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Timothy Considine: Renewable Energy Mandates, Costly, Ineffective

November 23, 2016

In a study of 12 states renewable energy mandates, Professor Timothy Considine finds the mandates increase electric power costs and result in job losses with little environmental gain.

Professor Timothy Considine examined 12 states with renewable energy mandates and found while the costs vary to each state depending upon the percentage of energy each state requires come from renewable power sources and the amount of power required from wind versus solar, in every state, jobs are lost and consumers pay more for electric power. For the 12 states analyzed, in total, renewable power mandates impose net costs toping $5.762 billion in 2016, $8.7 billion in 2025 and $8.9 billion in 2040.

The goal of many of the renewable mandates is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Considine finds the mandates do lower emissions, they do so at a high price -- double to triple the costs of the federal governments social costs of carbon calculations. Meaning the states are paying way too much for the amount of carbon dioxide reduced by renewable mandates.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland research fellow on environmental policy and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.