by Merrill Matthews
Institute for Policy Innovation
July 10, 2014
Despite enormous taxpayer subsidies, wind energy still only accounts for about 4% of total U.S. electricity generation and remains a merely regional phenomenon. This owes partly to the staggering costs that wind energy imposes on taxpayers – billions a year for very little energy in return. Wind plants cost about twice as much per megawatt to build as a gas combined cycle plant. What’s more, wind turbines are harmful to the environment, especially birds – some of which are federally protected, like certain hawks and eagles. Finally, wind power is unreliable, meaning that it may not be available during peak usage. These factors may explain why wind power is losing favor, and the public’s willingness to continue to pour billions of dollars into wind energy, through higher taxes or rates, is coming to a close.