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  • Morning Bell: Renewable Electricity Standards Kill Jobs Too

    Cap and trade legislation is dead. The left abandoned the policy this summer when it became clear it was a liability. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) told Politico: “You can’t use cap and trade anymore because it is like manure on the trough. It’s defined, and people are opposed to it.” But that doesn’t mean the left has abandoned plans to hike up our nation’s energy costs in a vain attempt to save the world. All they did was pick a new a set of government mandates and repackage it as Renewable Electricity Standards (RES). Don’t be fooled. The goal (reducing emissions) and mechanism (raising energy prices) are still the same. As is the result: millions of lost jobs at a time when unemployment already is hovering around 10%.

    According to a Financial Times/Harris survey conducted this month, most Americans favor an expansion of renewable energy. But that support is very weak. When asked if they would be willing to pay as little as 5% more for electricity, only 32% of Americans answered yes. On the other hand, a full 57% of Americans said they would be opposed to paying for more than a 5% increase in electricity prices for renewable energy. And that is where the left’s RES dreams hit cold hard economic reality. Here are the prices that President Barack Obama’s  Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects for various sources of electricity per megawatt hour in 2016 (in 2008 dollars):

    • 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

    As you can see, the prices for alternative energy are at a minimum almost double the cost of conventional coal power. So what would happen if Congress mandated that utilities obtain growing percentages of their power from renewable sources of energy? A Heritage Foundation analysis of 22.5 % RES by 2025 found: 1) household electricity prices would jump 36%; 2) industry prices would rise by 60%; 3) national income (GDP) would be cut by $5.2 trillion between 2012 and 2035; and most importantly 4) RES would kill more than 1,000,000 jobs.

    Renewables like hydro, wind, solar energy and biomass account for only 6% of our nation’s electricity generation. But when was the last time you saw a dam built? Take hydro-power out and renewables account for only 3% of our nation’s power. And this is after decades of existing generous renewable subsidies. 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.

    There simply is no upside to a RES. In fact, in some ways it is even worse than cap and trade. Heritage analyst David Kreutzer explains: “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.”

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: Renewable Electricity Standards Kill Jobs Too

    1. Dave - Missouri says:

      It seems odd that no mention is made of the cost and viability of using nuclear energy. It's as if expansion of this source, so popular in other countries, is permanently off of the table in the US.


    2. Dave, FL says:

      What is the comparible cost for Oil and Natural Gas?

    3. ThomNJ says:

      Another problem with solar and wind is the fact that we will STILL need conventional systems to back them up. There is no savings or low-cost system possible ever, only more and more expense with the left's plans.

      I laughed when a read a while back that the US Navy had to bow to PC and are growing or going to grow switch grass or the like on an island somehere to help fuel our ships. That is indeed a very non-secure means upon which to place any dependency, and it is non-continuous supply at best. It is an outright joke; as are the other plans proposed.

      If solar and wind were so damned competitive and efficient, then we would not need the government-not-for-the-people to mandate it. Additionally, the so-called environmentalists all look the other way when wind farms kill birds by the hundreds and create encroachment on wildlife – and said encroachment is worse for solar array farms, like the one to be built in southern NJ. A smaller footprint and more cost-effective, productive and efficient power source would be to build a nuclear plant.

      Making decisions with one's head in the sand and ignoring world wide threats and opportunities makes no sense, especially when some of those decisons by the left will get a lot of Americans harmed in some way, shape or form either economically or physically.

    4. Carolyn McMullen,Mid says:

      Is this the same thing as WV H.B. 103 that our esteemed "yes man " Governor Manchin has already signed?

    5. Thomas Given Northpo says:

      You fail to factor in the cost of oil purched from Chaves and Abuminashad,as well as other countries that hate us. You made no mention of nuclear power costs. Also the savings by solar and wind produced on site,

    6. Dennis G. Vasilik says:

      Why didn't you include the most obvious solution? That is, nuclear power!

    7. Mark from the land o says:

      The estimated cost of wind power in the above article is understated. The cost of transmission and integration are left out. Integration also includes the cost of backup generation and related increase is start/stop maintenance. I should note that start/stop maintenance of backup generation will not be seen in the short term. However the cost of start/stop maintenance in the future will make our current low cost power sources much more expensive.

      When the "start/stop maintenance cost lag" catches up with actual repairs. The wisdom of renewable sources will again be considered.

      It would be wise to not ignore future start/stop maintenance today.

    8. Bob Drury, St. Louis says:

      I wish that the article had included the cost of nuclear power per megawatt hour to complete the comparison.

    9. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Incandescent light bulbs: $1.5o, CFLs, $2.00, Cap and Tax, $400, renewable electricity, $1400, Obamacare, $2500. Your vote: Priceless.

