The deceptive B&V study concluded that increased alternative energy mandates would boast Pennsylvania’s economy and create thousands of new “green jobs”. This study has been used by those that would profit from alternative energy mandates to lobby for more.
Below are the major flaws Energy Ventures Analysis found with these claims.
Renewable Cost and Generation
- The B&V study dramatically understates Pennsylvania’s wind and solar PV renewable production costs and thereby significantly understates the ratepayer costs to expand the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS).
- The report incorporates an escalating carbon penalty starting at $18/ton CO2 in 2012 and reaching $50/ton in 2026. By adding a large carbon penalty to conventional coal and natural gas-fueled generation, the study makes renewables appear more cost-competitive but still much higher cost.
- B&V calculates that increasing the AEPS would increase cumulative present value costs by $1.6 billion from the assumed Fossil Fuel Only (FFO) prices over the course of the forecasting period (2010-2026). Without discounting, the ratepayer expanded AEPS compliance cumulative cost will reach $6.3 billion ($12.7 billion without carbon penalty) or an average price increase of $2.27/MWh.
- B&V projects that the expanded AEPS policy would create 129,000 job-years of new employment over the study period (2010-2026). Using cumulative job-years in lieu of average annual construction and operation jobs misrepresents the actual job impact. If averaged across the 17-year study period, the projected 129,000 cumulative job-years translates to only 7,571 sustainable jobs – 65 percent are attributable to ongoing construction jobs.
- B&V significantly overstate the policy’s overall job creation impact by 260 percent. Relying on published DOE studies, EVA’s independent estimated employment from an expanded AEPS policy would create only a net 2,084 sustainable direct and indirect jobs.
- B&V significantly understates the Pennsylvania employment impact from coal generation. By excluding labor associated with coal mining, coal transportation and byproduct disposal. This flaw results in underestimating fossil fuel employment and overstating net employment gains from the expanded AEPS.