Wednesday, March 18, 2015

States with Green Energy have the Cheapest Electricity

States that use renewables to generate energy have the least expensive electricity costs in the US. This shatters the myth that green energy costs more. Instead of increasing the price of power, renewables have been shown to drive down the price. These findings are extrapolated from a recent study which compared states with green energy and states that get their power from fossil fuels.

According to a March study by venture capitalist firm DBL Investors, greener methods of power production result in cheaper state-wide electricity costs. The study also shows a clear trend of declining renewable energy costs.

It is safe to assume that as we move forward dirty energy will get more expensive due to regulatory changes and eventually some form of carbon pricing scheme. Even without government incentives and disincentives renewable sources of energy like wind and solar are free. Unlike fossil fuels, renewables are directly converted to energy and do not need to be burned. The only costs come from harnessing abundant and ubiquitous sources of clean energy.

As with the life cycle of most things, as renewable energy matures the costs decline. To illustrate the point in 2001 states with the most renewable energy had the highest electricity costs, now that has reversed. States with the most renewable energy are paying the least for electricity.

As the technologies used to harness renewable sources of energy improves, efficiency increases and costs decline. By comparison fossil fuels are a fully mature industry and as such efficiency cannot be expected to improve at anywhere near the same rate as renewable energy. The cost of wind power has declined by 60 percent in the past five years alone and solar continues to get less expensive. While the cost of renewable energy can be expected to continue to decline, fossil fuels, even much touted natural gas, cannot hope to keep pace.

Renewable energy provides consumers with cost effective electricity. Even more importantly this study shows we can transition away from climate change causing fossil fuels without incurring massively disruptive costs.

Related
Moving Towards 100% Renewables in the US
Renewable Energy in Africa and the Middle East
The ABCs of Latin American Renewable Energy (Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica)
Asian Renewable Energy (China, India Japan, South Korea)
Australia Can Go 100% Renewable Due to Falling Costs
Investors in Renewables Flee Australia Causing Job Losses
Australian State Meets Energy Needs with Renewables
Australia Can Dump Coal and Adopt Renewables
Canada Could Get All of Its Electricity from Renewables
Europe Moving Towards 100 percent Renewable Energy
Growth of Renewable Energy in 2015 and Beyond
One of the Best Years Ever for Renewable Energy in 2014
2014 Year End Review: Renewable Energy Achievements

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