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Federal Financial Support for Electricity Generation Technologies

June 21, 2017
By Benjamin W. Griffiths, et al.

Examines the direct and indirect financial support and subsidies for electricity generation finding renewable energy resources receive far more in subsidies on a per kilowatt hour basis.

This study examines 116 federal programs that provide support to the energy sector with a total value of approximately $60 billion per year finding 76 programs programs offered support totaling $17.9 billion for electricity generation in 2013. 
 
Fossil fuels receive no direct support for electricity production, as opposed to renewable energy generation. On a full cost per megawatt hour basis (MWh), including both indirect and direct support and tax advantages, coal receives $0.5 to $1/MWh, hydrocarbons $1/ MWh, and nuclear $1 to $2/MWh. Support to wind falls from $57/MWh to $15/MWh over our study period, and support to solar declines from $321/MWh to $43/MWh.