FACT CHECK: AWEA Testimony on Wind Subsidies

By Institute for Energy Research (Bio and Archives)  Wednesday, April 17, 2013

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Interim CEO Robert Gramlich testified on April 16 before a joint hearing of the House Science Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight. In his testimony, Mr. Gramlich made several misleading claims about the efficiency and effectiveness of wind energy subsidies. The Institute for Energy Research has put together a list of those claims along with the corresponding facts.

CLAIM: A recent Gallup Poll found that 71 percent of Americans want more emphasis on developing our wind resources.

FACT: The Gallup Poll Mr. Gramlich cites did ask Americans how much emphasis the U.S. should put on wind power production—with 71 percent indeed responding “more emphasis”—but Gallup’s survey did not ask respondents if they were willing to pay more for wind power. Numerous reviews such as this 2012 study have found that the average American is not willing to pay a substantial amount in addition to their current utility bill to have their power generated from mostly renewable sources, a consideration which may have yielded different results in the Gallup poll. According to the Energy Information Administration, wind is over 30 percent more costly to build than natural gas fired generation.
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