Much has been written about the costs and feasibility of many of the proposals in the Green New Deal from organizations such as the American Action Forum, American Enterprise Institute, and Wood Mackenzie. In particular, the resolution’s call to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” has attracted much of the attention. Though the resolution does not call specifically for the U.S. to transition to 100 percent wind and solar electricity generation, the wording of the resolution and the messaging used by the movement supporting it appears to make that the goal, especially given the geographic limitations of hydro- and geothermal power generation.

Key Points

  • Transitioning Texas to 50 percent wind and solar electricity generation by 2030 would cause annual costs to rise by 250 percent compared to 2018 costs. Reach- ing 100 percent wind and solar would increase costs by nearly 10 times.
  • Under the Green New Deal, the average Texas family’s annual electricity bill would rise from about $1,500 today to nearly $14,000 in 2030.
  • The total cost to implement the renewable electricity generation mandates of the Green New Deal in Texas would reach $120 billion per year in 2030—about equivalent to the state of Texas’ entire annual budget today.
  • If the Green New Deal’s renewable mandates were fully implemented by 2030, climate models suggest the reduction in the projected increase in the global average temperature would be less than a tenth of a degree: 0.097° Fahrenheit by 2050.

Erratum: The first version of this paper stated incorrectly that the cost per household of 100 percent wind and solar generation in Texas in 2030 would be nearly $14,000 annually. Table 2 shows the annual cost of generation and transmission rising from $13 billion to $120 billion, and this 9.2 times multiplier was applied to the annual estimated residential electricity bill of $1,500 to get nearly $14,000. However, generation and trans­mission costs only make up 30 to 40 percent of a typical electricity bill. The correct method to calculate the cost per household is to multiply the cost per MWh from Table 2, $270/MWh, by the average electricity usage per household, roughly 14 MWh per year, which comes to $3,780 per year. The annual cost of generation and transmission today is $504 per household, so the increase is $3,276.