Taking Wind out of the Subsidy Sail

For years, you’ve heard conservatives say the wind power industry would be better off without government subsidies. But now even wind industry advocate and Tang Energy CEO Patrick Jenevin is joining the chorus via the Wall Street Journal.

Without subsidies, the wind industry would be forced to take a fresh look at its product, says Jenevin. And if there is truly a need for wind energy, entrepreneurs who improve the business’s fundamentals will find a way to compete.

Jenevin, a developer of “clean energy” projects, including wind farms, makes the following points:

  • Subsidies make wind power developers focus less on efficiency and more on securing government grants.
  • While receiving $8.4 billion in cash grants or tax credits under the 2009 federal stimulus program, wind farms were increasingly built in less-windy locations.
  • Wind power prices have increased nearly 46 percent since 2005.
  • Wind power will make marginal-not revolutionary-contributions to the energy mix.

What is the cost of over-priced wind power to Pennsylvanians?

According to The Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University, the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards, which require a percentage of electricity sold to retail customers be derived from sources such as wind power, will raise consumers’ costs by as much as $3 billion in 2021.

To read more about the cost of renewable energy mandates see our Bleeding Green poligraph.