NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Report: Wind Power Raising Texas Electricity Prices

October 23, 2014

Of the 10 states most reliant on wind power, nine of them have seen their electricity prices rise at least five times faster than the national average, writes James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute. While wind advocates claim that wind power reduces costs, on-the-ground evidence suggests the opposite is true.

Taylor cites a recent report from the Texas Comptroller, which found that Texas were paying higher prices due to wind power, despite an overall drop in electricity prices. According to the report:

  • Not only is wind power more costly than traditional power, but it is unpredictable, as it only generates power when the wind blows. As a result, conventional power plants must stand ready to fill in when wind power fails, requiring additional output on short notice and making wind power far less efficient.
  • Electricity demand in Texas in Texas is at its highest on hot summer days; wind power is at its lowest production point on hot summer days.
  • Delivering wind power to residents requires the construction of new transmission lines, costing Texas households an average of $70 to $100 annually. Expanding the power grid further for more wind power will cost $2 billion in additional funds.

While Texas electricity prices have fallen, Taylor says the drop is due to deregulation and a fall in price of other energy sources. It is not, however, due to wind power, which has only slowed a drop in electricity prices.

Source: James M. Taylor, "Texas Comptroller Report Destroys Wind Industry Claims," Heartland Institute, October 21, 2014. 


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