    10. Michael Grant, Willi says:

      - Thank you for the article. One detail: The EIA link (the Levelized cost table) shows conventional coal at $100.40 / MW-hr vs. $78.10 in the article. Still much lower than renewables. (Is their some other adjustment factor?) Along with coal, I'd like to see more nuclear power generation.

      Best regards.

      • Conn Carroll Conn Carroll says:

        The EIA added a "regulatory uncertainty" premium to the capital cost for coal power plants. This is an entirely government created cost to coal. The EIA said that the premium has a cost impact similar to a $15 per ton tax on CO2 emissions. This would raise the cost of coal power by $22.30 per megawatt hour. Our analysis compares the cost of electricity generated with coal and without CO2 regulations to the cost under a renewable energy standard, the cost associated with the capital premium has been deducted here.
        All the best.

    11. Timpclimber Provo, U says:

      And when you add the horrendous environmental damage of corn produced ethanol the green revolution is unmasked as a nightmare sham.

    12. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      The REAL Cost of Electricity Prices going UP UP UP

      is Deregulation.

      Started by Reagan and STILL PUSHED BY THE GOP and HF.

      Can anyone tell me WHY that is good.


    13. jerry betts - Garlan says:

      Realistically presented, truthful and factual.

      On the other hand we all realize that reduction of polutants and supplementation of coal and petroleum based fuels are desirable – and ULTIMATELY necessary. We do not oppose them; we oppose economically unrealistic attempts to achieve them too quickly. And we all also know that much of the too quickly comes as a result of personal amibition.

      We cannot come across as opposing renewable energy; we need to come across as opposing economic suicide in their pursuance.

    14. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      This article left out nuclear energy which is a viable renewable energy source. I would like to see the dollars figures for this source of energy. I'm sure the environmentalists would go crazy.

    15. Dan Smith, Simi Vall says:

      Obama and his fellow travelers are economic idiots. None of them have ever run a hot dog or lemonade stand and they want to tell us the best way to generate power?

      Give me a big fat break!

      Dan's Fundamental Rule of Government" Unlike King Midas, whatever the Gubmint touches turns to CRAP and not GOLD.

    16. Randy Dutton says:

      An important reality is missing from the analysis. America doesn't have the domestic mineral resources to cost effectively install most 'green' energy.

      Taxpayer funded subsidies for wind turbines, pushed by Progressives, may help destroy American industry. Large wind turbines require about 4000 pounds of rare earth elements (REE) which also are critical for most manufactured products including Boeing aircraft. China has a 95% monopoly of REEs. This week China started flexing its resources monopoly over us. Congress, under the leadership of Murray, Dicks, Pelosi, Reid, and others, has created a false demand for these REEs. Congress should put a moratorium on promoting expensive ‘green’ technologies that adversely affect the supply of rare earth elements needed for more important products.

      Read the disaster that is unfolding in the NYT article China Said to Widen Its Embargo of Minerals http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/business/global/20rare....
      Only when we put leaders with common sense such as Rossi in Congress will America have a chance to survive. But as long as they kowtow to China, we will become more dependent to them.

      Why isn't this FRONT PAGE NEWS across America? This can be worse than if OPEC stopped shipping oil.

    17. Patti, NC says:

      Alternative Energy companies are already hiring people. Tax Credits would certainly help the industry and the general public. The problem lies in the Government taxing us to death. If we had more of our paycheck we could afford more. Many of us are going off the grid cause we don't want to be a part of the problem We want to be part of the solution, and we refuse to depend on the government for anything. Wouldn't it be a unique (?) idea if we could forget about politics and just communicate ideas that would benefit all of us? No, I'm not a "touchy-feely liberal". I'm a life long Conservative. But, be aware, many conservatives tend to lose big bucks if we bail out on oil. I've come to realize that "it's all about the oil" mantra is true.

    18. Tom Florida says:

      The technology for clean coal is here now. Forget CO2 it is not a harmful gas, on the contrary it is one of our and natures best friends. Without it there will be no plant growth and no oxygen to breathe.

      We have unlimited coal supplies.

      We have hundreds of years of oil supplies.

      We have hundreds of years of natural gas supplies.

      We have advanced nuclear technology.

      We have become leftist idiots who believe by killing off part of the human race; eugenecists- abortion, and by destroying and lowering our standard of living we will raise the worlds standard.

      Throw these terrorists and and traitors out of office as fast as can be done.

      Now Bring the USA back to it's God given Constitutional greatness and teach our children the truth not lies or holding back history and Faith from them.

      Pray for the USA.

