IER testifies on “wind welfare”

Dr. Robert Michaels will have now already testified before a joint hearing of the House Science Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight. Based on his prepared text – made available to the public before the hearing – his testimony will have been a direct and incontrovertible rebuke to those who support the construction of renewable energy as either a cost-saving, or job creation measure.

Here is some of the pertinent text from his testimony

“The physical properties of electricity greatly complicate the operation of an electrical system whose resources include substantial amounts of generation capacity that produces only intermittently. Maintaining area-wide reliability requires at all times that the amount of power being produced equal the amount users wish to consume. Mismatches of less than one second will produce region-wide blackouts, whether production exceeds consumption (which overloads lines) or the reverse (which destabilizes power flows). Storing large amounts of power is prohibitively costly (except behind hydroelectric dams) and researchers have yet to produce economical batteries or other storage devices on the necessary scale.” (p.4)

“Wind power’s costs must eventually turn up in consumers’ monthly bills, or if not, then certainly in their future tax burden. A tax that consumers must pay to buy something of low value inflicts harm on their budgets and produces benefits for those interests that succeeded in getting it enacted. Additional federal support for otherwise uneconomic technologies cannot possibly produce “green jobs” and prosperity. … Taxing Person A and spending the money to employ a new green job holder must at the same time destroy a job held by Person B who would have otherwise received the taxed-away income.16 It does not matter whether the tax takes the form of a higher power price or a collection by the IRS.” (p.11)

“Wind cannot be supported on grounds that it produces “green jobs.” There is no evidence that it does so and no theoretical support in economics for claims regarding green jobs. Existing methods of estimating green jobs are in fact one-sided contrivances whose only possible prediction is that building renewables must increase employment. The conclusion is not based on observations, but is built into the mathematics that underlies the prediction.” (p.16)

18. April 2013 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Energy, Environment, Policy, Power Generation, Regulation | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on IER testifies on “wind welfare”