Researchers Say Renewable Energy Mandates Cause Large Electricity Price Increases

By Tim Benson

A 1-4 Percent In Renewable Generation Raises Electricity Prices By 11-17 Percent

An April 2019 working paper from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago shows renewable energy mandates (REMs), also known as renewable portfolio standards, are dramatically increasing retail electricity prices and serve as a very expensive way to try to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The authors of Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver? found that seven years after REMs are enacted, renewables’ share of electricity generation increases by only 1.8 percent. They also found REMs raise retail electricity prices by 11 percent. After 12 years and a 4.2 percent increase in renewables’ share of generation, these prices rise by 17 percent. Altogether, the total extra electricity costs of REMs to consumers in the states that have enacted an REM are $125.2 billion.

The study also reveals reducing carbon dioxide emissions through an REM costs between $130-$460 per ton of carbon dioxide abated. These increased costs are, at the low end, almost three times higher than the social cost of carbon estimated by the Interagency Working Group set up by the Obama administration, which is roughly $46 per ton for 2020. (It should be noted that whether there is a “social cost” to carbon dioxide emissions at all is debatable.)

Outside of these higher prices, REMs impose other costs. Since wind and solar are so intermittent (having respective capacity factors of just 34.6 and 25.7 percent) and must be backed up by conventional sources of electricity generation, most estimates “do not account for the additional costs necessary to supply electricity when they are not operating.”

The paper also notes “renewable power plants require ample physical space, are often geographically dispersed, and are frequently located away from population centers, all of which raises transmission costs above those of fossil fuel plants.” Further, “[REM-driven] increases in renewable energy penetration can also raise total energy system costs by prematurely displacing existing productive capacity, especially in a period of flat or declining electricity consumption. Adding new renewable installations, along with associated flexibly dispatchable capacity, to a mature grid infrastructure may create a glut of installed capacity that renders some existing baseload generation unnecessary. The costs of these ‘stranded assets’ do not disappear and are borne by some combination of distribution companies, generators, and ratepayers. Thus, the early retirement or decreased utilization of such plants can cause retail electricity rates to rise even while near zero marginal cost renewables are pushing down prices in the wholesale market.”

The findings of this study are not surprising and have been mirrored elsewhere. States with these mandates had electricity prices 26 percent higher than those without. The 29 states with renewable energy mandates (plus the District of Columbia) had average retail electricity prices of 11.93 cents per kilowatt hour (cents/kWh), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On the other hand, the 21 states without renewable mandates had average retail electricity prices of only 9.38 cents/kWh.

In just 12 states, the total net cost of renewable mandates was $5.76 billion in 2016 and will rise to $8.8 billion in 2030, a 2016 study revealed. A 2014 study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices 50 percent and replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs. The American Action Forum estimates the costs of moving the entire country to 100 percent renewable sources would be around $5.7 trillion, and a 2019 brief from the Institute for Eenergy Research estimates that the idea of getting to 100 percent renewable generation is “nothing more than a myth,” and that attempting to do would be a “catastrophe” for our country.

“Intermittent wind and solar cannot stand on their own,” the brief concludes. “They must have some form of back-up power, from reliable coal, natural gas, nuclear units, storage capability from hydroelectric facilities, and/or batteries. Batteries of the size and scope needed for 100-percent renewables are unproven and not cost effective. Even if a 100 percent renewable future were feasible, the land requirements and costs of transitioning would be enormous and would require subsidies to ease the electricity price increases that would result.”

State legislators should not mandate the use of renewable sources in electricity generation. Such mandates raise energy costs and disproportionally harm low-income families. Instead of trying to increase renewable mandates, legislators should repeal them.

Tim Benson is a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department of
The Heartland Institute.

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May 2, 2019 3:16 pm

Natural gas prices influence electricity pricing so significantly in NY the effective cost of the 30% mandate is very difficult to tease out.

10% would be fair. But as long as they dont mess with natural gas electricity should continue to be cheap.

Reply to  Wally
May 2, 2019 4:24 pm

There is a fixed, linear and predictable relationship between the cost of natural gas and the cost of electricity. It’s not hard at all to subtract out the fluctuations caused by changes in the cost of natural gas.

