Little Effect on Power Prices in States with Big Renewables Goals
Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado results discount warnings about Prop. 3
Power to Change, Proposal 3 | October 17, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo
About the Author
Jim Dulzo is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s senior energy policy specialist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kenneth A.,: "Clean Energy" is Progressive Double Speak for taxpayer subsidized National Socialists pandering in the Lansing bubble for reams of OUR private wealth by statutory decree. The Federal Energy Securi...
- Christine Pardee: Michigan needs to be a leader in clean energy policy based on factual information. As we rebuild our economy. let our growth be based on energy policy that will be good for our future! ...
- Mike Tiedeck: A free market conservative culture embraces "creative destruction". This means that old, inefficient, polluting industries and power systems are inevitably doomed. Our state can be a leader in energ...
- Rob DeLay: Green roof projects for Michigan must include opportunities for individual homeowners,not just multi-home landholders. In particular, benefits and loan opps for farmers should be a high priority. Just...
- Sad but True: This gas plant in Holland is a good thing, but it is also should be a reminder that energy is complicated and requires a mix of generation assets. The real sad thing is that we as a country allowed t...
|Turbine blades wait for installation at the Community Wind South project in Minnesota. (Source: Wind on the Wires)|
Three states with renewable energy standards similar to those in Michigan’s Proposal 3 are seeing little or no rise in electricity prices, undermining claims that the ballot measure will sharply increase energy costs.
Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado require utilities to obtain 25 percent of their power, and in some cases more than that, from renewable sources by either 2020 or 2025—matching or exceeding Prop. 3’s renewable energy standard (RES).
These states are making swift progress toward their goals, and their stable electricity costs challenge the avalanche of TV and radio ads claiming Prop. 3 will spike electricity rates sharply, adding $12 billion to Michiganders’ power bills. The ads are financed in part by almost $6 million of ratepayer money from DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, and are produced by their nonprofit front group, CAREforMichigan.
CARE’s spots don’t mention Prop. 3’s job-creating ability, but the three states have had significant RES-based job growth and, in the case of wind development, hefty increases in local public and private revenue. The results echo a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy that found counties with windpower development enjoy significant economic growth.
CARE claims Michigan’s growth would be trumped by high power rates caused by Prop. 3. But Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, Prop. 3’s main sponsor, says the measure will not boost rates significantly for two reasons: renewables are steadily becoming less expensive, and the ballot measure constitutionally caps renewables-driven rate increases at 1 percent annually—one extra dollar a month on a $100 electric bill.
Michigan Energy’s main point, however, is that Prop. 3 would provide thousands of wind, solar, biomass, and hydro construction, installation, and operation jobs. A recent Michigan State University study estimated the proposal would create 54,000 so-called “job years,” plus 20,000 additional, long-term “green” manufacturing jobs because the mandate would create home-state markets and attract new investment to Michigan’s renewables industry. As of early last year, according to the Environmental Law & Policy Center, about 200 Michigan firms employing 10,300 workers are making renewables parts for the exploding global market.
Proponents say that CARE’s barrage of misleading ads about renewables-driven cost increases is blocking their jobs message and wearing down public support for Prop. 3, even as rising coal costs drive up DTE’s rates sharply, spur Consumers to ask for a significant rate increase, and over the past year, made Michigan’s commercial electricity rates the fastest-rising in the country between July 2011 and July 2012.
Meanwhile, a review of the progress the three states are making indicates that their aggressive standards are spurring big renewables investments, generating significant economic activity and only small increases in electric bills. The states have encountered a few problems, mostly due to moving more quickly than their specific RES requires.
Illinois: Holding at 8 Percent, Saving Money
Illinois lawmakers enacted a 25 x 25 renewables goal in 2007 as part of fixing problems with the state’s decade-old utility deregulation.
The legislation set yearly renewable energy goals for Illinois’ two largest utilities and dozens of small, alternative suppliers, with wind power a large part of the mix. By 2016, all utilities must get 6 percent of their renewables from sunshine and start including smaller-scale, distributed generation.
Alternative suppliers must purchase renewable energy credits to meet at least half of their requirement; that money, along with a surcharge levied by the two large utilities, is used to finance renewables development.
According to Arlene Juracek, acting director of the Illinois Power Agency, their RES is working well.
“We’ve been meeting our targets,” she said. “Right now, we are at 8 percent, which is [two percentage points] more than what’s required [for 2012].”
