A policy promoted by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will result in higher electricity costs, fewer jobs, and less investment in Kansas.
This is the conclusion of a new study by Kansas Policy Institute and Beacon Hill Institute. The policy is Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, which mandates that a minimum amount of a state’s electricity be produced by renewable sources. In Kansas, the primary renewable source of electricity is wind.
In a press release accompanying the report, KPI said “Renewable energy is more expensive than conventional energy, so government mandates are necessary to ensure that more renewable energy is purchased. However, the unseen consequences of well-intended efforts to increase energy independence are rarely considered. The authors estimate that by 2020, the average household’s electricity bill will increase by $660, approximately 12,000 fewer jobs will have been created, and business investment in the state will be $191 million less than without the mandate.” The press release and summary is at The Economic Impact of the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard, and the full report is here.
Brownback has supported, first as U.S. Senator and now Kansas Governor, renewable portfolio standards, mandating the production of wind power. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran favors the production tax credit that makes wind feasible, but forces taxpayers to subsidize an expensive form of energy. Together they penned an op-ed that tortures logic to defend the tax credits. Each has spoken out on his own on the national stage. See Brownback on wind, again and Wind energy split in Kansas.
Driving through western Kansas and marveling at all the wind farms might lead one to conclude that the efforts of Brownback and Moran are a success. Viewing the spinning turbines — when they are in fact spinning — is just the start of understanding the impact of wind power, mandates for its use, and taxpayer subsidy for its production. The KPI report is an important document that lets us understand more of the full effect of renewable portfolio standards.