Oregon Ducks Renewable Energy Failure

wind failureIn 2001, Mayor Vera Katz promised Portland, Ore. would acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2010. Today, only nine percent of Portland’s energy comes from renewables. What happened?

The cost to purchase renewable energy was too high—in fact, double what the city anticipated. The Cascade Policy Center’s new report looks at the unrealistic goals set by Oregon politicians, noting that Oregon’s attempts to artificially spur the renewable energy market has been a complete failure, as both politicians and citizens are unwilling to pay the high price to go green. And in the aftermath of these failures, there is little accountability or media follow-up.

On the state level, the study looks at Gov. Kulongski’s effort to run state agencies on 100 percent renewable power by 2010. Earlier this year, the goal was revised to 100 percent renewable power by 2025. Meeting this ambitious goal would have cost Oregon taxpayers an additional $208 million.

Similar to Pennsylvania’s costly altnernative energy mandates, the Oregon legislature passed their own renewable energy mandates in 2007 with promises of new jobs and protection from volatile oil prices. Instead, these “green jobs” are simply causing layoffs in other sectors, as ratepayers are beginning to see higher electricity costs.