Electrifying US study reported by Jo Nova

To maintain priorities, please read the Anzac day post down the page before this story.

A US study reveals some of the staggering costs of renewable energy. From the desk of Jo Nova.

Greenstone, McDowell and Nath have analysed all 29 states in the US where there are laws demanding a certain percentage of energy be renewable. On average a 4% increase in renewables led to a price rise of 17% and the impost was wildly high compared to any remotely sensible cost-benefit analysis. Renewables are the car insurance bill that costs 3 times as much as your car. Any serious environmentalist would hate renewables.

Michael Shellenberger, Forbes

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: ”All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.

Greenstone et al analyze the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) in the US. This is like the RET in Australia and the Renewables Obligation in the UK. Like any market destroying rule, it ensures the system finds a more expensive way to supply electricity.

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20 Responses to Electrifying US study reported by Jo Nova

  1. teamv

    All you have to do is look at the AEMO data dashboard for average prices and you can see the impact of renewables on SA and Victoria.

    But the alarmists just blame “old/failing coal plants” so it is good to have this study to shove in their face.

  2. Flyingduk

    Its not just the higher bills, its the reduced reliability. I spent 6k on a whole house, autostart generator after SAs ‘state black’, and its run 135 hours since then.

  3. egg_

    On average a 4% increase in renewables led to a price rise of 17%

    So basically a square function.
    10% ruinables = 100% price hike &c.?

  4. Penguinite

    15 years of CO2 induced climate change propaganda. Billions of $$$ cost! Zillions of words written! But nobody has conclusively proven that Man can alter the climate by reducing CO2. Sure the “Climate Alarmists” will spout “The science is proven” and “93% of scientists agree” blah blah blah but all we see are hockey stick graphs and spreadsheet predictions. Please give me something real and meaningful or STFU and let us get back to a decent coal, hydro or nuclear powered life.

  5. Biota

    For all that work, cost and claims of reduced GHG output the Mauna Loa CO2 plot shows now sign of slowing down.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
    Clearly something bigger at play than claimed anthropogenic causes.

  6. OldOzzie

    The Green New Deal Will Hit the Poor With Higher Energy Costs

    “It’s upside-down Robin Hood.”

    The Green New Deal’s goal is to move America to zero carbon emissions in 10 years.

    “That’s a goal you could only imagine possible if you have no idea how energy is produced,” James Meigs, former editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, says in my latest video.

    “Renewable is so inconsistent,” he adds. “You can’t just put in wind turbines and solar panels. You have to build all this infrastructure to connect them with energy consumers.”

    Because wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, “renewable” energy requires many more transmission lines, and bigger batteries.

    Unfortunately, says Meigs: “You have to mine materials for batteries. Those mines are environmentally hazardous. Disposing of batteries is hazardous.”

    “Batteries are a lousy way to store energy,” adds physicist Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Also, the ingredients of green energy, like battery packs, are far from green.

    “You have to consume 100 barrels of oil in China to make that battery pack,” he explains. “Dig up 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it. Digging is done with oil, by big machines, so we’re consuming energy to ‘save’ energy—not a good path to go.”

    Still, wind turbines and solar batteries are 10 times more efficient than when they were first introduced! That’s not good enough, writes Mills, to make “the new energy economy” anything more than “magical thinking.”

    The dream of “green” causes us to misdirect resources. Even after billions in government subsidies, solar still makes up less than 1 percent of America’s energy—wind just 2 percent. And even that energy isn’t really “clean.”

    “We use billions of tons of hydrocarbons to make the windmills that are already in the world, and we’ve only just begun to make them at the level people claim they would like them to be built,” says Mills. “Pursue a path of wind, solar and batteries, we increase how much we dig up and move by a thousand-fold.”

    “You gotta clear-cut the forest. These machines kill a lot of birds,” says Meigs. “I agree that we should bring down our carbon emissions…but we should also make sure we’re spending money on stuff that really works.”

    There is one energy source, though, that efficiently produces lots of power with no carbon emissions: nuclear.

    But people fear it. They point to the Chernobyl plant accident in Ukraine, and Fukushima in Japan.

    “The Chernobyl plant design was idiotically bad,” says Meigs. They don’t make nuclear plants like that anymore.

    What about Fukushima?

    “Fukushima helps prove how safe nuclear power really is. No one was killed.”

    I pointed out that people were killed during the evacuation.

    “Fear of radiation killed people,” responded Meigs. They evacuated older people who didn’t need to go.

    People fear what they don’t understand and what they can’t see.

    “A dam breaks, and hundreds of thousands of people die. Nuclear plants, their safety, ironically, is actually evident in their accidents!” says Mills.

    “More people have fallen off of roofs installing solar panels than have been killed in the entire history of nuclear power in the U.S.,” adds Meigs.

