CLAIM: Renewable energy is too expensive and drives up electricity and fuel prices.
Renewable Portfolio Standards
- The presence of a state-level Renewable Portfolio Standard had virtually no statistically-significant impact on changes in electricity rates from 2000 to 2010. (Source: Center for American Progress, http://bit.ly/HpCGkA)
- New onshore wind farms’ costs will be lower than new advanced or conventional coal plants by 2017. (Source: Energy Information Administration, http://bit.ly/lp2udF)
- According to Wall Street analysis firm Bernstein Research, wind has “reduced the marginal cost of supply of electricity generation, by $2–$4/MWh” for the four regions with the most installed wind energy.The report predicts that the savings will increase by another $1–$2/MWh as more wind is installed around the country. (Source: Bernstein Research, http://bit.ly/RsZOqf)
- A May 2012 study of Midwestern grid systems and wind energy found savings of $63 to $200 per average consumer per month, depending on the amount of wind installed. (Source: Synapse Energy Economics Inc., http://bit.ly/JDVPUZ)
- Communities from coast to coast are lowering electricity costs thanks to wind power
- In October 2011, the wholesale price of electricity in Texas dropped to $0.00 thanks to wind energy. According to the Dallas Morning News, this is because “Wind gets dispatched first, because it is the cheapest power generation to operate. So when the wind kicks up, and turbines begin turning, some higher-priced generators may be told to turn off.” (Source: Dallas Morning News, http://bit.ly/Re1Bzr)
- The Colorado state Public Utilities Commission noted in late 2011 that wind energy would save ratepayers $100 million over a 25-year contract when compared to a natural gas price scenario. This makes sense, as natural gas prices are historically volatile, while the price of wind energy, once installed, does not change. (Source: Colorado Public Utilities Commission, http://bit.ly/Nf8mje)
- The Alabama Public Service Commission backed up Colorado’s findings, calling wind energy a “cost-effective renewable energy resource that can be expected to yield positive net benefits to customers” over the long term. (Source: Alabama Public Utilities Commission, http://bit.ly/vnlHzI)
- A study of offshore wind power from Charles River Associates recently showed that “adding Cape Wind would lead to a reduction in the wholesale cost of power averaging $185 million annually over the 2013-2037 time period, resulting in an aggregate savings of $4.6 billion over 25 years” (Source: Charles River Associates, http://bit.ly/N0CnAo).
- The same study also found that “with Cape Wind in service, over the 2013-2037 time period, the price of power in the New England wholesale market would be $1.22/MWh lower on average” (Source: Charles River Associates, http://bit.ly/N0CnAo).
Biofuels& Hybrid/Electric Vehicles
- The inclusion of domestic biofuels resulted in an average price reduction of $1.09 per gallon of gasoline across the U.S. in 2011. (Source: Iowa State University, http://bit.ly/Kdoudi)
- For ethanol to be competitive with current technology, according to recent studies, oil prices must only stay above $60-70 per barrel. Oil is currently over $90 per barrel. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, http://bit.ly/MCaceQ)
- Biofuels used in military testing have fallen significantly in price. For example, Solazyme fuel has fallen from $424 per barrel in 2009 to only$26 per barrel in 2012. At this rate, coupled with volatile petroleum prices, biofuels will soon be cost competitive for large-scale deployment. (Source: NBC News, http://nbcnews.to/MEemRS)
- There are six models of electric and hybrid vehicles that retail for under $32,000. (Source: Media Matters, http://bit.ly/HN06Vy). By comparison, the average price of a car purchased in the United States in April 2012 was approximately $30,000. (Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, http://bit.ly/IRrlzp)
- Hydropower is actually the cheapest source of electricity, when its levelized cost is compared to all other electricity generation options. (Source: Navigant Consulting / American Council On Renewable Energy, http://bit.ly/pxLXzW)
- A study from Queen’s University and Michigan Technological University shows that solar power has already reached grid parity in certain parts of the U.S. This means solar is actually cheaper than fossil fuels, according to the study: “Depending on the location, the cost of solar PV has already dropped below that of conventional sources.” (Source: Greentech Media, http://bit.ly/t3rcxp)
- The average installed cost of solar systems declined 20% in the U.S. in 2011. (Source: Solar Energy Industries Association, http://bit.ly/xEPsn7)
- Consumers across America are cutting their electricity bills thanks to solar.
- In New Orleans, nearly 1,000 homes and businesses now use solar panels to generate cheap electricity. One solar-powered homeowner explained, “Before Katrina, the bills in the summer would be like $200 to $300, especially in the summer. Now, since you know that we live in an energy efficient home… sometimes the bills be $24, but the most so far was $52.” (Source: Fox News 8, http://bit.ly/LTskKM)
- The Scottsdale school district in Arizona is coping with crippling budget cuts by installing solar systems to cut the schools’ electricity bills. So far, their annual saves are over $300,000, even allowing the district to save jobs. Superintendent David Peterson notes, “With the savings [from solar], I was able two years ago to recall six teachers who had been laid off due to budget cuts,” (Source: Wall Street Journal, http://on.wsj.com/KUeIhi)
- Solarize Massachusetts and SolarFlare Inc. are partnering with homeowners in Massachusetts to knock thousands of dollars off the price of home solar systems, and get the remaining costs paid off in as little as four years. After owning the panels for a year, one homeowner had generated the equivalent of $1,000 in electricity for his own use and sold another $1,500 in Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. (Source: Boston Globe, http://bo.st/NXpA3F)
- In San Francisco, the “GoSolarSF Incentive” is having dramatic successes, assisting individuals and small business with the purchase of solar systems to help cut their electricity costs by 85%and up to 95% of the initial investment. (Source: GoSolarSF, http://bit.ly/RhVy8s)
- The average U.S. household spends $5,500 annually on energy. One of the easiest ways to save moneyis by purchasing energy-efficient ENERGY-STAR appliances, which cansave up to 30% on electricity bills. (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, http://bit.ly/QfGxqP)
- Energy-efficiency practices save the U.S. economy $500 billion a year in avoided energy costs. (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, http://bit.ly/QfGxqP)