Whitfield: Renewable Energy Isn't Cheap
by Dan Conti, Kentucky Public RadioThe Kentucky Congressman who chairs a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee says increasing federal subsidies for renewable sources of energy will not lower energy costs or help the economy. Republican Ed Whitfield says federal support for renewables has increased from $5 billion to $14 billion in the last three years…“The reason that solar and wind are not taking off is that they are too inexpensive and too inefficient,” he said. “Now having said that, I recognize that they have a part in our economy. They have a part in producing electricity. But they can never be the base load.”Whitfield says recent history shows additional funding has not lowered energy bills, even as subsidies were being raised.“Renewables saw by far the largest increase in federal benefits,” he said. “Wind alone received a tenfold increase in subsidies. Solar increased by a factor of six from $179 million to $1.2 billion.”He says renewables should continue receiving federal subsidies but he thinks it’s a mistake to increase them. He says it’ll be hard for the economy to rebound if energy costs continue to rise.