    Yet after Fukushima, Germany shut down its nuclear plants. That led to higher electricity prices and increased carbon emissions because Germany burned coal to make up for the loss of nuclear power.

  7. Leo G

    Fukushima helps prove how safe nuclear power really is. No one was killed.

    No one was directly killed.
    But the Fukushima accident was stopped incredibly close to a vastly larger scale expansion which would likely have prompted the relocation of half Japan’s population.
    A loss of containment event was estimated to have an extremely small likelihood- a small chance in many millions of hours of operation, and extremely unlikely in the operating lifetime of any reactor. But Fukushima had four occur within a few hours.
    I was trained in Reliability and Maintainability Assessment by ANSTO, and this accident shook my faith in their assurances about the validity of the methods used in assessing the uncertainties in the assessment of the risk in accidents with low occurence probability and high cost of occurrence.

  8. Stanley Park

    A long, long time ago candidates for an upcoming election would door-knock and discuss matters with electors. If door-knocking were to happen, here are a couple of questions that I would pose: “Under your renewables policy, what is the intended target reduction for carbon dioxide? Would zero ppm be the aim?”

  9. Colonel Crispin Berka

    On average a 4% increase in renewables led to a price rise of 17%

    So basically a square function.

    Nooo, see it’s really a logarithmic function. It may look really steep at first, but it flattens out into a free energy utopia eventually, just trust us!

  10. rickw

    Its not just the higher bills, its the reduced reliability. I spent 6k on a whole house, autostart generator after SAs ‘state black’, and its run 135 hours since then.

    We’re back to the time of the industrial revolution in terms of power generation. Each facility needs to have its own “engine house”.

  11. BoyfromTottenham

    I would love to know who was the ultimate creator of the iniquitous renewables legislation (our RET, the UK Renewables Obligation, the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the US Renewable Portfolio Standard, etc., etc.).
    Since about 2000, all these countries (and probably many more) have enacted very similar legislation, with various but equally misleading titles, that mandate the purchase by electricity retailers of high or steadily rising percentages of ‘renewables’.
    This legislation is curious, because it does not mention the words ‘tax’ or ‘subsidy’, but it is effectively and most definitely both. The ‘renewables’ generators get a large subsidy, paid for by an indirect tax on electricity consumers. As I understand it, under S 55 of the Australian Constitution, laws imposing taxation must ‘deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect’. And yet this legisation is not considered a taxation bill, and as far as I know, the economic value of the tax on electricity consumers and the corresponding subsidy to renewables generators (currently amounting to some $4-5 billion annually) does not appear in our annual Budget Income and Expenditure Statements, nor does the subsidy appear on my electricity bill. It does however appear on the annual reports of the renewables generators as ‘Sale of LRET Certificates’ or the like. This can amount to an amount equal to, or even greater than the revenue that a renewables generator earns from selling its electricity – or a 100% subsidy.

  12. BoyfromTottenham:

    As I understand it, under S 55 of the Australian Constitution, laws imposing taxation must ‘deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect’.

    I would bet that 90% of the Australian public have no idea we have a Constitution.

  13. Rob MW

    When the Berlin wall came down western socialists took up the cause as ‘Planetary Saviours’ with the objective of bankrupting free enterprise and capitalism forcing spineless CEOs and lily-livered politicians to make diabolical decisions that are counter intuitive to the economics of free enterprise which encompasses, for the most part, the economics of personal initiative and individual free-will as represented by non-collectivised human behaviour.

    So I’m reading ‘Twitchy’ this morning and found the perfect argument, put forward by an economics teacher in the US, of why there is no need of any gov’t to collect tax. I’m now a convert 🙂

  14. David Brewer

    As I understand it, under S 55 of the Australian Constitution, laws imposing taxation must ‘deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect’.

    Interesting point. I guess they get around it by saying it isn’t a tax because the government doesn’t get any money. And I suppose that’s true: consumers pay more to electricity companies who use the money to subsidise renewables.

    Of course the costs of this are huge, and we can now see that the benefits are tiny. In fact I sometimes wonder whether a straight tax that just upped the price of electricity through the roof might not have been a less-bad alternative. We may have seen similar reductions in CO2, simply by people slashing their consumption in response to the outrageous price, but in this case, we would have billions of dollars of revenue to show for it. Of course, the government would have wasted most of that anyway, but they might have at least used some of it to reduce the deficit, and even what they wasted the rest on could hardly be more useless than expensive, unreliable power that stuffed the electricity grid.

  15. Stimpson J. Cat

    Fukushima helps prove how safe nuclear power really is. No one was killed.

    To be honest, this was only because the cunning Japanese plan to create Godzilla failed.
    Next time we might not be so lucky.

  16. Herodotus

    Leftism is a mental disease and we are being bled dry.

  17. Can anyone think of a project that needs spending money on, that has been caused by AGW?

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