Renewable Power Mandate Is Punishing Missouri Economy, Study Finds

Published December 7, 2012

Renewable power mandates in Missouri are likely to cost state residents nearly $6 billion between now and the year 2021, economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University report. Electricity costs by 2021 will be 15 percent higher than would be the case without the mandates, the Beacon Hill study finds.

“The mandate encourages inefficient energy,” said Paul Bachman, director of research for the Beacon Hill Institute and a coauthor of the report. “By requiring utilities to forego lower-cost sources of conventional energy, and instead use high-cost ‘green energy,’ the harmful effects on household budgets will be felt.”

Importantly, “the use of renewable sources does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides no environmental benefit,” explained a Beacon Hill Institute press release accompanying the study. “Wind and solar facilities require significant fossil fuel backup power sources to accommodate variations in the availability of wind and sun. That’s because wind power is intermittent and fossil-fueled generators are called upon to fill the gaps to compensate for wind fluctuation. The powering up and down of conventional generators cause more pollution than they do when run consistently without wind or solar.”

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

Internet Info:

“The Economic Impact of Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard,”