On April 1, Ms. Juracek’s agency released its annual report on the costs and benefits of the RES. It found the extra cost to customers of the state’s two large utilities customers ranged from 0.092 cents per kilowatt-hour (i.e., less than one-tenth of one cent) to 1.927 cents per kilowatt-hour—or a 0.05 percent to 0.83 percent rate increase.
The report observed that “the current price trend [for renewables] is downward” and that adding Illinois’ renewables to the Eastern Interconnection grid lowered locational marginal prices, which influence wholesale electricity costs, by more than 1.3 cents per kilowatt-hour—annual savings of $176 million.
“While this does not directly translate to dollar-for-dollar savings in consumer bills,” the report said, “it points out the magnitude of the benefits accruing to all consumers in lowered underlying electric energy cost drivers.”
“It’s been good,” Ms. Juracek said of the RES. “There’s a lot of renewable energy construction in Illinois; it’s created local benefits; farmers are making more money sometimes [on wind turbines] than on corn and soybeans. From the consumers’ side, it has caused prices to be lower.”
Illinois is also seeing significant RES-driven job growth.
A June 2012 Illinois State University report found that Illinois’ 23 largest wind farms created about 19,000 full-time equivalent jobs and a payroll of $1.1 billion during their construction. Now they provide 814 permanent jobs in rural areas, a $48 million payroll, $28.5 million in annual local property taxes, and $13 million in wind royalty payments to landowners.
But further development is on hold since Illinois’ formula for financing investment in renewables is linked to electricity prices and sales figures, which are currently falling, and because utilities are two years ahead of their RES timelines.
“At some point in time it will make sense for them to add more resources. But you don’t tell a corn farmer to plant more when prices are low,” Ms. Juracek said. “But overall, we’ve done remarkably well—we have plenty of renewable resources already online to take us through the next few years.”
Minnesota: On Target at 14 Percent
Minnesota lawmakers first proposed an RES in 2001, and enacted one in 2007 by a near-unanimous vote. The RES is unusual: It requires all but Xcel, the state’s largest utility, to provide 25 percent renewables by 2025; Xcel’s goal is 30 percent.
Lawmakers passed the mandate after realizing that the state has excellent wind, a technical study revealed the grid could handle lots of wind energy, and studies indicated costs would be reasonable.
Last year, with many utilities outstripping their mandate timelines and renewables supplying 14 percent of the state’s power, Midwest Energy News and the Izaak Walton League, a conservation group, analyzed reports from 14 utilities and found that most Minnesotans see little price effect from renewables.
Xcel said renewables lowered its rates by 0.7 percent. Ten other firms reported rate increases of less than 1 percent, no rate increase due to the mandate, or increases of tenths or hundredths of a cent per kilowatt-hour.
However, three utilities—Minnkota, Dairyland, and Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency—saw significant prices increases.
An official at the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources, who asked not to be identified, said several companies made mistakes.
“At least one utility, you could say, made kind of a bad bet,” he explained. “It decided to front-load all of its renewables acquisitions, paid too much, and [when demand and power prices began falling] was unable to sell its renewable energy at the same rate that they are producing it.
“Those companies that have gone about this more systematically,” he said, “have found it is possible to incorporate renewables and have not had the pricing problems they expected.”
Information on job creation is scarce. However, the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group, said that in 2010, Minnesota wind farms paid more than $6 million in property taxes to counties and township, and more than $7 million in royalty payments.
The tax revenues will grow as wind power expands. Minnesota’s Southwest Economic Development Commission recently predicted, based on wind revenues to date, that turbines in its region would pay $4.185 million in taxes in 2012—two-thirds of the entire state’s earlier, 2010 wind total. The Worthington Daily Globe reported counties and townships largely spend the revenue on road and other infrastructure, but are also using it to hold down property taxes.
“Indirectly, it benefits the county in many different ways,” Pipestone County Administrator Sharon Hansen told the Globe. “It’s an indirect benefit to all of our departments. We think it benefits property taxes at the end of the day, and that’s what we use it for.”
Colorado: Speeding to 15 Percent
Colorado was the first state where a ballot initiative installed a RES, in 2004, requiring 10 percent by 2015. Tweaked twice, it’s now 30 percent by 2020 for large utilities and 10 percent for small ones, including 3 percent from small-scale, distributed or customer generation, and a strong solar component.
