Listening to constant “renewable” energy hype, many assume it’s the natural choice to save money and the environment. A report this month from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) quantifies how wrong that is.
Efficient hydropower isn’t considered environmentally pure enough by the green pressure groups driving the renewable Microbus. The renewables they like, chiefly wind and solar, add trivially to U.S. power supplies and would hardly exist but for government coercion forcing their economically nonsensical use. And the recent PSC analysis verifies that they cost a lot more than energy sources that work a lot better.
Nationwide, wind and solar, as far as we can tell the only power generation technologies approved by the Sierra Club, provide, respectively, 4.13 percent and 0.23 percent of total electricity production. That’s according to the Department of Energy, which tries to make these things look as good as possible.
Wisconsin is one of 30 states with a mandatory (as of 2006) renewable energy standard. The ten percent standard was reached last year, prompting green tub-thumping to increase the mandate, i.e., move the goal line.
But even keeping the goal line where it is, consumers get sacked. According to the PSC’s July 1 report on rate impacts of the renewable standard, during 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin consumers paid $340 million more for electricity than they otherwise would have, to cover extra costs incurred by utilities to furnish renewable energy.
Remember, we wouldn’t be doing any of this except for the Liberal hobbyhorse of man-made global warming. And credit the PSC for confirming what many know intuitively but few could prove. Its concrete numbers now show what you get when energy choices are dictated by Liberal politics: so little energy as to yield inconsequential environmental benefit, and needless additional cost for unsuspecting consumers.