Is green energy as cheap and free as we are told?

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Is green energy actually as cheap and free as we are told?

That’s what the advocates of wind and solar keep telling us; that green energy is the magical gift that keeps on giving once the expensive infrastructure required to support it is in place. Just a small investment on the front side for big payoffs in the end.

But is that really how it works? Not exactly. When the state of Minnesota — a place with a similar climate to many parts of Canada — proposed moving to 50 per cent renewable energy capacity on the grid from the current 25 per cent, an analysis done by Isaac Orr, a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment on mining and energy issues and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, found that the move to a greener grid would cost the state $80.2 billion.

The study also found:

  • Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.
  • Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%. 
  • Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most.
  • Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

A similar analysis was conducted in Alberta by Friends of Science about the cost of wind and solar here. Joining me tonight to discuss the findings of their research is Michelle Stirling of Friends of Science Society.

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