The state’s utilities must contain rate increases to 2 percent for meeting those goals, among America’s most aggressive.
Last year Colorado reached 14 percent renewables, two points higher than required for 2011. Xcel subsidiary Public Service Company of Colorado, the state’s largest utility, is doing even better. Spokesman Mark Stutz said PSCC is at 17 percent—five points higher than required. He said his company set a record one windy April evening: Wind produced 56 percent of the company’s load.
But the program attracts some criticism. PSCC and the state’s other major utility are spending above the 2-percent limit, recording internal deficits to be recovered when their renewables boom slows and the companies apply their RES premium to the debt.
That may already be happening: The state marked PSCC’s deficit at $53 million early this year, but Mr. Stutz said it now stands at about $40 million and that the company expect to eliminate it by 2017.
Some dislike that approach. Rich Mignogna, a former Colorado Public Utility Commission staffer who blogs about and advises businesses on renewables technology and policy, doesn’t think customers should pay the interest on utility company deficits, and wants more state oversight.
He believes utilities should have waited longer for renewables prices to fall before locking in so many long-term contracts far ahead of the required pace.
“It is a good idea,” he said of Colorado’s 30 x 20, “but the devil is in the details.”
PSCC’s Stutz, however, said that with the unpredictability of the federal wind power tax incentives, signing contracts quickly before the incentives could expire was the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, a state agency said that, in 2011, Colorado had about 11,600 RES-related jobs—in solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and smart grid manufacturing, construction, and operation. And a 2008 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colo., said that Colorado’s first 1,000 megawatts of wind energy were, at that time, generating $4.6 million in annual property taxes and $2.5 million in extra income for landowners.
The state now has more than 1,800 MW of wind power in operation.
Jim Dulzo is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s senior energy policy specialist. Reach him at email@example.com.
1207 days ago, 1:28pm | by Steve Wentworth | Report Comment
It's great that weare moving into greater use of renewables. A constitutional amendment is not an appropriate way to set this target. It should be a legislative issue.
1207 days ago, 5:16pm | by Tom suirHart | Report Comment
Sometimes we have to be forced to do the right thing.
I remember feeling more than a little rankled when the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was established. I could no longer do as I pleased on that ageless shoreline. Guidelines were set and even a modest fee was required. Well…Thank goodness there were forward thinking people working to create what would soon represent the best part of northern Michigan. Think of where we’d be today without their wisdom.
Yes, sometimes we have to be forced to do the right thing. And again, forward thinking people are working to establish a means to attain cleaner air, a more diverse Michigan economy and less dependence on fossil fuels. Big energy, like that distant version of me shouldn’t be allowed to do as they please. The constitutional change offered by Proposition 3 is the right thing to do.
1207 days ago, 6:29pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
"Three states with renewable energy standards similar to those in Michigan’s Proposal 3 are seeing little or no rise in electricity prices, undermining claims that the ballot measure will sharply increase energy costs."
This is simply not possible. Using published data on installed costs factored over lifetime output of turbines in Michigan's anemic wind resource, wind costs $120.00 per MWh to produce yet at best can offset only $20-30 per MWh of gas or coal fuel input costs. Wind does not obviate the need for fossil generation plants and when those plant are retired they will again be replaced by fossil plant. There is no way wind cannot increase utility costs unless one pretends the $25-35 per MWh federal subsidies do not exist.
Worse, the latest number on wind turbine O&M is now $20.00 per MWh. Simply adding O&M to the federal subsidy value and we are a number nearly twice the typical MISO wholesale grid price. If this was not true, the bulk of this article would surely not focus on job claims, it would show long lists of utility bills showing rate cuts due to wind energy but they simply do not exist.
Regarding the jobs claims, it has been well said: "There is nothing – no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime — that does not ‘create jobs’. Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs’. So that claim misses the point; [because] it applies to all it is an argument in favor of none. Instead of an argument on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such [meritorious] arguments.”
In truth the energy source that would brig the greatest value to our civilization would require only one employee to man the on/off switch. Every additional employee required in energy production is another hidden overhead cost to each end user. And it is the poor that bear the highest burden.
1207 days ago, 9:14pm | by Jim Dulzo | Report Comment
There you go again.
I'm sorry you don't think it's possible that wind power is getting so inexpensive, or that it is actually doing very little, if anything, to push up rates in almost every case we looked at.
