renewable' plants is constructed, it supplies power to the overall grid for that area. Your use of electricity is not selective. You draw power from the grid as a whole. The authority that provides power from that grid adjusts their price as those enormously expensive renewable plants start supplying power to the mix of sources that supply that grid. It may only increase power costs fractionally overall.

      However, to actively put the idea out there for consumers to purchase renewable electrical power is a fallacy of sorts. If you do fall for that line, then your electrical power bill will rise considerably to an amount that the renewable plant sells that power to the grid, plus a little.

      Having said that there is no way that electrical power can be supplied directly to your house, as it is supplied to the overall mix on that grid.

      What you are paying for is the renewable power, and what you are getting is power from the grid with that renewable power making up only part of that supply.

      Tony.

    9. TonyfromOz Coomera A says:

      Chris Madison.

      With respect Sir, I think you have missed the point.

      The cost of power produced from renewable sources is calculated over the proposed life of the plant. True, the fuel, in this case, the wind and the Sun, are free. The real cost is at the construction end, and these plants are enormously expensive to construct, and THAT will never change. Both Wind (Cape Wind $1.1 Billion) and Solar (Abengoa Solana, $1 Billion) have only a 30% power delivery efficiency, at best, and a life span of only 20 to 25 years also at the absolute best. For low levels of produced power which is still only marginal, this cost has to be recovered over the life span of the plant. To that end, they are receiving huge subsidies, both at the construction end, and also at the delivery of power to the grid end.

      Those construction costs will never come down. The true costs of supplied electrical power to consumers are in the vicinity of seven to ten times that of other methods of production. The nature of renewable plants is that they will only ever be boutique sized, and even though Cape Wind (420MW Nameplate but only averaging 120 MW) and the Solana Plant (280MW/85MW) may sound large, they are only tiny when compared with large coal or nuclear plants. (Coal 2000MW/1700MW and Nuclear 2000MW/1900MW)and both coal and nuclear will have an effective life three times the length of those two renewables.

      Tony.

    10. Will D. Wyoming says:

      Wind generated power is still a detriment to the environment. They may not produce carbon emissions but it uses up a lot of land to put a windfarm in place. Once scarred with roads, tower locations, power lines, and substations, the land will never recover. In our part of the world it takes a long time for disturbed vegetation to regrow. These companies are also constantly asking for tax breaks so while the power is generated and 'shipped' all over the country they pay very little into the local economy that they disrupt. Not that many jobs are created here. Once the windmill is up everyone leaves except for a few maintenance personnel. It does not appear there is much "trade" in this bill either. Credits will be available for purchase from the government so they will generate a few dollars and the small business person and the homeowner will pay for the higher energy costs. And, when it comes to global warming, more often than not in our country we are saying bring it on! When it is 30 below we could use just a little bit of a warming.

    11. Pingback: Brainwashing school children for fun and profit! « 22MOON.COM

    12. Tim says:

      I find it an eye-opener to learn that some west Texas wind companies are paying people to take their energy. Would like to know more about what is behind that situation.

      Concerning renewable energy, new ideas (beyond solar and wind) pop up occasionally, and I came upon this website earlier today and wondered about their product and idea for getting individuals off the electric grid entirely.

      Seems like the $100 raw materials cost mentioned is too low, but even if it were higher, it would be far more than worth it if this magnet idea really works as they say it does.

      http://13d10p1ade2gphyef6qf1js59c.hop.clickbank.n

    13. jon, sd says:

      Envision solar, another compelling investment OPP. They have a revolutionary ideas to produce and utilize solar energy using solar groves in huge parking lots, near commercial areas, where energy is needed most. With designers to make them look esthetically pleasing in commercial areas, and the technology to make them efficient, the sky is the limit. Hopefully after a few small jobs(some have already been completed in San Diego), EVSI will start getting large scale and government contracts. VERY COMPELLING INVESTMENT OPP!

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