Time for wind to stand or fall on its own

I’ve made this same argument hundreds of times before.

I’ve talked with investors while speaking at conferences who told me they invest in renewable projects because they know that, with the lavish subsidies heaped on renewable energy, they can’t lose money at the start of a new project. Of course they added that, once the payment comes in, they bolt and pull their investment as quickly as possible.

They said that if and when the subsidies dry up and the project has to stand or fall on its own economic merits, they will lose their shirts.

Federal subsidies for wind energy are set to expire at the end of the year. Again.

Since 1992, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) has offered generous federal subsidies to wind generators. Under the policy, wind generators are eligible for 2.3 cents in taxpayer subsidies for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of wind electricity generated. That’s nearly a third of the total retail price of electricity for industrial customers.

Federal subsidies for wind are so lavish, that generators in places like west Texas (where wind is plentiful) have been known to bid electricity onto the grid at negative prices, just so it can collect the larger subsidy amount and pocket the difference.


30. January 2014 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Energy, Environment, Marketplace Information | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Time for wind to stand or fall on its own