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What Happens to an Economy When Forced to Use Renewable Energy?

Some of America’s most prominent politicians want national mandates for renewable electricity. In addition, over the past seven months, three states—California, New York, and Oregon—have instituted plans that will require utilities to produce 50 percent of the electricity that they sell to customers from renewables. The politicians backing these measures claim that such mandates will help reduce customers’ bills and create jobs.

Had these politicians considered the surge in electricity costs that have occurred in Europe in recent years, they might have been less eager to push such mandates. Indeed, the three EU countries that have been the most aggressive in pursuit of renewable energy—Germany, Spain, and the U.K.—have all seen their electricity rates increase more than other EU countries. Further, Germany and the U.K. are seeing job losses due to high energy prices.

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