Joel O'Bryan
May 2, 2019 3:21 pm

This is why Climate Change is a non-problem that must be ignored.
The damages the renewable energy solutions (mandates) impose far exceeds any social costs of “carbon”.

And to expect economic illiterates (like AO-C) to understand an economic argument against their climate action reflexes would be like my expecting my dog to have understood the news guy on TV as he lays on the sofa with me watching TV.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 2, 2019 4:05 pm

They dont need to understand an economic argument because it can be so easily dispensed with by a simple “no cost is too high” statement or a “the cost of doing nothing is even higher” statement. These are easy to hide behind and require no effort to substantiate as they are just emotive drivel.

May 2, 2019 3:26 pm

Well, I for one, am certainly shocked by this news! I thought renewables and a carbon tax would lead us to a higher standard of living. I am stunned!

Bruce Cobb
May 2, 2019 3:30 pm

I mean, do you wanna save a buck, or save the planet? Sheesh!

Lucas Steinkaninchen
May 2, 2019 3:36 pm

I’m shocked by the conclusion! (I’m not.)

May 2, 2019 3:37 pm

Any senior supervisor/manager at any electric utility could have told you that ten years ago. I have been claiming and posting that for the last 10-15 years on several skeptical website and often get chided for making false claims. Most utilities get to pass through the entire cost of the production of electricity. The Public Utility Commission’s reviewing these rate hikes only limit the utility company profit to about 5 – 6 % return. I have been posting for years that when a utility is using Wind/Solar that they MUST keep a generating station in operation in a state of “spinning reserve.” that means the generator is spinning at the proper speed to immediately pick up the load with no change in frequency. That means the generator is burning fuel, employees are working, no maintenance that would cause a delay in picking up power could be performed. Essentially they are spending almost as much money as if they were making power but they are NOT making power. You are getting green energy power that costs MORE than the power costs if produced from the coal plant and thus paying for BOTH.
the more green energy that they have on the grid the more power plants there will be in a state of spinning reserve. and the more you will be paying for electricity.

Big D
Reply to  Usurbrain
May 2, 2019 4:31 pm


Even if the plant were, by some miracle, shut down, you would still have the outstanding costs on the bonds used to pay for the plant, which amount to roughly 30% of the total cost. If the plant were a vacant lot you’d still be paying $0.05/kwh until the bonds are paid.

And to people who talk up batteries – nope. can’t work. can respond fast enough, can’t release enough electricity, can’t store enough. It is just not going to work, except at the margins – covering small hiccups for short times.

On climate change we are supposed to follow the science, but every climate change enthusiast I have ever met calls every power engineer a liar when they bring these issues up.

Reply to  Big D
May 2, 2019 5:43 pm

Al Gore says it’s possible.
Who you going to believe, Al Gore or a bunch of guys who run power plants?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Big D
May 3, 2019 4:44 am

If batteries were capable enough of supplying the grid when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining then every hospital in the world would be installing batteries for backup power instead of diesel turbines.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
May 3, 2019 6:44 am

Live in a city with at least four server farms. Each have no less than four diesel generators setting next to the building. And these are not the toys you see advertised on TV. All are larger than the emergency generators at a NPP.

Reply to  Usurbrain
May 2, 2019 8:29 pm

Every time I’ve made the argument, the followers of the dogmatic Climate Scientology have assailed me as ignorant, incapable of understanding as they push nonsense like grid scale pumped storage, grid scale batteries, grid scale pixie dust and grid scale unicorn farts as a fill in for the lack of reliability of their utopian FREE “green energy”.

Heck, just the other day, Dr. Judith Curry endorsed most of Beto’s proposed $5 TRILLION “green deal” stating she can’t argue with almost all of his proposals. This is on her Climate Etc. website. Of course mine and other dissenting posts were deleted because, well probably because we aren’t on board with the dogmatic Climate Scientology cause.

I am tired of dealing with the stupid and that’s about all the pro CAGW/CACC crowd brings to the discussion.

Reply to  Usurbrain
May 3, 2019 5:26 am

……And don’t disregard the cost of the subsidies which are paid either directly or indirectly using money that is earned by economic enterprises who for the most part are powered by “non-renewable” energy sources.

William Astley
Reply to  Usurbrain
May 3, 2019 11:01 am

They also do not include the cost and CO2 emissions of new power lines and power equipment (transformers and substation equipment).

