COMPARING U.S. TO EUROPE

THE RHETORIC: Incentives for wind power’s growth in Germany and across much of Europe aren’t working and are raising costs for consumers.
 
THE REALITY: Comparing policy growing wind power in Europe to policy in the U.S. is an apples-and-oranges comparison.

  • Wind turbines in the U.S. are roughly 50 percent more productive than Germany’s on average. Thanks to our world-class wind resources, wind energy costs far less in the U.S. than in Europe.1,2
     
  • Europe sets a fixed price for renewables above the market price and requires that grid operators use wind before other resources. Neither of those policies exist in the U.S. Our production and market-based policies reward results.3
     
  • Investing in homegrown American wind power is a good deal. Adding wind power helps us grow our economy, create jobs, save consumers money, and displace the least efficient power sources while helping to keep the lights on.
     
  • Germany’s policies are still very popular there and are not significantly driving up electricity rates — in fact, wholesale electricity prices have declined 20 percent in the last year as wind displaces more expensive forms of electricity there, as it does here.
     
  • Large amounts of wind energy are being reliably integrated in Europe, drastically reducing pollution across the continent. Some European nations obtain 15-30% of their electricity from wind energy, allowing them to reduce by half their total emissions per amount of electricity generated.
     
  • Wind is steadily reducing Germany's emissions, and these reductions would have been even greater had Germany not also shut down many of its nuclear power plants for unrelated reasons.
     
  • Providing Germany’s wind generation in 2012 with gas generation instead would have required around 400 billion cubic feet of gas, 1/3 of Germany’s total gas imports from Russia.
     

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