Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 7:51 a.m.

Premium Lock Is NC's $72M investment in renewable energy really paying dividends?

Published: 2013-02-26 13:55:00
Updated: 2013-02-27 07:51:51

Windmills produce renewable energy Windmills produce renewable energy

Opinion: Dr. Roy Cordato of the John Locke Foundation casts a skeptical eye at the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association-paid for study of the economic impact gained from subsidies granted for renewable energy projects....

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The facts demonstrate that renewable energy and the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) have helped drive economic growth in North Carolina.

$25 billion in private investment was directed towards the wind industry last year. As a result, the wind industry component supply chain now spans 500 facilities across 44 states.

North Carolina has directly benefited from that investment, in part because of their RPS. At least 18 facilities in North Carolina now manufacture components for the wind industry - supporting up to 2,000 jobs. For example, PPG Industries, with factories in Shelby and Lexington, is a major supplier of fiberglass to the industry.
What a surprise, an "expert" from a conservative "think tank" poo poos subsidies for renewable energy. The remarkable differential in subsidies provided to the oil and gas industry vs renewals is well documented. What is perhaps more interesting is the massive sum spent by oil and gas companies on lobbying ($65.7 M in 2012) and supporting conservative think tanks. The oil and gas industry is masterful at manipulating the message -- they can easily afford and have every right to do so. I just wish they'd be honest about it. Drill baby drill -- the NC General Assembly has clearly swallowed this swill.
If the "most basic principle of economics is that all resources are scarce and have alternative uses(opportunity costs)" than solar energy is a win-win. It is a unique resource because by using it to generate power, one is not taking it away from other uses. I'd also like to point out that taxpayers are contributing to the subsidies, yes, but in return they are supporting clean energy that actually REDUCES UTILITY RATES. Subsidies are driving the renewable option. It's a new industry. Don't forget that oil and gas subsidies are also paid for by the taxpayers and those mature industries have lots of money. Why do they need subsidies? They get five times more in subsidies than renewable sources. Why...because they need to build nuclear, coal, oil, and gas plants to generate power and meet the needs of the nation. Why not just build renewable generators? They are less expensive and conserve the other natural resources. I disagree with your argument.
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