The US government should take a hard look at subsidising energy companies, particularly wind farms, Recode reported Monday.
The report comes as the US Energy Department is set to release a plan on energy subsidies for wind farms.
The report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommends the US government take a much tougher stance on subsidising renewable energy sources, including wind farms.
“The report is really an indictment of wind energy subsidies and their impacts on American consumers,” Matthew Miller, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), told Recode.
“There is a lot of uncertainty around the long-term cost of this subsidy, particularly in the case of wind power.”
The government has been subsidising a range of energy products, including coal, gas, oil, nuclear, biofuels, and renewable energy.
Miller said the report should be a wake-up call to the government to consider a range that the government currently subsidises.
“I’m not going to give subsidies to wind energy for wind turbines that we know have absolutely no environmental impact whatsoever,” Miller said.
“This is just a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars.”NREL’s report, which was released Monday, was based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewables Energy Laboratory.
The study looks at how energy subsidies can impact electricity prices.
The NREL report found that wind farms were the biggest cost generator for the government, costing $1.8 billion annually.
In addition, the government subsidised $2.5 billion in subsidies for natural gas and oil.
“The federal government should not be paying for the energy production of wind farms,” Miller told Recodes.
“And the Department of Agriculture should not subsidise energy production from coal and natural gas.
These subsidies are a disgrace.”
The NRELA report noted that wind power subsidies have not been fully evaluated.
In 2018, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) concluded that wind turbines could not be classified as a hazardous waste.
In 2017, the Energy Department released a report that said that wind turbine waste was likely to be a “non-hazardous” energy source.
In 2018, NREL found that the federal government spent $5.4 billion on subsidies for biomass, an industry that relies on the use of biomass to produce electricity.
The agency said that biomass energy production was “largely dependent on the availability of feedstock” and that the industry “has historically been inefficient.”
Recode reached out to the NREL for comment but did not receive a response.