This is getting to be a habit with the renewable industry

It seems that admitting renewable energy simply can’t compete without massive infusions of taxpayer dollars, or regulatory/legislative mandates is getting to be a habit for renewable advocates.

They are clearly making these statements in defense of their attempts to stop citizens groups from repealing renewables mandates. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact they are openly (although unintentionally) admitting their sector suffers from a fatal inability to compete without big brother’s help.

Here’s a few examples that demonstrate my point. First a quote from a Wind Power Monthly article.

“This year, we saw bills introduced across the country that would have wiped out nearly 50% of the demand created through state policies,” a Vestas spokesman told Windpower Monthly. …

“If you measure success by outright repeal of these standards, they may be successful with one or two. I don’t think they are going to get much more than that,” he said.

“But if you measure success in a different way, in that they are slowing our ability to do what we should be doing, which is going out and expanding these policies and creating larger markets for renewable energy, then I think they have been successful.” (emphasis added)

Next a quote from Mother Jones,

Still, the actual availability of resources—how much sun shines or wind blows—is far less important than the marching orders passed down from statehouses to electric utilities, says Rhone Resch, head of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Without some carrot or stick, there’s little reason to pick [renewables] up” in many states, he says; even given the quickly falling price of clean energy technology, natural gas made cheap by fracking is still an attractive option for many utilities. (emphasis added)

There you have it from the horse’s mouth. Despite all the talk we have heard about ‘cost parity‘with fossil fuels and ‘rapidly falling prices,’ renewables can’t compete without subsidies, legislative interference, and mandates in energy markets. Without a “carrot or stick,” even the head of the Solar Energy Industries Association admits “there’s little reason” for utilities to choose renewables over fossil options in many states.

It’s honestly hard to argue with that logic.

16. May 2013 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Energy, Environment, Marketplace Information, Policy, Regulation, Utilities | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 comment