But I'm way more inclined to believe numbers given to me directly by utility companies and state regulators who actually work with this stuff on a daily basis, rather than someone who spends so much time taking pot shots and cherry-picking data.
The price that really matters to customers like you and me is not all of your O&M, installed cost per MW, levelized cost, or whatever else you would like to look up; it is what the wind power company actually sells the power to the utility for.
And those prices are steadily falling all across the country and in Michigan as technology improves and production scales up...both, I should add, the direct result of the infernal tax incentives you're so upset about. Those horrible socialist plots are actually doing what they were designed to do: help the industry get up and running in the United States and compete with a fabulously rich and powerful, hundred-year-or-so-old monopoly...and, not to mention, catch up with a crucial, growing, global industry.
As soon as oil and gas and coal drop all of their subsidies, I"d be happy to discuss renewables doing the same...and I'm sure most in that industry would be, too.
Look: If a utility is paying a windpower company four or five or six or seven cents a MW hr, which is becoming increasingly common, than that's what they're paying, and that's what affects your rates. Those other numbers are great for what they are--ways to help figure project budgets, financing, bidding with different technology suppliers, how high a capacity needs to be to pencil out.
Your "not replacing coal" canard is wearing thin. You're right: there's no one-for one swap going on. No one's ever said there was. You are attacking straw men.
A new SYSTEM is being built, which includes wind power, does not include coal, does include variable gas and solar, energy efficiency, smart grids, electric cars as storage points, hydro, biomass, and more...much of it increasingly decentralized.
Please stop complaining about getting wet while spending the night in the home your contractor is building for you, but failing to consider that he hasn't put the roof on yet.
And, ah yes, the poor: The poor sure are bearing the highest burden--and it does involve money, but not anything remotely significant on their bills. They are bearing the cost of being forced to live next to really crappy things like strip mines, coal ash ponds, power plants, and all the dire, dirty rest. I'm sure any one of 'em would move to a home placed directly below an operating wind turbine any time. Go drive around Del Ray and you'll see what I mean.
If you can show us any evidence that renewbles are raising rates significantly at DTE or Consumers--both of which recently announced BIG rate increases that have everything to do with coal and aging infrastructure--at least according to their filings--and nothing to do with renewables. But mumbo jumbo about O&E and whatever other industry jargon you can pull out of your hat to prove wind is still expensive, and, according to your numbers, still more expensive than a new coal plant, just aren't real.
I also must say: I find it amusing that, because we can't show any actual "rate cuts" from renewables just yet--although there's evidence wind is helping hold down hourly rates in several ways at certain times--you think you win the argument. Nothing like moving the goal post, dude.
1207 days ago, 9:49pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
"The price that really matters to customers like you and me is not all of your O&M, installed cost per MW, levelized cost, or whatever else you would like to look up; it is what the wind power company actually sells the power to the utility for. "
Nonsense. Why not just say "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain?"
Your side regularly touts the allegedly falling LCOE numbers for wind vs. conventional production and then cry foul when we point out they are bogus and say: "You're right: there's no one-for one swap going on." Then we agree?
And now you wish to point to lowering PPA numbers at MPSC yet they have risen in 2012. Even DTE has had to add another 10% for their latest PPA over and above their $65.00 PPA of last year. And MPSC continues to approve PPAs above $95.00 as recently as this spring. If they are inexorably getting cheaper, why should MPSC ever approve a wind PPA above $65.00? Your data is incomplete by design. "Cherry picking"?
"Please stop complaining about getting wet while spending the night in the home your contractor is building for you, but failing to consider that he hasn't put the roof on yet." And here is where we ask whether that roof includes panels from Solyndra and storage from A123. Your hope in some nebulous green energy advances smacks of "faith based energy".
My "not replacing coal canard" will remain relevant just as surely as my "gravity draws objects with mass toward each other" canard.
"But mumbo jumbo about O&E and whatever other industry jargon you can pull out of your hat to prove wind is still expensive, and, according to your numbers, still more expensive than a new coal plant, just aren't real." ....wait, I thought there wasn't a "one-for-one swap" of wind v. coal?
