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Wind logic

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Sunday, April 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Finally, a breath of fresh air amid all the stale rhetoric over wind-energy tax credits: The CEO of one of the nation's largest wind-energy companies says Washington should hold the subsidies, thereby enabling the industry's innovation and competition.

Patrick Jenevein of Tang Energy Group of Texas says the public subsidies are “misguided” and have effectively weakened the industry, which needs to “focus less on working the political system and more on research and development.”

To wit: the rising cost of wind power. The federal government has dumped $8.4 billion into wind energy since 2009, the Boston Herald reports. And what happened to its cost? Why, it increased, of course — from $37 per megawatt-hour in 2005 to an average of $54 today.

If communities can't afford increasing prices, then the case — moral or economic — for wind energy becomes moot, Mr. Jenevein says.

But rather than devote the requisite attention and resources toward innovation, industry executives instead spend most of their time focusing on legal and accounting matters, Jenevein says.

Sadly, his is but one voice. The overwhelming chorus of wind-turbine spinners insist that their industry is entitled to unending federal handouts regardless of initiative, enterprise or free market forces, which separate business winners from losers.

But that sorry status quo only generates a lot of hot air.

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