NYT mischaracterizes wind energy in renewable subsidies story

The New York Times led today’s edition with a story that got it wrong on wind power. Here’s why:

Wind power is different. The loan guarantee program mentioned in the story didn’t even apply to over 99% of wind farm projects. And wind turbines generated electricity is an especially good deal right now for consumers.

For example, Alabama Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company (a major electric utility), just saved its customers money by signing a purchase agreement for wind power: "The delivered price of energy from the wind facility is expected to be lower than the cost the Company would incur to produce that energy from its own resource (i.e., below the Company’s avoided costs), with the resulting energy savings flowing directly to the Company’s customers," according to the utility’s staff. [Alabama Public Service Commission filing, Sept. 9, 2011]

And a new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds U.S. wind turbines have come down in cost by a third since 2008. Reasons include innovative technology, stable tax policy, and a sharp increase in U.S.-based manufacturing — which is creating good jobs.

That’s part of why wind now generates 20% of the electricity in Iowa year-round, and at times has reliably supplied more than 25% of electricity on the main Texas grid and over 55% of electricity on the Public Service of Colorado power system. Wind power continues to be a good investment for America in clean, affordable, homegrown energy.

By Jon Goldstein, AWEA Director of Public Affairs, www.awea.org/blog/