Renewable energy causes electricity cost to skyrocket

President Obama recently said that he wanted 28% of America’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030, mainly by increasing the use of wind and solar power. Currently about 10% of US energy is produced by renewable energy sources.

But, of that 10%, half comes from burning biomass, 26% comes from hydroelectric generation, and 22% comes from solar and wind power combined which means just 2.2% of total energy generation comes from wind and solar according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Differentiating between total energy and electricity production, the EIA says that in 2014, solar produced 0.4% of the nation’s electricity while wind power produced 4.4% of the nation’s electricity for a combined total of 4.8% of electrical generation. (EIA)


Current average electricity cost in the U.S. is 12.95 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh), according to the EIA. See EIA reported costs by state and region here.

So what happens as a country increases the amount of electricity generated by renewal sources (mainly wind and solar) as the European Union has been doing? As renewable energy becomes a larger percent of electricity generation, costs per kwh rise from about 12 cents per kwh to 32 cents per kwh.

EU electricity cost vs renewables

Here are the costs of electricity by country in the European Union. The highest costs are in the countries with the most renewable energy capacity.

EU electricty prices

Under Obama’s plan, if the U.S. follows the European Union example, electricity costs will nearly triple in the next 15 years. Obama is keeping a campaign promise. Remember he said that under his plan electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. That is the reality of the war on coal and other fossil fuels.

And that’s not our only expense. According to the EIA, for just the period 2010-2013, we taxpayers have subsidized wind power to the tune of $5.5 billion together with $4.5 billion for solar installations.

Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation opines: “The Clean Power Plan is a centralized plan for electricity generation in the United States that is likely to harm public health, increase energy bills for households and businesses, destroy American jobs, and cause blackouts in communities across the country.” (Read article)

The proposed reductions in CO2 emissions will have the grand effect of preventing warming of about 0.02 C. (Source)

In my opinion, Obama’s power plan is a foolish, even criminal, waste of resources.

(H/T to Paul Homewood of Not A Lot of People Know That for the graphs.)

See also:

Capitalism is not a zero sum game

Climate and Communism

Environmental Sophistry

The Collectivist Mind

How NEPA crushes productivity

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