11/20/09

Would You Be Willing to Pay $6 More a Year on Your Electric Bill for Wind Energy?

Deepwater LLC and National Grid are wrangling over an acceptable price for the utility's purchase of electricity derived from ocean wind turbines to be established off Block Island. The two are not there yet, but progress is being made. There's a rush on right now over which eastern seaboard state will get working turbines off its coast first, and RI has a good chance of being that state.

To get an agreement, National Grid may have to raise customer rates to accomodate the Deepwater contributions to the grid. Reports cite an increase per customer of between $6.00 and $8.00 dollars - a year.

Assuming that dollar range to be correct and to help make offshore wind energy a reality for RI, along with incubating an energy renewables business sector located at Quonset Point, would you be willing to pay the additional $6 - $8 a year?

5 comments:

  1. Cheap, plentiful energy is what they promise us with wind power. So somehow we have to raise rates to make wind power cheap. If you can find a bargain there, I'd like to see it.

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  2. The Deepwater project will contribute a minuscule amount of power to the grid and will not reduce peak demand in any way, yet it will cost $6 per year more for every single customer in the state? That is a bad deal.

    Even worse, by subsidizing an unviable operation this scheme removes Deepwater's incentive to devise a better technology or another operating plan that would make the project economic on its own merits. That incentive is one of the essential benefits of private, free enterprise.

    More important is the principle of this issue. If the state forces electric customers to subsidize a non-viable project by a private company (an indirect method of taxation), it is engaging in an unconscionable act of oppression and extortion. If the government can do it for Deepwater, why can't they raise a special tax to subsidize my struggling business?

    Subsidies to businesses imposed by law at the discretion of politicians for political purposes is theft from the people.

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  3. Is the prospect of harboring wind energy development and capabilities here in RI, as could be the case at Quonset, not part of the larger equation we should be looking at? RI could become the center of the offshore wind energy industry, adding a new economic development element to the state's economy, from which many benefits could derive. Is that not a worthwhile prospect?

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  4. Cincinnatus: If it's worthwhile to you, you are free to join with others who agree, invest some money and establish your own business to develop wind energy or anything else you want to do in Quonset.

    But to demand via political machination that others contribute to your project without their consent (not to mention without getting the same equity stake for their money as you will have) is un-American.

    Central planning by government bureaucrats is the basis of Communist systems, not free-market ones. And if you haven't noticed, every single one of those experiments has failed at a horrific cost in human misery.

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  5. Now it's up to $16 a year - and that's for the residential customer. For our major industries and institutions it's up to $ 350,000 a year. All to pay for the above -market costs of this white elephant. John, when Henry Ford achieved his automobile revolution, he did it by innovations that made family transportation affordable to the masses. This thing is 3-4 times more expensive than the power we get today!

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