The New York State Energy Research Development Authority really doesn’t want you to know how much you’ll have to pay for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s offshore-wind boondoggles.
Our recent editorial on this waste cited the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin, who’d found used the agency’s own public filings to deduce a cost to electric ratepayers statewide of some $6 billion for just the first wave of wind farms NYSERDA is subsidizing off the Long Island coast, vs. the ageny’s claimed $1 billion.
That prompted NYSERDA to point out a mistaken assumption by Girardin: He had treated one bit of NYSERDA “info” as less deceptive than it turns out to be.
Basically, the agency used arcane accounting tricks to report a low value for the state’s guaranteed wind subsidies. Alerted to the maneuver, Girardin now finds that the final price tag could climb even higher.
Offshore wind power is the most expensive alternative-energy source, and Cuomo has boosted these projects’ costs by requiring union labor. To hide the bad news, NYSERDA has to play games. Maybe that’s why, as the Empire Center also reports, its officials have the highest average pay of any state authority.
A political roadblock, not a failure of technology, cost this clean power technology crucial time.
A decade ago, then-Gov. John Baldacci put together a panel of experts to explore ways in which Maine could use the ocean to generate electricity. The state was then suffering as a result of an international oil-price shock that was threatening Mainers’ ability to heat their homes and drive themselves to work.
The report of the Ocean Energy Task Force identified “the great winds that sweep across the Gulf of Maine” as the best source of home-grown energy, both economically and environmentally.
“These winds are one of the great untapped energy resources on earth and hold the potential to supply a significant portion of Maine’s energy needs – not only for lights and computers but heat for houses and fuel for our cars,” the task force’s final report read. “Moreover, Maine has the potential to emerge as a net energy exporter through the aggressive development of its offshore wind and other renewable ocean energy resources.”
Ten years later, that vision is even more important, and not because of the instability of oil prices. The effects of climate change are reaching crisis levels both globally and in Maine..............................
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