North Carolina is developing an energy problem. Thanks to Senate Bill 3, North Carolina energy providers are subject to a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) to force utilities to use “green” methods to fill 12.5% of their energy needs. This legislation effectively mandates alternative energy at any cost, and it’s not as “green” as supporters would tend to have us believe.
In an effort to meet the REPS requirement, energy companies are turning to methods of energy production that are highly inefficient and fiscally detrimental to North Carolina, all the while bypassing proven and effective energy sources. As an example, Progress Energy is looking to fill its quota with wind energy, possibly offshore.
For those who think this is a good idea, the Institute for Energy Research has some great videos explaining that, though pushed by special interest groups and lobbyists as job starters and environmentally beneficial, data and common sense show that forcing alternative energies on North Carolinians is hardly a good idea.
The cost of attracting, subsidizing, constructing, and maintaining these new and inefficient energy production methods aren’t eaten by the government or the electric companies. Rather, they are passed on to consumers. Provider rates go up, costing North Carolinians more for their energy, and pulling more money and resources away from much more efficient means of energy production. Trying to reduce our impact on the environment is an extremely laudable idea, but not at the overbearing expense of the people of North Carolina, and not in a rushed manner such as with REPS.