Wind industry blowing away our tax dollars

Blog / October 8, 2009

I thought this was a good piece by the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Kathleen Hartnett White (former Chair of TCEQ).

Many in Texas like to boast at our state’s #1 ranking in terms of wind energy, but the research shows the only reason it’s happening is because of subsidies. It wouldn’t be even close to viable under a true free market system. Why not?

“Although appealing to many, wind power is an extremely expensive, inefficient, and unreliable source of electricity, incapable of providing base load power. Wind’s intermittency, variability, line loss, necessary back-up generation, transmission needs, and dispatch complexity limit the amount of electricity wind can secure. Ever larger mandates and subsidies will not make wind power more economically viable, as the European experience now demonstrates.”

Why is that a problem? According to White:

“Renewable energy might provide a welcome contribution to the Texas and national energy portfolio. Consumers, however, must demand the hard facts of the matter. Wind power must shed the government supplement and meet the tests of the free market place to find its appropriate niche.”

Good analysis, and it’s a position you don’t often hear vocalized.