Why solar and wind are the most expensive way to reduce emissions

The most important consideration in electricity provision is cost to consumers. Electricity is a basic human need. In North Carolina that need gets met by a monopoly provider.

There is, however, this idea that electricity provision is about creating more jobs and cutting emissions. (If you think about it for a second, you will see how that idea goes hand in glove with higher electricity rates. Hint: labor is a cost.)

Nevertheless, as my recent Spotlight report explains, solar and wind are the most expensive ways of reducing emissions from generating electricity:

Here’s why: solar and wind can produce electricity at peak capacity for only a fraction of the time. That means their benefit of reducing CO2 emissions only occurs a fraction of the time. The rest of the time they are imposing huge costs.

What are the least expensive ways? Natural gas and nuclear. The following charts are from the report:

equivalent energy investments

how many plants to replace

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...