Big Wind blows billions in subsidy cash

The Wall Street Journal editorializes on the utter failure of government-subsidized Big Wind programs.  Big Wind, along with other Big Green lobby will push hard in the next Congress for an Expensive Energy Mandate, copied after various state laws forcing consumers to get a certain percentage of energy from expensive wind and solar speculators. ( You can read it here.)

The laws are needed to bail out speculators who sank millions into failing wind and solar energy experiments, which Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, admit cannot survive without government handouts.  It seems their product is inferior, unreliable and hideously expensive, meaning government edicts are the only way to get people to buy it.

The Journal reports:

“The industry also wants a federal renewable energy standard, which would require utilities to buy power from green energy projects regardless of price. Without that additional subsidy, AWEA concedes that wind power will “stall out.” It is lobbying for billions of dollars of subsidies to cover the cost of hooking off-shore wind projects to the electricity transmission grid. And now that the cap-and-tax scheme on coal and oil and gas has failed in Congress, the windmillers want the EPA to use regulation to raise costs on carbon sources of power…

“According to an analysis by Chris Horner, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the stimulus bill’s subsidies for renewable energy cost taxpayers about $475,000 for every job generated. That’s at least four times what it costs a nonsubsidized private firm to create a job—a lousy return on investment even for government.

“The wind industry claims to employ 85,000 Americans. That’s almost certainly an exaggeration, but if it is true it compares with roughly 140,000 miners and others directly employed by the coal industry. Wind accounts for a little more than 1% of electricity generation and coal almost 50%. So it takes at least 25 times more workers to produce a kilowatt of electricity from wind as from coal.

“Given this level of inefficiency, it’s no wonder that wind and solar energy require at least 20 times more in government subsidies per unit of electricity generated than the average for coal and natural gas, according to a 2007 study by the Energy Information Administration.”