Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Vermont
Good public policy promotes desirable social and economic change cost-effectively. Government programs, however well-intentioned, tied to bad ideas are bad policy. Such is the case with federal and state programs promoting industrial wind energy.
Alternative energy projects ranging from home solar systems to dairy farm methane projects are collectively $1.3 million richer thanks to state-required funding from Entergy Nuclear, the owner of the state's nuclear power plant. Of the $1.3 million, $500,000 is slated for the 3-year-old Vermont Solar and Small Wind Incentive Program, which provides grants for solar electric, small wind and solar hot water systems for residences and businesses.
Suppose you wanted to make a bundle in the electric energy business in the little state of Vermont. How would you go about it? The old-fashioned way would be to generate electricity at a lower cost than your competitors. But forget that – too demanding. Here’s another way: get the federal and state governments to rig the deal in your favor.
To begin with, UPC would have absolutely no interest in wind energy if they weren't in line to receive enormous tax subsidies to do it. Wind energy from Vermont ridgelines hasn't a possibility of being produced at competitive prices with even the most expensive of traditional energy sources. Without the subsidies, wind energy in Vermont is an economic joke.
Estimates for developing the Sheffield and Sutton project exceed $100 million. Up to two thirds of that is offset by federal subsidies, which we pay for. Over $60 million. A pretty good motivator.
And despite Patt's irrelevant discourse on the difference between REC and cap-and-trade systems, the charge still stands that the primary driver of investment (and interest by utilities) in large-scale wind power is the potential profits from REC trading in a tight market.
CenterCOLCHESTER, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2006--Green Mountain Power Corporation (NYSE:GMP) announced today that its customers now have the choice of buying all or a portion of their power from renewable resources. The Vermont Public Service Board has given its final approval to the program, effective immediately.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
READSBORO — Officials from the two towns most affected by a proposed wind facility met on Wednesday night to discuss the economic impacts of a 30-turbine development. The Readsboro and Searsburg Select Boards met in the Central School gym to discuss the financial benefits and strains that can be expected by a town hosting a wind farm. Robert Ide of the Vermont Department of Public Service attended, as did about 10 residents. Searsburg is now the home of the state's only existing commercial wind facility. There are 11 turbines producing about 6 megawatts of electricity. A 30- to 45-megawatt plant with 20 to 30 new turbines has been proposed for ridgelines spanning both Readsboro and Searsburg.