Wisconsin Hikes Electricity Rates, Citing Renewable Energy as the Cause

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Business man trying to force wind turbines on people.All five investor owned Wisconsin utility services have announced their intent to raise electrical rates, citing the cost of constructing wind and solar farms as the reason.

NextEra and other wind energy companies keep telling us that wind energy is one of the cheapest sources of electricity there is, and that wind farms will lower our electrical bills. Of course, these lowered electrical rates never actually materialize. In fact, the exact opposite tends to be true.

That fact was borne out once again in Wisconsin, where over the last couple of months, all five investor owned utilities have announced their intentions to raise electricity rates in 2024. The largest rate hike applied for so far is by Alliant Energy–a company that also serves many Iowa customers–including many in Buchanan County. Alliant Energy proposes to raise Wisconsin electricity rates by 8.4% in 2024, and another 5.4% percent in 2025. This comes on the heels of the 6.8% increase in electricity rates that Alliant already hit customers with at the start of this year. All total, that works out to a rate hike of 20.6% over a period of just three years. For a household that averages a $250 a month electric bill, that works out to $600 a year in increased electricity costs. The stated reason? To cover the cost of constructing wind and solar farms.

Yet, here in Iowa, Alliant Energy has assured us that prematurely ending their contract with the Duane Arnold Nuclear plant in favor of purchasing electricity from cheaper renewable sources will ultimately save customers money. This despite the fact that they recently applied for a rate increase from the Iowa Utilities Board. At the same time, NextEra continues to insist that wind energy is the cheapest form of electricity there is, and that somehow their Jubilee Wind project will result in lower utility bills for Iowa customers. Of course, they always give their standard disclaimer at the community information meetings: They are a wholesaler of electricity. Ultimately, they have no control over the rates that the utilities actually charge.

Whether that’s true or not, one thing we know for sure: Thanks to government subsidies, wind energy companies like NextEra and the utilities that buy electricity from them are making record profits. In fact, they are making billions of dollars in profits at taxpayer expense. And we the customers? Well, we’re paying for it twice. First in the form of federal tax dollars that go to pay for renewable energy subsidies. Second, in the form of increased electricity rates.

For those who like to claim that wind turbine subsidies are no different than ethanol subsidies? Well, there is one really important difference: Ethanol subsidies actually work. They’ve resulted in significantly cheaper gas for consumers compared to gas that does not contain ethanol. Wind turbine subsidies do not work. The utility companies themselves blatantly admit that they are raising rates to pay for the cost of construction of wind farms and solar farms.

Only the wind energy companies and perhaps the utilities are benefiting from wind turbine subsidies. We can only come back to the same conclusion that has been said before. “Green” energy is really “Greed” energy.

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I'm a freelance writer who has published multiple technical books on computer programming, software engineering, and UNIX administration. I'm also a long time resident of rural Buchanan County who owns and takes care of rescue horses. I am interested in preserving our rural farm land for the future of both our children and our animals.

2 thoughts on “Wisconsin Hikes Electricity Rates, Citing Renewable Energy as the Cause

  1. Back in 2015 Chuck Grassley stated: “As the father of the first wind-energy tax credit in 1992, I can say that the tax credit was never meant to be permanent.” Yet, here we are 31 years later still subsidizing big wind with our taxpayer dollars. MidAmerican, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, snagged $249 million in federal tax credits in just one year. And here is a quote wind developers just hate to hear. He is on record as saying “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” What does that tell you? If the wind industry wasn’t so heavily subsidized by the federal government, I doubt that the wind farms could make it on their own. On Simon Conway’s WHO Radio show, Simon interviewed former CEO Bill Fehrman in 2017, who admitted that 100% of the cost of the turbines comes from taxes. In a May 30, 2018 article written by the Des Moines Register’s Donnelle Eller, current CEO Adam Wright said:
    “MidAmerican will receive about $10 billion in federal production tax credits for the investment, covering the capital costs needed to build the wind farms. Rick Olson, the president of Iowa Lakes Electric Co-op, told me that the entire cost of the wind turbines they built in 2007-2008 were also 100% paid for by the federal government.”

    And now the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in August of 2022 gives more billions of dollars to subsidize wind developers. While it is improperly named the Inflation Reduction Act, because it really has nothing to do with reducing inflation; in large measure, it is really a green energy bill that is focused on driving investment in renewable energy projects.

    This IRA opens up investment and development opportunities driven by tax credits. Government policy is doing everything in its power to set the stage for wind. New wind farms are popping up across the country because of the tremendous tax credits they generate for their owners.

  2. Well, at this rate we won’t have to worry about black outs, right? No one will be able to afford to run their air conditioners or much of anything else. I hope people start thinking about what their electric bill was just this last month of August. A while back, Alliant Energy sent out a notice of a cost increase along with a side note that it was due to simply considering wind energy. Since NextEra decommissioned Duane Arnold, our bill has continued to rise. You’re absolutely right — we get the dubious pleasure of paying twice. Big time.

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