Government Subsidies Keeping Wind Energy Afloat: NCPA
Dallas, TX –State subsidies to renewable energy give an unfair advantage to more expensive and inefficient sources of energy, while requiring taxpayers and ratepayers to pick up the tab, warns a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis.
In Texas, the wind energy industry is thriving – largely due to government influence.
- A mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires Texas retail electricity markets to obtain 10,000 MW of energy from renewable sources in 2025, a goal which was surpassed in 2009. These “retail entities” include investor-owned utilities that have not unbundled, retail electric providers in deregulated areas, and municipal utilities and electric cooperatives that offer customer choice.
- The Energy Policy Act of 1992 created Production Tax Credits (PTC), a federal government subsidy of $23 per megawatt hour (MWh) of wind production.
- A provision in the Texas Tax Code exempts new renewable energy facilities from property taxes.
- The Texas legislature passed a $7 billion bill allowing the Texas Public Utility Commission to create Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) — areas with a surplus of wind energy that could be transported to more populous areas — and to fund the construction of transmission lines through an estimated additional fee of $6 dollars a month on consumer’s future electric bills.
“States should allow the market to determine the best, most efficient, and most reliable sources of energy,” says John McDonald, author of the report and a research associate with the National Center for Policy Analysis. “Maybe with the progress of technology, renewable energy will become the best source of energy.”