Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Costs of a Renewable Portfolio Standard?

Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute complains that the Energy Information Administration has found that the Bingaman Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) would cost consumers a net of $18 billion through the year 2030.

It should be noted that a similar analysis in March by Wood Mackenzie, a respected oil & gas research firm, found that the same RPS provision would save consumers more than $100 billion through 2026. From the Wood Mackenzie press release:

According to the report, the adoption of a 15% Federal RPS will require a flood of new wind and other renewable projects well beyond current proposed projects, leading to a 500-percent increase in renewable capacity from current levels by 2026. This increase translates into an incremental construction cost of $134 billion (2006 dollars) between 2006 and 2026. The report also shows the switch to renewable energy will drive down demand and price of natural gas. "The lower fuel costs and fossil fuel consumption will lead to lower electricity costs," continued Sannicandro. "Over the next 20 years, the Federal RPS case leads to a savings of $240 billion (2006 dollars) in wholesale power costs, outweighing the higher capital investment to build the additional capacity."


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