    19. Chroma41, California says:

      I'm all for renewable and/or "free" solar, wind, tide generation but the technology just isn't there yet. So far, per the DOE, the solar farms and those thousands of windmills are contributing all of 2-1/2% of our power needs. I can't imagene what our landscape will look like if we add 100 times more windmills!

    20. Will Bailey, New Yor says:

      The link to "projects" shows, according to the Energy Information Administration (who knew??), that the Estimated Levelized (?) Cost of New Generation Resources in 2016 of Nuclear to be $119.00/megawatt hour, compared to $100.40 (where did the $78.10 in the Heritage article come from?) for Conventional Coal.

      With the huge disparities with wind and solar, it is no wonder the Chinese are pushing "global warming" for they are the low-cost producers (with or without subsidies) of the solar panels and windmills.

    21. Pingback: Morning Bell: Renewable Electricity Standards Kill Jobs Too | The Conservative Shepherd

    22. John F Holland, Atlanta Ga says:

      What is Heritage`s position on Clean Coal? The cost differential between coal and the alternatives might cover the development cost.

    23. Tom Howe, Delta Country, Colorado says:

      Here in Colorado (and other western states) we have mountains full of kinetic energy in the form of snow that comes tumbling out of the hills all spring and summer long. Small irrigation companies (I am a shareholder and past president of one) have the cumulative potential of using that tumbling water every spring and summer to generate mini and micro hydro power to the tune of 100′s (if not 1000′s) of megawatts of power.

      However, attempts to implement such power generation (even though recognized by power companies as an efficient means to supplement their power distribution) runs up against such massive federal government regulation that attempts become so costly and fruitless – they are eventually abandoned.

      This is another example of massive government intervening into (and making fruitless) attempts by private individuals and entities to implement proven, cost effective means to generate and distribute inexpensive renewable energy.

      All that energy is still inside that snow – even on a calm night!

      Tom Howe
      Flying W Ranch
      Delta County, Colorado

    24. larry thompson-Tulsa, Ok. says:

      I,m amazed at how the Left has declared war on the U.S. economy and when their efforts are blocked, instead of getting the message, they find a way to work around the block and continue their assult. November and 2012 can’t come fast enough.

    25. Pingback: “You can’t use cap and trade anymore because it is like manure on the trough.” « Newsbeat1

    26. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Ken: gives us the facts. What was "deregulated." What was the unit cost of the "deregulated" energy before and after the change in regulatory policy? If you want to have an impact give facts – not conjecture.

    27. Pingback: ADF Alliance Alert » Renewable electricity standards kill jobs too

    28. katherine bermingham says:

      You all seem to like to vent but you have not one reasonable answer on how to fix anything. Nuclear power, go for it … can we use your back yard to build it or bury the rods later?. If you don't have a solution stop whining. I doubt this comment will be published because you will feel I don't agree with you. All you are saying is you hate the President and the democratic congress and senate. You have no answers. And you won't even if you win in November. You are the party of no.

    29. Kathie & Karl , says:

      Why, or why do we stick our heads in the sand regarding nuclear power?

      Twenty percent of production in the U.S. is nuclear. How can we totally disregard it in studies? Amazing and frighteningly ignorant!!

    30. John, NE Florida says:

      Why can the U.S. Navy as well as some European countries use nuclear power to SAFELY generate electricity, but we can't allow this country's power suppliers to use it? I guess it doesnt develop enough of a kickback for the politicians. In my opinion solar power and wind power is a pipe dream.

    31. Hal Metzger, Scottsd says:

      Great comment section and contributors. I agree with all the negative comments about the renewable energy sources. Now that we all agree that it is a bad thing for our country to pursue this foolishness – how do we bring a permanent end to these programs and develop our own abundant energy resources unhindered by the Greenie enviornmentalists who presently rule the roost? You know, we can get to the moon and other planetary systems and yet we cannot engineer a satis-factory clean emission apparatus to substantially reduce carbon output and clean up the nuclear wastes so that we can just simply bury the residue in the ground.

      I am sure that those costs would be substantially less that the full commercial and industrial implementation of the Greenie pipe dreams that would be necessary to make a significant impact on reducing fossil fuel sources of energy

    32. Karl, Florida says:

      These figures are misleading. For example, a wind turbine produces in the 30 to 35% range, compared to a gas fired combined cycle plant at 98%. The placement of approximitly 4 to 1 capability is rquired to replace. And then it only works if the wind is blowing. That brings the installed cost to close to 8 times the conventional power plant. Then you start adding the electrical connecions requirements, wind turbine need to be placed remotely due to noise and other issues. Maintenance is also expensive due to crane availability, gearbox issues etc.

      Your number for onshore wind is about $650, and the rest go up accordingly.