The wind turbines must be located in windy high places which are not close to cities where the power is used. This forces there to be new power lines.

The first turbine farms are located in the best places and where land is available. As the green stuff is forced in regardless of amount of wind wind turbines get installed in locations that are not windy enough.

Forced installation of solar and wind in Germany in cloudy regions or regions where there is insufficient wind explains why wind and solar is less than 20% of the full nameplate rating.

The scheme has an engineering limit which is reached when batteries are required and/or the utility reaches the limit of continual varying power sources.

The problem with the “renewable” power sources of wind and solar is their intrinsic volatility coupled with their poor capacity utilization rates of only 17.4% for wind and 8.3% for solar (average values for Germany).

Germany has shown, that massive (580 billion dollars by 2025 plus a loss of 500 billion dollars in electrical utility share price) ‘investment’ in green scams results in very, very expensive electrical power for almost no CO2 emission reduction, if the energy cost of the green scams, the reduction in grid efficiency, and the forced outsourcing of high energy products, is considered.

Currently German power costs about 30 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour, and so are among the highest worldwide. The price is projected to soar another 50% rise to 45 cents by 2020. That would make German power 4 times more expensive than US power, and more than double that of France. This poses a real threat to German economic competitiveness.

AHOLA From the Wis
Reply to  Usurbrain
May 3, 2019 12:51 pm

I am a power plant supervisor in Wisconsin AND I OUTRIGHT DISAGREE WITH YOUR STATEMENT… I worked in the power industry on both the supervisory and front line positions for 9.5 years. In that short amount of time, I’ve seen vast changes. Your only thinking in terms of a drop in a gigantic ocean of power… “The Grid” is big enough to support the full load rejections of 250MW that happened at our plant on a regular enough basis. Its not like renewable energy just disappears like a coal fired unit tripping offline. It’s predictable. Its so predictable, that the marketers in our company could predict and sell the power from our wind turbines several days out. What I’m saying is that, the reserves are already there in the diversity of power production of the grid. It takes a mix of generation to make things stable…

To further tickle your brain: Look up something called a synchronous condenser… They support the frequency of the grid that you are sooooo concerned about without all the cost of an actual power plant. (Honestly, with today’s power stabilization network that has been required by regulation, they aren’t even really necessary anymore.)

Furthermore the article quoted here, is basing its conclusions on data previous to 2015. Much like the computer revolution of the 90’s, the power industry is changing faster than anyone ever thought it would… I still have 30 years to retirement and am looking for a job in another industry because my job is going to be eliminated in less than 10 years… (I’ve been in meetings telling us the company plans for power production.) WITH CERTAINTY, I can tell you the coal industry is downsizing. It’s controllable costs are too high, its assets are ageing and in need of replacement, and the replacment cost of a coal fired facility is too costly. It takes 4X as many employees to operate a coal plant than a combined cycle gas plant, and renewable generations utilizes an even smaller support staff per MW. Between the high replacement cost of fossil plants, the drastic drop in construction costs of solar and wind and the ever increasing cost of an employee; power companies are naturally gravitating towards the lower cost.

Between 2 projects, there’s 300MW of solar being built by utilities companies in Wisconsin… these are for profit corporations. They wouldn’t be building that much GREEN/RENEWABLE generation if it wasn’t going to be making money for them…

Adam Gallon
Reply to  AHOLA From the Wis
May 4, 2019 4:47 am

Subsidy farming, pure & simple.
Guaranteed prices for 20+ years & distribution companies mandated to buy from renewables first.

AHOLA From the Wis
Reply to  Adam Gallon
May 4, 2019 10:42 am

Where’s your sources???
Here’s some of mine:
“Subsidy” is $1,000 / MWH:

Cost of the projects $390,000,000:

Quick math time:
400MW x $1000: $400,000 “subsidy” (aka. alternative energy incentive payments) How much money are we really talking about here???

YEP…. Definitely Subsidy Farming…

Another article all the fearful need to read:

It shows just how much incentive the utilities get vs residential installations (p29)…
ALSO, unlike the UoC article, this is based on the most current data. In the end all you see all rebates and incentives are trending downward as programs reach the end of their life, and as installation costs drop.

Since we are on the topic of SUBSIDIES have you seen information on FOXCONN Wisconsin???:

It’s the largest most expensive subsidies, I mean… incentive, deal ever created in the Unites States.

