Wind and solar power continue to receive subsidies

Wind and solar power continues to receive subsidies
Wind and solar power continues to receive subsidies | Courtesy of

According to a recent report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of subsidies from the federal government to energy producers have continued to rise for the wind and solar power industries.

The subsidies included in the report are from the fiscal year 2013. The last subsidy study evaluated funds from 2010.

The report explains that in the three-year period from 2013 to 2010, the total subsidies dedicated to electricity-related projects increased to $16.1 billion, which is 30 percent more than the $11.7 billion sum from 2010.

The subsidy amounts with the largest increases were in projects related to renewable electric energy. These amounts rose 54 percent in the three years ($8.6 billion to $13.2 billion). 

Subsidies for fossil fuels fell from $4 billion to $3.4 billion, or 15 percent. Federal energy subsidies also declined from $38 billion to $29 billion, which amounts to a 23 percent decline. Experts attribute the latter decline to tax incentives for biofuels, decreased energy assistance funds and reduced stimulus funds.

The Institute for Energy Research determined the federal support and subsidies by calculating the amount per unit of electricity produced by the EIA’s report. According to this method, government policies have subsidized solar generation more than 345 times in comparison with oil, coal and natural gas electricity production.

Congress ordered the evaluative report from EIA, an agency that is independent of the U.S. Department of Energy, to determine the final subsidy figures.

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US Energy Information Administration

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