Bill to repeal renewable energy standards discussed today

House Bill 298, the “Affordable and Reliable Energy Act,” will be discussed this morning in the House Commerce Committee. I think this is a shame if it passes. The state has seen substantial job growth in alternative energy, and the 12.5% goal put upon the energy providers has spawned investment in the development of solar technologies.

I googled the bill this morning and the search results included WRAL’s slated coverage of the discussion, news articles from such places as the Charlotte Observer, appeals from groups like the Sierra Club to rally against this, and then a rally cry to support HB 298 from the Crystal Coast Tea Party’s blog. Out of curiosity, I read through their argument, that tax payers are subsidizing these investments in renewable energy. This statement is quite plainly wrong.

The requirement for energy utilities to purchase 12.5% of their produced energy from renewable sources by 2018 (I’m not 100% sure of that date, but we are on target) puts the onus on those energy utilities. Of course, the utilities will transfer the cost to their customers, but Duke is seeking clearance for their rate hikes to help address foreseen capital costs, ie., construction of new energy production facilities. Renewable energy sources have helped delay those huge capital improvements that a new power plant presents, it is creating jobs, and it is not making a mess. One of the reasons energy companies support home and office energy audits and weatherizing is that it will stretch existing resources and delay that new power plant construction. As NC Policy Watch points out, the renewable energy requirement has been a win-win policy – and I haven’t even touched the need to steer away from fossil fuels.



2 thoughts on “Bill to repeal renewable energy standards discussed today

  1. Ken

    I don’t know where you get your information, but NC SB3 provides up to a 30% subsidy from NC taxpayers for renewable energy providers and developers to provide renewable energy jobs and services in NC. That is 30% of NC taxpayer dollars going into the pockets of the energy companies before the end energy user (the same NC taxpayers) have to pay higher energy costs for these renewable energy usages (as you acknowledged in your blog). That means the NC taxpayer is paying 2X for the privilege of using renewable energy. IMO, no energy provider, whether renewable, gas, oil, coal, nuclear, or any other that you can name should get taxpayer subsidies. They all should compete in the free marketplace. That way, when you get your bill you have a darn good idea what you’re paying for electricity. Under the current system, one has no idea of the total cost.

  2. rgt7670 Post author

    Update on the bill: after moving the bill from the House Committee on the Environment to the Committee on Public Utilities and Energy, HB 298 was voted down. A victory for renewable energy, despite the influence from outsiders (Americans for Prosperity). Side note, Americans for Prosperity claims on its website they “remove barriers to entrepreneurship” yet getting the renewable industry off the ground actually provides tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurship.


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