7-16-15 – Vermont as a Renewable Energy Example to the World! 

Posted by Rob Roper

Most if not all renewable energy activists in Vermont will admit that nothing Vermont does, given our tiny population an pin-prick sized geography on the planet, will have any effect on global climate trends. However, they justify plans to industrialize hundreds of miles our ridgelines and thousands of acres of pasture lands with wind and solar electricity generating factories because Vermont can serve as an example for the world to follow. And, if they do follow, that will make a difference.

So, how we doin”?

According to a handful of recent articles, not so well either at home or abroad. The Wall Street Journal ran a story on July 10, States Are Unplugging Their Renewable-Energy Mandates. It highlights moves by several states to kill mandates far less onerous than Vermont’s. The authors report that in May Kansas repealed its mandate for 20% renewable energy by 2020. North Carolina is on track to freeze its renewable mandate where it is at 6%, killing a scheduled rise to 12.5% by 2021. Last year, Ohio froze its renewable mandate at 2.5%.

On the other side of the world, Australia “has ordered the taxpayer-funded $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to immediately cease any new investments in wind power projects.” (Abbot Cancels All Government Wind Farm Subsidies, July 12, 2015) As the Prime Minister stated, “Up close, they’re ugly, they’re noisy and they may have all sorts of other impacts. It’s right and proper that we’re having an inquiry into the health impacts of these things.”

Across the pond, the Telegraph reported in a July 19th article, Britain’s Green Energy Subsidies Face The Axe, that, “Subsidies for new wind farms and solar power plants are set to be cut as ministers move to protect millions of families from rising energy bills.”

The rest of the country and the world is waking up to the fact that wind and solar are not the solution to global climate change, and, in fact, bring with them a host of environmental problems all their own.

As Bill Gates pointed out, “The thing is, none of the renewables technologies that we’re currently subsidizing, rolling out, actually work.” Gates is investing $2 billion into research for new technologies that are both renewable and, critically, cost effective.

James Delingpole puts it most bluntly in an article, Study: Wind Farms Even More Expensive and Pointless Than You Thought:

Among the factors wind advocates fail to acknowledge, the report [The True Cost of Wind] shows, is the “opportunity cost” of the massive subsidies which taxpayers are forced to provide in order to persuade producers to indulge in this otherwise grotesquely inefficient and largely pointless form of power generation….

Instead it has been squandered on bribing rent-seeking crony-capitalists to carpet the landscape with bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes to produce energy so intermittent that it is often unavailable when needed most (on very hot or very cold days when demand for air-conditioning or heating is high)….

So, in conclusion, if the rest of the world is even aware of what Vermont is doing regarding renewable energy, either they don’t care or are learning not from our success but from our enormous policy mistake. Either way, they’re not following us, but running in the opposite direction. And, either way, our policy is a failure.

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne Norris July 17, 2015 at 1:06 am

Right On glad someone finally said it out loud! thanks!!


Ed Brault July 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

I was listening to the July 27th Common Sense Radio program on WDEV, where they were discussing the effects of the “Clean Energy” mandates for Vermont. I remembered stumbling across a website where I found an image that perfectly illustrates what Vermont will look like if this plan is implemented:


When you look at this you may want to hold your monitor up to a mirror and look only at the reflection: “Man does not behold the face of the Gorgon and live.”

My wife and I retired and moved to South Carolina because of increasing taxes and the cost of living. With the implementation of House Bill 40, I feel we got out just in the nick of time. I fear Vermont’s economy is going to take a hit from which it may take generations to recover, if ever.


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