AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation released today The Cautionary Tale of Wind Energy in ERCOT by the Honorable Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative. The paper examines the results of Texas’ 20-year experiment with wind energy generation and finds it offers a real-life, cautionary tale on the effects of relying on renewable energy.
“After all of the facts are examined, the story of wind energy in Texas proves that the ‘100 percent renewable’ claim is not achievable,” said McConnell. “Sobering lessons have been learned in Texas about how the distorting effects of renewable subsidies can lay waste to the competitive marketplace and expose ratepayers to high costs and low reliability.”
TPPF’s research highlights the poor reliability of wind, seen in the fact that when Texas needs electricity the most, wind proves most of the time to be a “no-show” while fossil fuels keep powering the state. The paper finds that because renewable energy is essentially driven by subsidies, it is quickly destroying the com­petitive marketplace for energy in Texas by creating negative pricing, hence discouraging investment in new gas-fired capacity.
“Whether a city or state claims to be 100 percent renewable or 10 percent, there are large subsidies spread across Texan and American taxpayers hide the true cost of wind ener­gy to ratepayers,” said Bill Peacock, theTPPF's vice president of research. “Transparency about the costs and effects of wind energy is also lacking because exemptions in the Texas Open Meetings Act and Texas Public Information Act hide information about local tax abatements from the public.”
To read the full report, visit:
For more information, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.    

Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative and previously served two years as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Bill Peacock is vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.

Primary website:
Facebook page:
Twitter feed: