The next time someone tells you they support BigWind subsidies because fossil fuels receive them, too, remember this information. BigWind loves to tell the public that they only want what is fair- an equal opportunity. Is BigWind really being treated, equally? Is it fair when BigWind is being subsidized over 52 times more than the more conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis? It seems to us, that our tax dollars are subsidizing failure, not success, since BigWind produces less than 5% of our nation’s electricity…
At the request of Congress, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, evaluated the amount of subsidies that the federal government provides energy producers for fiscal year 2013, updating a study that it did for fiscal year 2010.[i] Over a 3-year period, from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2013, total federal electricity-related subsidies increased from $11.7 billion to $16.1 billion, an increase of 38 percent over the 3-year period. The largest increases in federal energy subsidies were in electricity-related renewable energy, which increased 54 percent over the 3-year period, from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Fossil fuel subsidies declined by 15 percent, from $4.0 billion to $3.4 billion. Total federal energy subsidies declined 23 percent, from $38 billion to $29 billion due to the expiration of tax incentives for biofuels, the depletion of stimulus funds, and a decrease in energy assistance funds
On a per dollar basis, government policies have led to solar generation being subsidized by over 345 times more than coal and oil and natural gas electricity production, and wind is being subsidized over 52 times more than the more conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis.
Over the 3-year period, electricity-related renewable subsidies increased, while conservation, end-use, and biofuels subsidies declined:
- Renewable electricity-related subsidies increased by 54 percent from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Electricity-related renewables saw the largest increase in federal benefits. Of the $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2013, $8.6 billion (65 percent) was related to the Obama administration’s economic stimulus law.
- Solar led the various renewables with almost a 5-fold increase in subsidy (both electricity-related and non-electricity related) from $1.1 billion to $5.3 billion and led electricity sector subsidies on a unit of production basis.
- Wind subsidies increased by 9 percent from $5.4 billion to $5.9 billion
- Subsidies for biofuels declined by 74 percent, from $7 billion to $1.8 billion.
- Conservation and end-use subsidies declined by half from $15.6 billion to $7.9 billion. Conservation subsidies declined from $7.1 billion to just under $2 billion (72 percent). End-use subsidies declined from $8.5 billion to just under $6 billion (30 percent).
Over the 3-year period, fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies declined:
- Federal subsidies for coal declined by almost 3 percent from $1,116 million to $1,085 million.
- Federal subsidies for oil and natural gas declined 20 percent from $2,918 million to $2,346 million.
- Federal subsidies for nuclear energy declined 12 percent from $1,893 million to $1,660 million….
EIA Report: Subsidies Continue to Roll In For Wind and Solar – IER.