1. There is no guarantee energy costs would be lower without the renewable mandates. Over time, costs go up, not down.
2. Access to renewables has put off the need to build new power plants, thus keeping costs lower than they would be as the costs of new plants are paid for by the consumer. The cost of renewable energy may be higher than the cost of standard energy, but the cost of new power plants is much, much higher than the cost of a solar farm.
Solar energy has created 23,000 jobs in North Carolina. Cut the mandates and lose jobs. And this General Assembly is all about jobs.
3. Our current system, using coal, hydroelectric, and gas to create electricity could not have come to exist without government support. In the early days of electrical energy it was government incentives that helped the industry grow and thrive. Without government requirements, it is possible that electricity would not be as ubiquitous as it is today.
4. It was the government sponsored Rural Electrification Program that brought electricity to every farm in America. Government needed to incentivize this because of the profit motive; there was no return on investment for private companies to run power lines for many miles to reach one customer, just as today there is no return on investment for TimeWarner and Comcast to run long cable lines to remote areas of the state. Without government ‘intrusion’ many in the US could still be without power.
5. Government allowed power companies to operate as a monopoly. In return, the industry agreed to abide by government rules and regulations, including approval of rate hikes. This is not an intrusion into a private company’s profits, but a protection of citizens from corporate greed. And government has an obligation to protect its citizens.
6. Solar farms generate income for private individuals, as well as organized companies and corporations. Solar farms increase property values and generate more property taxes for county governments. There is a big solar farm in Rutherford County and the owners commented that leasing their land for solar panels makes more money for them than raising cattle. Their farm alone will power 300-350 homes.
7. This is a case where what worked for the past, government aid in the creation of industry and jobs, will work for the future.
To quote The Carolina Journal on renewables:
The sobering reality is that Big Solar’s day in the sun simply isn’t possible, nor is it economically sustainable, without continuous diversions of tax money, government assistance, energy portfolio carve-outs, and utility cost shifting schemes – all aimed at creating a “market” for solar that it can’t establish on its own.
From my point of view, "the sobering reality is that" our current electrical system "would not have been possible, or economically sustainable, without continuous diversions of tax money, government asistance, energy portfolio carve-outs, and utility cost shifting schemes--all aimed at creating a ‘market’ for" electricity "that it could not have established on its own."
What goes around, comes around.