Texas taxpayers footing the bill for non-performing solar, wind energy sources

by WorldTribune Staff, February 3, 2023

As much of the state was in the grips of a deep freeze, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the entity that oversees the state’s power grid, reported on Feb. 1 that 87 percent of the energy generated for Texas was from fossil fuels.

ERCOT reported that 68 percent of energy generation came from natural gas, with coal and lignite coming in second at 19 percent. Nuclear was next at 8 percent.

Solar accounted for 1 percent, while wind accounted for 3 percent.

Despite the low performance of renewables, Texas taxpayers are on the hook for subsidizing “the failing energy generators,” Brandon Waltens reported for the Texas Scorecard on Feb. 1.

“Texas wind and solar generators obtained $19.4 billion in taxpayer-funded benefits and subsidies between 2006 and 2019 alone. According to Bill Peacock, an energy policy analyst and researcher, 28 percent of renewable generators’ income came from subsidies in 2018.”

Chapter 313, a Texas corporate welfare program, allows school districts to offer large tax breaks for 10 years to renewable energy and other businesses, including wind farms.

“The tax breaks come at no loss to the school districts. Instead, the state supplements the lost revenue to the districts from sales taxes and other state-collected taxes,” Waltens noted.

“[S]omehow lobbyists in Texas and D.C. think we should be in the business of subsidizing Bird Killing Wind Turbines and Solar that delivers 0% on days like today,” said former Railroad Commission candidate Tom Slocum, who highlighted on Feb. 1 that natural gas, coal, and nuclear were delivering 96 percent of the power for the state.

Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller put it imply: “Thank God for fossil fuels!”

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