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Forcing You to Pay

February 7, 2011

No, this isn’t about healthcare.
Instead, it’s about paying for building unnecessary transmission lines.
The best locations for wind and solar power generation are typically long distances from where the electricity will be used. For wind, it’s the upper Midwest (Montana, etc.). For solar, it’s the desert southwest.
Electricity from wind and solar is much more expensive than electricity generated from natural gas, coal or hydro, and that’s before taking into account the cost of building transmission lines to get wind and solar generated electricity to where it can be used.
Typically, until now, the cost of a new transmission line has been borne by the people in the area where the transmission line is built, i.e., those who benefit from the transmission line.
Now, the government wants to socialize the cost of building transmission lines, especially those built to support wind and solar installations. The renewable energy lobby is pushing hard for this socialization.
Building transmission lines for bringing wind generated electricity to market from on-shore locations will cost at least $93 billion. Though distances are shorter for getting solar to surrounding states, the cost will still be in the billions. Then there is the huge cost of underwater transmission lines to bring electricity from off-shore locations to market. The total cost of all these transmission lines, by one estimate, could be over $160 billion.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has a draft rule that would have the cost of all these unnecessary transmission lines added to the utility bill of every homeowner, factory or commercial establishment in the United States.
The long-standing user pays policy will be changed to everyone pays.
People in Florida will pay for bringing electricity from Montana to Maine. People in Ohio will pay for bringing electricity from the desert southwest to Oregon.
The end result of the FERC proposal will have the actual total cost of wind and solar generated electricity hidden from view. It would be better and fairer if the cost of transmission lines was included when determining the cost of electricity from wind and solar.
The July 9, 2010 article explained why wind and solar are boondoggles and why transmission lines dedicated for wind and solar are unnecessary.
The July 9 article pointed out:
“Because of the hot air produced in Washington DC, wind is the perfect boondoggle: It’s unreliable, very expensive and generates electricity when it’s not needed.”

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[To find earlier articles, click on the name of the preceding month below the calendar to display a list of articles published in that month. Continue clicking on the name of the preceding month to display articles published in prior months.]

© Power America, 2010 – 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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