University Of Chicago Reports That Renewables Are A Luxury No Man Can Afford
Apr. 26, 2019 | John Petersen | seekingalpha.com
On April 21st, the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) released the results of a comprehensive study comparing states that have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) with states that don’t.
- It reported that seven years after passage of an RPS program, renewable power generation was, on average, 1.8% higher and retail electricity prices were, on average, 11% higher.
- It reported that 12 years after passage of an RPS program, renewable power generation was, on average, 4.2% higher and retail electricity prices were, on average, 17% higher.
- It also reported an all-in cost of $130 to $460 per metric ton for CO2 abatement.
- When RPS programs that favor less than 10% of annual electricity production drive average retail electricity prices up by 11% to 17%, something is desperately wrong.
>The nation’s first RPS program was implemented by Iowa in 1983. Over the last 35 years, RPS programs have become a favorite policy lever for renewable energy advocates and politicians alike. Through 2015, RPS programs had been adopted in 29 states and the District of Columbia, which collectively account for 62% of electric power generation in the United States. In the early years, RPS targets were modest. Recently, some states have grown bolder and policy targets of 40% to 60% are not unusual while happy-talk of a 100% renewable grid is commonplace.
On April 21st, the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute released a research report titled “Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?” It describes the methodology used and conclusions reached in a comprehensive study that compared retail electricity prices in states that have renewable portfolio standards with states that don’t. The study was the most granular analysis ever undertaken and based on comprehensive state-level data from 1990 through 2015. Instead of focusing on highly optimistic assumptions about what renewable energy should cost, the EPIC study was based on granular hard data that shows the impact of RPS implementation on retail electricity costs.