"But I'm way more inclined to believe numbers given to me directly by utility companies and state regulators who actually work with this stuff on a daily basis, rather than someone who spends so much time taking pot shots and cherry-picking data."...one man's pot shots is the next man's confrontation with evidence. (Kind of like using words such as "windbaggers".) My data comes from AWEA, EIA, MPSC and NREL. And there is no denying the fact that without subsidies wind energy costs at least $120.00 per MWh to produce which was just recently confirmed by Steve Transeth, formerly of the Granholm MPSC. And Doug Jester of CA's GreenTech Action Fund did not refute it.
"A new SYSTEM is being built, which includes wind power, does not include coal, does include variable gas and solar, energy efficiency, smart grids, electric cars as storage points, hydro, biomass, and more...much of it increasingly decentralized." Yet Jester claims Prop 3 is essentially a wind mandate and at a 25% wind penetration we will still import $1.3 billion per year in coal. And do you intend to add the cost of smart grids and variable gas to the true cost of wind? Or do you intend to camouflage that expense through more accounting legerdemain like the PTC, RECs, Cap and Trade and the ITC?
"....rather than someone who spends so much time taking pot shots and cherry-picking data. " It's clear you consider me a lightweight. Then let's have a debate on the facts in a public forum. You should have no trouble embarrassing me.
Independent uncompensated taxpayer advocate
1206 days ago, 10:07pm | by Frank Zaski | Report Comment
Wind energy is now cheaper than even old conventional generation.
The Holland utility just signed a contract to buy electricity generated by wind for 4.5 cents a kilowatt hour and without an investment. http://www.hollandsentinel.com/newsnow/x2053809018/Holland-City-Council-accepts-wind-energy-recommendations
4.5 cents is far lower than what it costs even Consumers and Detroit Edison to generate electricity with OLD conventional generation, CMS conventional with purchased power 7.44 cents and DTE conventional with purchased power 6.86 cents. http://www.pscinc.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=fuPX1uar-q8%3D&tabid=65
4.5 cent wind even beats 6.6 cent new natural gas and 11.1 cents new coal generation http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm
Of note, the price of natural gas hit $3.59 /MMBtu a few days ago, an increase of 92% since its March low of $1.87. It was $13.00 just a few years ago.
The price of coal delivered to Michigan in July hit an all-time high of 2.94 cents per MMBTU. This is an increase of 79% since 2006. (The price of delivered coal depends more on transportation – particularly diesel costs - than mining costs.
Wind will lower the rates for Holland and can for all of Michigan.
1206 days ago, 10:20pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
Then why did MPSC just approve Heritage wind at over 10 cents per kWh this January? You need to connect all the data points if you want a trend. The trend simply isn't there. And you still are pretending the 3.4 cent PTC credit is not a legitimate cost of wind energy. But with the way AWEA is shrieking about it's potential demise coupled with wind projects dropping like flies, again due to fears of being orphans of the subsidy regime that fathered them, we know that taxpayer largess is the only thing that keeps wind alive. An honest assessment will add those costs to the true price of wind.
If Prop 3 passes and the PTC dies, our energy costs will skyrocket and AWEA knows it. That is why they are pushing the Prop 3 mandate. With an RPS mandate, the costs to ratepayers are no longer relevant. Like ethanol, we will be compelled to buy fossil/wind irrespective of price.
1206 days ago, 10:37pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
The Wildcat wind project is in Indiana which has no RPS. IT is a 200Mw plant of which only 100Mw is in a PPA in MI. I contend that they got the price of wind down that low by applying 200MW worth of REC to the 100MW MI half. It is the only possible way to move wind energy out the door that cheap. It clearly has not been repeatable by any MI producer, which the article also concedes.
1206 days ago, 7:56am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
What MLUI wishes to conceal is this very basic and indisputable truth about wind energy production in MI. Industry sources do not contest the fact that wind energy in MI costs $120.00 per MWh to produce. The math is simple: take published installed cost of wind plant+cost of capital/annual production figures over usable life if the turbine and we get $120.00/MWh. It is beyond dispute.
This means that anytime wind energy is sold for less than that real $120/MWh cost of production it is being done so at a loss. That loss is made up by the taxpayers/ratepayers which are one and the same. MLUI/MLCV/MEMJ and their out of state funders are pushing an initiative in MI that amortizes the huge losses associated with wind energy production across the balance of the US via federal credits and incentives. The only winners are the manufacturers of wind turbines, almost all from out of state, and the wind developers (often European) strip mining our tax code while working hand in glove with faux environmental fronts for their industry like those I just listed above, particularly Mr. Dulzo and MLUI.