Complaining about these green energy deals is rather paltry compared to what this and other large corporation are receiving (I’ve also read they could get even more $$$ if they install the utility scale solar on their buildings… GO FIGURE! LOL)

Reply to  AHOLA From the Wis
May 4, 2019 11:40 am

For importing and burning vast quantities of US and Canadian wood, the UK’s Drax receives annual subsidies of £789million (well over a billion dollars US). By EU regulatory insanity the generated power is classified as carbon neutral. The carbon costs of lumbering, processing to pellets and transporting 3500 miles occur outside the EU, SO ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE CALCULATIONS !!
To make the situation even more farcical a minute carbon capture facility has been attached to the outflow siphoning off a tiny fraction of the emissions, so to great trumpeting the engineers announced that their generating plant was now carbon positive. Only in the EU …

May 2, 2019 3:40 pm

fake news….Bozo and Occasional both said it’s free

May 2, 2019 3:42 pm

“The American Action Forum estimates the costs of moving the entire country to 100 percent renewable sources …”

This idea just needs to go away. It is not realistically possible. Jacobson’s study, upon which the 100% renewables fantasy is based, is conditioned on an assumed 15-fold build-out of hydroelectric capacity. Not going to happen.

Ron Long
May 2, 2019 3:45 pm

Wow, costs more and does not work all of the time? Where does a dysfunctional troll sign up for this deal?

May 2, 2019 3:46 pm

IMHO, if renewables were not subsidized with taxpayer money, AGW would be a dead issue.

May 2, 2019 3:47 pm

Hmm. Are the watermelons starting to walk back expectations?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  SMC
May 2, 2019 7:15 pm

The cool thing is watermelons have peeled off their Green skin to show their true color. And they did this on their own in an act of desperation by a few, hoping to sell what is inside – Red all the way.

John the Econ
May 2, 2019 3:51 pm

So not true. My friends who follow “Think Progress” tell me that renewables not only are paying for themselves, but are already making power cheaper. Yes siree.

I honestly don’t understand why they need subsidies.

May 2, 2019 4:03 pm

Cities all over the US are proclaiming “carbon free” by 20XX and tooting their horns about it. Never happen this century and the race to get there with today’s technology will be damaging if they try. My guess is that after all the virtue signaling dies down and the planners get to work it will be quietly shelved.

May 2, 2019 4:12 pm

It is clear the USA is at a very early stage of the crusade with only a tiny share of the market supplied by intermittents. The cost impact so far are insignificant compared to what it becomes once market share rises. Some of the issues unfolding in Australia:
1. If there is a high capacity interconnector between one region with high interment capacity and another with low intermittent capacity then taking generation in merit order will increase the price of of electricity in the region with low intermittents. The intermittents destroy base load so dispatchable generators are required to ramp more and have reduced output to recover the higher maintenance cost of varying demand. The region with the high intermittent capacity gets benefits at the cost of those regions that do not have intermittents.
2. A fundamental of power transmission is that losses are the related to energy flow to the power of 2. So generators with inherently low capacity factors have much higher transmission losses than a generator with steady output. This has recently been recognised in Australia with some intermittent generators carrying three times the transmission losses that they expected based on their average output.
3. To get intermittent market share beyond 20% there is a requirement to overbuild generating capacity. This means that the system forced capacity factors are lower than the unconstrained capacity factors. The greater the market share, the greater the required overbuild. To get above 50% market share, taking in account the cost of storage, the overbuild in intermittent capacity is at least twice and could be threefold if the storage cost is high.
4. Most intermittent generators lack inertia of the rotating type inherent in steam generators. The inertia is vital for the system to ride thought faults. That inertia has to be replaced with synchronous condensers located through the system and/or fast response battery systems to ensure frequency and voltage stability.
5. Distributors in Australia are now having to content with cast amounts of lunchtime power from rooftop systems getting its way back up the network. Reverse power flow is now an emerging issue that will require expensive solutions system through the vast number of nodes that need to have active voltage control once generation becomes widely distributed.

Fundamentally there is no benefit of scale with ambient energy collection. If you cannot produce cheaper power than the current grid price with your own solar and/or wind collectors with associated storage than no grid operator can either. In Australia, the cost of grid power has reached a level in some regions where the low cost option is to make your own.

