Friday, August 08, 2008

Fact Check: Misleading EIA Study of Energy Subsidies

Today's Watertown (N.Y.) Daily News contains a letter from John Droz, Jr., who describes himself as "a physicist and energy expert." In proceeding to attack wind power, Mr. Droz says in part:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently concluded that: "Wind power is subsidized to the tune of $23 per megawatt-hour. By contrast, normal coal receives 44 cents per megawatt-hour, natural gas 25 cents, hydroelectric 67 cents, and nuclear power $1.59."

The EIA study is misleading, comparing current subsidies for wind with those for technologies that have been around for decades and are fully mature. It does not look at the subsidies those technologies received during the early years of their development. A further analysis of this report can be found here.

Mr. Droz also repeats the canard that wind power does not reduce carbon dioxide emissions:
Wind power is one of the absolute worst alternative sources of electrical energy. It is a trivial saver of carbon dioxide, uneconomic on its own and an environmental violator.

But it does reduce carbon dioxide emissions, enormously, as documented in the U.S. Department of Energy's 20% Wind by 2030 Technical Report. According to that report, if wind generates 20% of U.S. electricity in 2030, it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electric sector by 25% in that year.

I'm not sure what sort of energy Mr. Droz is an expert in, but it isn't wind power.


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