1206 days ago, 8:11am | by The goal of coal... | Report Comment
Sounds like Kevon is someones little parrot...
1206 days ago, 4:55pm | by Tom Stacy | Report Comment
The wind energy production tax credit at the federal level costs taxpayers $600 million for every gigawatt of wind built under the 10 year benefit period of the program, and will necessarily cost energy consumers $6 billion dollars per gigawatt of wind installed under the program over the purported 25 year life of that equipment. The same abominable scenario applies for proposition three, constitutionally codifying a mandate for a low value product that does not fit into the technicaLl specifications of electricity grids, nor the demand patterns for electricity. You can spin these kinds of stories and call yourself a conservative all you want, Mr. Dulzo, but that doesn't make either one true.
1206 days ago, 5:05pm | by Tom Stacy | Report Comment
Frank Zaski is it either uninformed or is trying to fool us. Wind energy projects are typically 65% taxpayer subsidized Capital investments. Furthermore, there is no such thing as wind energy by itself on electricity grid. Wind energy's output is so irregular and negatively correlated to demand cycles that it does not substitute for any conventional electricity generation plant investment at all. The Department of Energy's statistics on levelized cost of energy break those costs down for each generation technology by capital cost, variable costs including fuel, fixed operations and maintenance costs, and transmission costs. Since wind energy cannot defray any capital costs of conventional plants, it basically can only save the cost of the fuel associated with the levelized cost of energy from the conventional sources. this makes wind energy approximately $90 per megawatt hour more expensive than natural gas fired generation. That's almost equal to the retail price of electricity we pay today. The misleading information that uses from wind developers and investors in order to access our tax dollars is nothing short of criminal.
1205 days ago, 7:22am | by dubious | Report Comment
Tom...Please name a few things that aren't directly or indirectly supported by taxpayer money. There isn't much...
1205 days ago, 12:35pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
Many things are but that is not justification. But coal and gas can function in a free market while wind cannot. In 2010, wind received nearly 90x the subsidy per MWh than gas or coal. It also received more total subsidies in aggregate than gas, hydro, coal and nuke combined, yet produced barely 2% of our electricity.
1205 days ago, 8:34pm | by Dubious | Report Comment
Kevon...It may not be a “justification” as you put it, but it’s plain that large scale wind energy is being somehow set apart by folks such as yourself as some sort of industrial anomaly in regard to receiving tax benefits in the early stages of its development. Saying coal and gas “can function in a free market” is like saying a runner can win a race after being given a big head start…That's fine but it doesn’t make that person a faster runner any more than it makes the rest of the runners any slower…Coal and gas are great sources of fuel but they’re finite and dirty…Wind and other nonpolluting energy sources are being developed to offset some of the drawbacks of these fuels...Anyway I was asking Tom Stacy.
1204 days ago, 10:44pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
"Saying coal and gas “can function in a free market” is like saying a runner can win a race after being given a big head start..."
But current energy secretary Chu says wind is a mature technology. And MLUI claims wind is now cheaper than coal. So why subsidize?
Wind cannot stand without subsidies nor without fossil. And MI's meager wind resource forces us to use more expensive low wind turbine designs. Wind is a race MI cannot win.
1204 days ago, 7:35am | by Dubious | Report Comment
Being “a mature technology” is neither here nor there. The years of yours, mine as well as our fathers and grandfathers bolstering fossil fuels with their tax dollars have created an uneven playing field. What’s your real gripe with this Marton...Is it just about the fact that there are subsidies involved??...Are you upset about altering the “view shed”??...Has your business suffered from the emergence of wind farms??...Tell us why you portray yourself as such a white knight saving us all from these three armed monsters. Come on. Somewhere deep inside there’s something or someone driving you. Fill us in.
1204 days ago, 7:11pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment
What drives your support for them? Religion or science?
Wind energy cannot meet the scientific rationale that allegedly advances them. Therefore they should not be subsidized. And the fact that our nation is compelled by force of law to support a technology that cannot wean us from finite resources but in fact binds us too them for no meaningful environmental gain is offensive to me. Thus I speak.
1196 days ago, 8:04am | by dubious | Report Comment
Again...it's an adjunct...a piece of the puzzle...Not a replacement...Sometimes we need that “force of law" to do what's right.… Tell us what's driving your stance against this and not other tax supported endeavors….