Big D
Reply to  RickWill
May 2, 2019 4:36 pm

“If you cannot produce cheaper power than the current grid price with your own solar and/or wind collectors with associated storage than no grid operator can either.”

Engrave that in stone. And the wholesale grid price is $0.03-0.05/kwh.

Tombstone Gabby
May 2, 2019 4:19 pm

A couple of days ago, South Australia must have been really windy. ‘Wind and Other’ output was over 1,000 MW. They were exporting to Victoria at ‘negative’ $32 a MW. Pay(/b> your neighbor to take your excess.

I’ve been following the eastern Australian AEMO figures for about four months. This was the first time I’ve sen a negative price. Cheap? They were ‘generating’ about 250 MW at the same time – just covering their own demand.

Big D
May 2, 2019 4:24 pm

This study is just brutal. And almost impossible to argue with – these are historic responses of costs to adding RPS in markets.

Now, how many nuclear power plants could someone buy for $18 billion/year? How many LED light bulbs could you hand out for free? How much insulation? Anyone doing even a lick of math realizes pretty quickly that the same money, spent more wisely, would yield many times the benefits, if spent on other things.

Given there is only so much money in the world, are we serious about reducing carbon footprints or not? I mean, if this is a crises, then there is $125 billion being wasted that could be spent much better on better and cheaper carbon reduction methodologies. Things that would reduce our carbon footprint much more rapidly.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Big D
May 2, 2019 7:31 pm

“Given there is only so much money in the world…”

The Democrats in the US, and most especially the Greens, are coming around to this magical new macro-economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).
Folks here at WUWT should Google it, and read-up on for themselves.

If you haven’t heard about it in the news, you will soon. You’ll be hearing a lot more of it coming from Green Libs pushing extremely expensive ideas like the GND.

Basically MMT ascribes to the position that a fiat currency, like the US Dollar, can be printed at-will, as much as needed to finance every imaginable scheme of public “investment”, and the economy will not suffer for it. No hyper -inflation. IOW, the US’s current economic wealth position in the world can be perpetuated with simply the printing press.

Under MMT, it assumes everyone else in the world just has to accept this situation, since oil and most other world commodities are denominated in dollars.

Yes, Progressives really are starting to believe in MMT. But there are so many absurd and outright flase assumptions within MMT, it is hard to know where to begin to explain MMT’s many fundamental problems, most especially its problem with assuming human behavior in other countries will just accept this situation to their detriment.

Google it. Start at the Wiki and go from there.

And remember this:
Rational economics is the belief in the ignorance of the economic experts.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 2, 2019 8:09 pm

MMT is just socialist/communist monetary policy rebranded to make it sound appealing.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  SMC
May 3, 2019 12:24 am

But when have socialists/communists EVER had their fingers on the buttons? The buttons controlling the flow off printing presses of a fiat currency???? What Stalin/Kruschev, Brehznev, or Mao could not take, we now stand on the cusp of giving to them.
Venezuelan Pesos,Eussian Rubles, Chinese Yuan, Rand. They have never been the world’s 1 fiat currency.

The US Progs think they can fund anything by printing the money.
They seek that power now. And if they get it, they will destroy the World Order as we know it.

AHOLA From the Wis
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 3, 2019 1:26 pm

Where have you been? The World Order as we know it is already sliding/changing.
Russian/Chinese/Iranian Election Interference and outright hacking. (And don’t even tell me its “patriotic” to meet with a hostile foreign entity to get “dirt” on someone in your own country. In my opinion its treasonous. And Mr. Steele of the British government isn’t a hostile as they are an ally… and such information was shared with the US intelligence community instead of being covered up/being kept private.)

The R’s abuse modern monetary policy just as much as the D’s. Lets talk about rising deficits… Doesn’t that mean an increase of the balance sheet AKAmore money printing??? The only way for deficits to go down is when more goods are being produced. The only time I see deficits go down is when D’s are in power (mostly because the R’s wont let them do anything besides cut programs and “downsize government”…) Forget about holding everyone accountable and responsible taxation. But I’ll digress.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 3, 2019 2:05 am

Modern Monetary Theory is at the core of Labour party “strategy” here in the UK as well. Free everything for everybody, just hold out your hand and you will be blessed. Make your yet to be born grandchildren and great grandchildren carry the can and pay the price. As a deplorable plebeian knuckle-dragging know-nothing I prefer to think that MMT stands for the Magic Money Tree. When this all collapses in a heap, which it will, it will collapse mightily.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 3, 2019 2:06 am

“Under MMT, it assumes everyone else in the world just has to accept this situation, since oil and most other world commodities are denominated in dollars.”

