The Future of Renewable Energy and RE Policy Mechanisms

2121 WordsJun 20, 20189 Pages
Albert Einstein, the famed physicist, once noted that “We can’t solve our problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Today’s world is faced with the dual threats of climate problems brought on by the use of fossil fuels and the economic challenge caused by the increasing scarcity and demand for those fossil fuels. It is time for society to look beyond the limited and dirty fossil fuels as the energy of choice and promote the use of the abundant renewable energy sources we are endowed with. Because the subsidies to wind and other alternative energies ultimately generate more income than their initial costs and because we continue to subsidize fossil fuels, we should modify governmental tax policy to incentivize…show more content…
manufacturing jobs, even in the depths of the recession, … with over 400 American manufacturing plants now producing … all the major turbine components, towers, and blades” (awea.org). Investments, stimulated by the PTC, have catalyzed advancements in wind technology, lowering the cost of wind energy installations by 90% since 1990 (Passero 132). With the use of PTC, wind has proven its competitive position relative to traditional fossil fuels and “provided 26% of all new U.S. electric capacity in 2010 … and over the past four years … more than 35% of all new U.S. electric capacity” (awea.org). With such dramatic growth, is the PTC still necessary? In order for renewable energies to compete with the established fossil fuels, the playing field must be level. “The Congressional Research Service notes that fossil fuel subsidies are … as old as fossil fuels … and for more than 90 years have taken subsidies via generous tax breaks” (awea.org). One recent attempt to analyze subsidies on all levels pegged “2006 federal fiscal subsidies for energy at nearly $75 billion, with over 85% of those subsidies going to fossil fuels ($49 billion), nuclear energy ($9 billion), and ethanol ($6 billion). The remaining $10 billion in federal subsidies were split between the broad array of renewable energies with wind receiving 3.4%, solar 2.8%, and hydroelectric 2.2%.” The massive subsidies to fossil fuels originate primarily from
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