Unfortunately, wind energy is about as reliable as the wind and it’s costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year with little to show for it.
In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act which in part established the federal production tax credit. This credit was created to help boost renewable energy in the United States and help establish a firm foundation in which green energy could expand. However, 20 years later Congress has had to renew or extend the use of the production tax credit over and over again, because renewable energy continues to prove to be an inefficient and unreliable form of energy.
I’m not here to bash wind energy or any other form of renewable energy for that matter. However, once we dive in to how much benefit taxpayers get from renewable energy compared to the amount of money taxpayers waste on it each year, the numbers are quite startling.
- According to the Congressional Research Center, extending the production tax credit for one year would cost taxpayers $12.1 billion. This doesn’t even include the billions of dollars in subsidies that renewable energy already receives.
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas stated that only 9% of wind energy is produced during peak times. We see this trend because a lot of times the hotter it gets outside the less wind we generally receive.
- In 2010, wind produced 2.3% of all the energy in the U.S. but received 42% of all subsidies from the federal government.
- Only 1% of oil used in the U.S. is used to produce energy, so more renewable energy doesn’t really mean we will be more energy independent
- The production tax credit is purely based off of production. So wind companies could technically “sell” wind energy for $0 and still make money because they will make their profit off of the production tax credit.
- The Institute for Energy Research states that for every dollar that oil and gas companies receive in subsidies, wind gets $88 and solar an astonishing $1,200. And that’s using the Department of Energy’s own numbers.
As you can see taxpayers are handing over a lot of money for results that aren’t very promising. I propose instead of subsidizing every energy product out there we eliminate these subsidies. The government needs to stop picking winners and losers in the energy market. Even when they do pick “winners” like Solyndra they declare bankruptcy and taxpayers are out hundreds of millions of dollars.
As part of the Recovery Act in 2009 the production tax credit was extended, but is supposed to expire in at the end of the year. Let’s do our wallets and the national debt a favor and end this subsidy. While we are at it let’s also end the subsidies to the oil and gas companies and just let the market compete.
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