The world doesn’t accept it and is moving swiftly to undo it, e.g., the Belt and Road Initiative.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 3, 2019 7:13 am

Didn’t Saudi Arabia start pricing using a basket of currencies?

J Mac
May 2, 2019 4:26 pm

The Green Screw Deal: Unpredictable/unreliable ‘renewable’ electricity from solar and wind that costs a lot more than reliable, low cost electricity from conventional coal and gas.

Zig Zag Wanderer
May 2, 2019 4:28 pm

I’m still wondering if there has been any verifiable study on whether renewable power systems produce more power in their lifetimes than they use to create and maintain.

ferd berple
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
May 3, 2019 7:39 am

The amount of energy used is reflected in the price. Gold is expensive because it takes a lot of work to produce very little. Sand is cheap for the opposite reason.

Gold lying in the ground is “free”. It is getting out that is expensive.

Andy Pattullo
May 2, 2019 4:55 pm

Who knew? Well OK, just about everyone with an internet connection and a few minutes to investigate has known for quite a few years. But still there is always the hope these issues will resolve themselves as soon as an endless supply of unicorn farts is discovered in Al Gore’s shorts and Elon Musk creates a AAA battery that can supply a city’s needs for 24 hours while Al is restocking on burritos and beer.

May 2, 2019 4:58 pm

Virtue-signalling doesn’t come cheap on governmental scales.

Gary Pearse
May 2, 2019 5:01 pm

“near zero marginal cost for renewables”. So they not only don’t include back up power with renubles but they don’t depreciate capital costs, even in light of the discovery that windmills actually decline in output with time and fail much earlier than expected.

May 2, 2019 5:40 pm

Told ya so!

May 2, 2019 5:49 pm

Remember “None so blind as those who do not wish to see.

None so deaf as those who do not wish to hear ”

Sometime in the future when this CC madness is finally over, a study will probably be made as to what caused this collective madness about people wanting to save the planet.

And how will such a study account for the fact that it was well known at the time that the so called Third World countries had been given a exception from having to reduce their emissions of CO2, as they had refused to sign the original Kyoto agreement unless they did not have to reduce their emissions.

So on the one hand they the Western countries, were told that they only have a few years before the World would cease to be
able to carry any life forms, yet it was also well known that anything that they did would be wiped out by the total emissions from the Third World. countries.

So what kind of selective diseases affected only the First World Countries yet the rest of the Worlds p0eople while all having problems of one sort or another, were never affected by a “Save the Planet” disease ?


Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Michael
May 2, 2019 7:42 pm

I suspect China and Russia influence operations are behind many parts of what the UN bureaucrats psuh via the UNFCCC and the COP process.

China needs US economic output to collapse in order to shrink the US military power projection and bring about a de facto withdrawal from the Western pacific and SE Asia military alliances.

Russia, by any sane measure, does not want to get into a land war with the US or NATO that could go nuclear, but it does want to to see much higher world oil prices to put more money into its One Pony oil economy. Having a US President and IPCC-COP process sympathetic to Climate Action that leads to a dry up in US domestic oil output would go a long way to making that happen.

You’d have to be a I-hate-US-greatness moron like Obama, Beto, or AO-C not to see all that, and how “climate action” plays right into Russia’s and China’s hands.

Steve O
May 2, 2019 6:06 pm

Even if you believed all the nonsense about CAGW, you STILL wouldn’t build any wind turbines.

As members of the general public, it is the individual responsibility of each of us to evaluate what scientists and others say about the risks from global warming, and to decide what policies to support. (Don’t let anyone get away with trying to convince you otherwise.) And when I see activists, scientists, and even the IPCC advocating for building wind energy infrastructure — they lose a lot of credibility with me. I remain unconvinced.

Modelling a chaotic system such as the climate might be mathematical wizardry, but developing an economic model of wind energy is really not that hard.

