CFACT advisor Marita Noon says that 2015 promises to be a dark year for those who have benefitted from massive subsidies for wind, solar, and biofuels -- the public is tiring of the cost and the failed promises -- and of higher food costs. There will surely be a massive fight between Washington and the states over this -- but wait and see.
A year after the Congress allowed the wind power production tax credit to expire, the American Wind Energy Association is making a last-ditch effort to renew the PTC, which apparently is necessary for its survival. Moreover, the conditions that fostered the creation of this tax credit -- fears of dependence on foreign oil -- have long since passed, thanks to the fracking revolution. As CFACT analyst Marita Noon says, it is time for the wind industry to grow up.
Marita Noon provides a laundry list of reasons to ignore calls from fire-breathing wind power shills who want to reinstate the wind power production tax credit -- and thus rip off the U.S. Treasury to build noneconomic wind farms that also cause health and safety problems and still rely on backup generation due to the intermittent nature of wind speed.
Ever since the wind power Production Tax Credit expired last year, the lobbying to restore the costly, wasteful tax credit has been intense. Recently, 26 Senators and 118 House members signed a letter urgning its restoration -- but whether they will succeed is an entirely different matter. As a result, even GE's Jeffrey Immelt is talking about "a world that's unsubsidized."
The recently ended wind power production tax credit was costing the U.S. taxpayer at least $12 billion a year -- and if the claimed number of jobs was indeed created by these subsidies, they were underwritten at about $32,000 per job. By contrast, so-called subsidies (which are actually tax preferences) for fossil fuel production cost about $2,100 per job. Meanwhile, wind power is now an average $54 per megawatt-hour -- up from $37 in 2005, and much higher than fossil fuel power. There is good news: We are nowhere near as bad off as many European countries that have subsidized wind power production.