Renewable energy sources are more costly and less beneficial to consumers, yet the drive to make them a viable energy option keeps materializing in North Carolina and nationally. In North Carolina, Senate Bill 3 passed in 2007, requiring power companies to purchase renewable energy sources for over 12 percent of their energy portfolio, is under consideration for repeal. In Oregon, the state Legislature there passed a similar measure in 2007. Oregonians are now starting to feel the financial pinch that goes along with it.
According to the Cascade Policy Institute,
“Last year, one in 30 Oregonians had their electricity cut off due to inability to pay, and enrollment in the low-income energy assistance program has increased significantly. On January 1, 2011, electricity rates increased significantly for Oregon households: Pacific Power rates increased by 14.5% and PGE rates by 4.2%. PGE also added a “Renewable Resource Adjustment” to ratepayers’ bills in January 2010. Currently, this rate is set at 0.22 cents per kWh, or approximately $2.13 extra per month, for an average household. Rate increases such as these will be the norm over the next fifteen years as utilities work to comply with restrictive energy policies on the state and the federal level.”
The article continues,
“Unfortunately, renewable energy costs more than traditional energy sources and is often less reliable. Although generating energy from wind turbines and solar panels is essentially free, the costs of construction, maintenance and integrating inconsistent energy into the grid are prohibitively expensive. Thus, adding more renewable energy will increase costs and cause substantial economic hardships for Oregonians and Oregon businesses…Higher costs will lead to loss of jobs as well. By 2025 the Oregon economy will lose an average of 17,530 jobs, within a range of 10,025 jobs under the low-cost scenario and 24,630 jobs under the high-cost scenario.”
In 2009, Gov. Bev Perdue created Scientific Advisory Council to analyze and report on the feasibility of tapping offshore energy sources, and identifying the benefits and areas of concern about these energy resources. Members were tasked with studying current laws, rules, processes and procedures that affect the use of offshore energy resources, such as federal leasing programs, state and federal permitting programs, and local zoning and ordinances. Also, the panel was asked to evaluate federal proposals to use North Carolina’s offshore energy resources, including any proposals from the U.S. Minerals Management Service for offshore oil and gas lease sales. The third of three public meetings wrapped up in Manteo in March. The advisory council will now make a recommendation to Perdue for a comprehensive offshore energy strategy.
North Carolina is the first state in the Southeast to enact a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal…Let’s hope we’re also the first state to have it repealed, with slight tax alterations.