Dennis Sandberg
May 2, 2019 6:37 pm

Zig Zag. You’re wondering, “whether renewable power systems produce more power in their lifetimes than they use…”.
Most likely quite quickly, but the question and answer is just another grafty fake energy distraction (it doesn’t matter, it’s meaningless).
We know from 20 years of data analysis and $billions for research that a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will be harmless or beneficial. There is no environmental justification for this junk power. The only question that matters is how much money does this “free” energy save the consumer. It doesn’t, it’s a proven statistical fact that it’s a serious waste of limited capital ($trillions worldwide).. How bad it is varies considerably because of regional grid circumstances but it’s always bad, some places worse than others.

Robert of Texas
May 2, 2019 7:33 pm

So, this study has found a good proxy for the cost of Stupid.

Joe - the non climate scientist
May 2, 2019 7:38 pm


May 2, 2019 8:16 pm

This report won’t phase the pro CAGW/CACC crowd one bit. After all, they are already calling for multi TRILLION dollar solutions to their scam. I genuinely believe the entire scam is nothing but using cultural Marxism to bring about the complete collapse of Western Civilization as we know it.

That and that alone is their goal and they will stop at nothing until they achieve it.

Kv s
May 2, 2019 9:01 pm

This month Washington state is passing a RPS of 100% renewable electric grid by 2045. Rate increase estimates range from 1 cent to 2 cents per kWh (for example see ). Assuming this could be achieved, the CO2 reduction would cost from $100 to $200 per MT CO2.

I have done other calculations that confirm this higher cost. Starting with real Wind costs (LCOE plus factors not considered by EIA, (See ) then wind will cost wholesale about 4 cents a kWh more than gas absent incentives. Since 75% of WA electric is already from dams, this will increase wholesale average prices by 1 cent per kWh.

So WA, and our governor, Jay Quixote Inslee, are about to punish WA residents for the glory of “leading on climate change action”.

May 2, 2019 9:26 pm

Economics 101: Invest in an intermittent generator, either wind or solar. In order to guarantee reliable electricity, a backup generator must be on standby for when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. That backup generator could be diesel, gas, pumped hydro or batteries. Therefore at least double the investment and higher cost electricity . But no, the zealots keep claiming that “ruinables” are cheaper.

John Robertson
May 2, 2019 9:44 pm

I believe this report misses the true purpose of renewable energy mandates, that being the opportunity to steal for extended periods of time,huge amounts of money, from a whole bunch of poor people ,using a government enforced monopoly.

The government control of utilities, opens the door to this kind of abuse.
Kleptocracy loves these “NGOs”.

May 3, 2019 12:39 am

Call me when the headline is ‘new investment in coal power plant causes massive drop in electricity prices’.

(ain’t going to happen. See also: nuclear)

Rod Evans
Reply to  griff
May 3, 2019 1:18 am

I am guessing you don’t read the Chinese newspapers then Griff…..

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 3, 2019 7:19 am

He only reads the Guardian. And from his posts, it is clear that he doesn’t manage to understand what he has read.

Reply to  griff
May 3, 2019 7:19 am

I’m guessing that griff actually believes he’s said something intelligent.
Let’s see
Claim: Investment in renewables causes electricity prices to claim.
Response: Increasing investment in coal doesn’t make prices drop.

1) Coal is not currently the cheapest technology, nat gas is. So obviously switching the mix to be heavier in coal will cause a net increase in electricity costs.
2) Replacing coal with coal will have no impact on cost.

Reply to  griff
May 3, 2019 11:58 am

Call me when the headline is ‘renewable-crazy Germany has lower electricity prices than nuclear-powered France’.

(ain’t going to happen.)

