As California considers a 100% renewable-energy mandate, the state’s legislators should be asking what happens to California’s energy profile when the sun doesn’t shine and the winds don’t blow.
WindAction Editorials filed under Energy Policy from USA
This essay, the fourth in a series aimed at correcting the most harmful wind energy-related policies of the Obama era, examines how the U.S. Department of Energy has set aside its scientific objectivity and has assumed the role of chief advocate for wind power in the federal government. Prior essays can be found here, here and here.
“Obama’s green energy agenda meant advancing wind interests at any cost, and it shows. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) now estimates the total cost of the wind production tax credit in the years 2016–2020 at $23.7 billion.”
In December, 2015, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (‘SEC’) adopted new rules governing the siting of energy projects in the state, including wind energy facilities. The new rules represent the culmination of 2+ years of intense focus by stakeholders with widely varying interests. In that time, the SEC conducted months of hearings and deliberative sessions, all open to public, where thousands of pages of detailed comments were debated and ultimately distilled down to standards intended to better quantify the data presented by applicants, reduce subjectivity and lead to more informed, and more consistent decisions on energy facility siting.
The output of DOE's models are easy to promote but reality paints a very different picture. DOE's Vision assumes 7 GW of wind built per year between 2014 and 2020, followed by 12 gigawatts per year between 2020 and 2030, and 17 GW every year after until 2050. The Agency points to the progress since 2009 as proof that a more aggressive wind roll-out is possible. But in many ways, the success of U.S. wind in those years is the very reason wind development will not grow, but continue to slow.