June 4 , 2009
Laura Henderson
Patrick Creighton

Renewable Electricity Mandate: Pay More For Less

WASHINGTON—In advance of a Senate Energy Committee hearing on the renewable electricity mandate (REM), the Institute for Energy Research (IER) released the following fact sheet:

A National REM Would Increase the Cost of Electricity:

  • Wind and solar electricity are significantly more expensive than efficient and reliable traditional electricity sources.
  • Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections state that these sources will also be significantly more expensive than coal in 2016.

REMs are already Hurting Americans, Making it Harder for Small Businesses to Compete:

  • 34 states already have renewable electricity standards
  • Residential electricity rates are 38 percent higher and industrial rates are 50 percent higher in states with binding renewable mandates

The Electricity Sources Mandated are Not Efficient or Dependable:

  • Wind generated 1.3 percent, geothermal 0.4 percent, biomass 1.3 percent, and solar less than 0.03 percent of the electricity Americans used last year.
  • Energy Secretary Stephen Chu told the New York Times that solar technology would have to get five times better to be competitive in today’s market.

Americans will Pay for a National REM Twice: First as Taxpayers, then as Consumers:

  • The Spanish government attempted to mandate and subsidize renewable electricity.
  • Spain spent $753,778 of taxpayer dollars to create each green job.
  • Spain gave $1,319,783 in subsidies to create wind industry jobs.

NOTE: A recent poll found that 58 percent of Americans said they were not willing to pay a penny more than they currently pay for electricity to combat climate change; 78 percent said that a $50 increase would cause financial ‘hardship.’

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.

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