Rod Evans
May 3, 2019 1:14 am

Listen up. This is simply another report stating renewable energy supply is expensive.
That will have zero impact on the COGS. They believe no price is too high, to destroy capitalism via claiming to save the world.
They have allowed a 16 year old girl with issues, to become the poster child of Green politics?! That is how low they are prepared to go. The COGS have even managed to get a Tory government here in the UK, to declare a climate emergency. They have thwarted the most democratic mandate ever given in British history, by delaying Brexit and forcing a Tory PM to hold agreement talks with a Marxist Labour leader, designed to hold the UK subservient to EU hegemony and thus EU climate control laws.
The fact there is no emergency with climate, is not relevant to the left wing political class, They have invented it. It simply provides a control lever to be pulled, when the political class decide they wish to use it.
Another feature of what is happening, is the limiting of energy options now being woven into housing planning laws. here in the UK. Houses will not be allowed to connect up to the gas mains, if built after 2025. There will be no gas hobs, no gas central heating in those new builds. The only option will be electricity under state controlled “smart” meters. Apparently, according to the adverts, smart meters will ensure we have a world where polar bears can live??? Currently the most common form of space heating in the UK is gas. For those buying a new house post 2025 gas won’t be allowed on site. The rules on home electricity energy generation will be targeted next. Those who think they will buy a 7 kW generator for emergency use can forget it. Anything involving fossil fuel use will be regulated, to the point of banning it.
Proposals to ban wood-burners in our cities, are well under way, on the basis they cause particulate pollution.
There will be no personal energy choices available, no energy freedom. It will be, electricity or nothing.
We are living in increasingly dangerous and politically damaging times.

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 3, 2019 4:24 am

I agree Rod and I sense that a black cloud is gradually covering the country , extinguishing all opinion or activity that is not permitted by the prevailing political consensus. Until very recently England was a place where, in peace time, you could hold or discuss all sorts of opinions and if they did not correspond to the general view the worst that happened was that people would consider you eccentric.
Now there seems to be no avenue open if you do not agree with the climate change meme , and that “philosophy” is now being turned into political and economic action on the grounds of a fictional “climate emergency”. Britain , remember , has previous: DORA , the Defence of the Realm Act was used in wartime to suppress opinion and control economic activity and public gatherings. Something of that sort is no doubt forming in the minds of Corbyn , Milliband and McDonnell.
There is a feeling of helplessness and apprehension and no one has the power or courage to oppose the nonsense being proposed in Westminster. We should not have to live like this.

Rod Evans
Reply to  mikewaite
May 3, 2019 7:52 am

It is very worrying Mike.
Those of us who grew up in an open society free to express our opinion good or bad, know what is happening, to our freedom. Sadly the millenial’s think what they are involved in is normal. They consider received wisdom the same as wisdom. They will not engage in any debate on any subject that contradicts their brainwashed view of the world.
Consider a friend of mine who was a school inspector, a fully qualified chemist teaching chemistry before taking on the inspectors role. She refuses to engage in debate with me re the climate and our impacts or not, on it because as she put it. ” You know too many facts and I (a qualified chemist remember) don’t have the detailed knowledge you have to challenge your view”. The outcome of this short exchange being no debate is entered into and she is responsible for assessing schools and ensuring they conform to the accepted curriculum stating CO2 causes climate change.
The BBC stopped all dissenting/anti man man climate change voices having air time back in 2007. From then on you either, got with the program of CO2 is bad and mankind is destroying the planet via capitalism,enabled by fossil fuel energy. Or, you had to stop working at the or for the BBC. You were not allowed to have air time on the BBC. Ask David Bellamy OBE how his life ceased at the BBC, as soon as he said there is no climate crisis.

Mike Ozanne
May 3, 2019 1:58 am

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ferd berple
May 3, 2019 7:45 am

without MMT in Germany Hitler would have never risen to power and 60 million deaths could have been avoided.

Whenever you see the word “modern” in the name it is a fair bet something has been tried and failed. This time somehow it will be different.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ferd berple
May 3, 2019 10:45 am

Those who won’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

History is replete with examples of hyperinflation other than Weimar Germany. Argentina, North Korea, Venezuela, and Brazil are some recent examples. All caused by printing money to cover government expenditures and debt – exactly what MMT purports to do with no repercussions.

May 4, 2019 10:36 pm

A genuine technology disrupter may be upon us. The problem with geothermal energy has always been the availability of steam. The Geysers has been depleting gradually. They are recharging it with treated wastewater. Finding both high geothermal gradient and groundwater in the sample place has been the limitation. If geothermal energy were abundant we would not need to burn coal or natural gas to generate electricity. Producing geothermal energy for the purpose of large scale power generation in hot dry conditions has been elusive without a closed loop. That may be about to change. For those versed in geothermal energy, look at GreenFire Energy’s web site. They use in-well closed loop technology using supercritical CO2 as the heat exchanger. If this works, the future of electrical power generation may belong to GreenFire Energy.

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