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    34. Paul, MI says:

      Let's look at situation historically. In England, prior to 1750, power was generated by water. This required a differential so that the water fell, turning a wheel that was connected to a rod that turned the machinery. The machinery had to be adjacent to the source, requiring the movement of raw materials and labor to the power generation site. This is analogous to solar or wind generation because we haven't solved the electrical transmission problem. Coal, natural gas, and other non-renewable energy resources, can be moved to the labor site and/or raw materials. This also applies to nuclear energy generation. Why isn't there more research on storing spent nuclear rods?

      In France, if the need is for 5GW of power, a nuclear generator is built. If they need 10GW, hook two identical generators. One design, just multiply numbers. That reduces development costs and time to be productive from concept to generation.

    35. Pingback: Are you willing to pay much more for green energy?

    36. Dinah Shumway says:

      While I agree with most of the comments posted here, most seem to be “east coast” centric. Out here in the west where the taxpayers own about 70% of the open lands (managed by various agencies of the federal government) the encroachment of these “green” alternative energy schemes onto these open lands is like locusts on grasslands. The citizens of western states are being forced to give up access to public lands, to subsidize these uneconomic schemes only a government would support, to give up revenue from private lands for mitigation AND pay more for the electricity!

      The BLM for example is overwhelmed by the applications which propose to take over hundreds and thousands of acres per project of public lands and withdraw them from public use. These projects literally obliterate landscapes, will be little heat island generators, keep out not only those of us who actually produce product from the earth's crust (minerals) but keep out all other desert users as well: rockhounds, hikers, bickers, off roaders. These projects must purchase mitigation lands to “donate” to the federal government (oops I mean taxpayers) and then the Feds will keep all the citizens off those lands because they might be habitat. Co opting these private lands also removes from the tax rolls private lands that generate revenue for the counties. The California Air Resources Board ( for example) and the Bureaucrats in Washington approve these projects over the many objections of the public. And For What?

      No science demonstrates that CO2 drives global climate yet these projects are all about reducing Co2 to mitigate so called global climate impacts. These schemes will not impact global climate in any way except in generating additional heat normal for industrial sites. They will not make us more secure because they seek to replace electricity not oil. The US is already electricity independent.

      Oil is for transportation and materials not for generating electricity. These alternative energy schemes still require mining and manufacturing (guess what more CO2) , still require conventional electricity to come to market (guess what? more CO2); still require transportation (by oil, even more CO2), and still, as has been pointed out above, still need conventional backup energy.

      Only an entrenched government bureaucracy (and elected officials) which rely on the junk science purveyed by public employees masquerading as “scientists” would foist these projects on a public obviously opposed to these schemes.

    37. M says:

      Check out the differences in costs for each energy source. If you think it's gotten bad lately, it's about to get worse.

    38. mark inyokern,ca. says:

      i see all these people griping about cost-and how it will run the elect. bills way up-

      now,i live in the mojave desert-i am on the grid…..the line that runs thru here runs no/so……..south on that line is the solar array at boron-been in use for many yrs.

      north on that line is the geothermal plant at coso…..also been on line for many yrs.

      for electricity,my "carbon footprint" is very low. i have been running 2 coolers,and an AC unit all summer-along with my normal household use……my elect. bill last mo. was 27.00………….the mo. before-33.00……..before that(in the worst heat-where it can get over 120* here)……it was 38.00. so,what is this about clean energy you have a problem with?it works fine for me.

    39. Drew Page, IL says:

      Now everyone knows that Deputy Asst. Attorney General, Julie Fernandes, has advised attorneys at the DOJ not to investigate or prosecute black-on-white voter intimidation. What has Eric Holder and/or Mr. Obama done about it?

    40. Andrew Bloom, MA says:

      A. The prices for electricity, as listed, do not include the externalized costs for coal power generation such as 1. degradation to environment from blowing off tops of mountains for extractions, 2. degradation to environment from coal trailings pouring into streams and rivers, 3. pollution from transport, 4. pollution from processing, 5. pollution and climate change emmissions from burning, 5. health and societal costs from all of the above.

      B. Coal, oil, gas, and nuclear have been heavily subsized to-date. This has allowed infrastructure development and economies of scale. Renewable energy sources, now in their infancy, will see the same kind of economies of scale and cost/megawatt hour if given the chance to develop as their "dirty cousins have". An important question is, why are the producers of the dirty sources of energy still heavily subsidized when many are seeing enormous profits?

      C. I have a solar array on my home that covers 70-80% of our load. No pollution, free fuel source, no military needed to protect it. I'll see a 6.5 year payback on my investment based on TODAY's energy prices.

      I think that you do the country no good service by promoting a long-term future for unsustainable energy production.

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