Fact Check

Fact Check: Wind power strongly supported by Americans across the country

Robert Bryce gets it wrong again.
Fact Check: Wind power strongly supported by Americans across the country

Professional anti-renewable energy fabricator Robert Bryce is at it again, spreading a laundry list of false, debunked claims about wind power.

American voter-supported wind energy is one of the country’s leading sources of new electricity: more wind came online than any other new electric generating capacity in 2015, including solar and natural gas. That’s partly because wind power has seen such drastic price reductions, with costs that have fallen 66 percent in the last six years. That’s led to wind power becoming the cheapest source of new electricity in some parts of the country and cost-competitive in many.

Naysayers like Bryce are left repeating the same tired inaccuracies.

For example, Bryce’s “analysis” about energy incentives is deeply flawed and misleading. Despite clear line-item labeling that indicates 99.9 percent of the incentives listed in his source dataset have nothing to do with wind energy, Bryce repeatedly lumps all of the incentives received by those companies as being “provided to the wind-energy sector.”

Bryce’s dataset indicates almost all of these incentives went for activities as diverse as food product manufacturing, international water projects, insurance companies and other activities clearly unrelated to wind energy. He even includes incentives that were awarded to competing fossil and nuclear energy sources.

And here are a few of the other ways he’s off in his latest “reporting:”

  • While Bryce claims specific projects are unpopular in New York, a poll released just yesterday from the Nature Conservancy found 89% of New Yorkers support more wind power, while Gov. Cuomo’s 50% clean energy standard enjoys support from 9 in 10 New Yorkers.
  • Strong support by Americans for wind power across the country is what’s led to 29 states passing renewable energy targets called “Renewable Portfolio Standards,” or RPSs, requiring states to integrate more cost-effective, reliable renewable energy. These are so successful several states, including Hawaii, Vermont, Oregon, California, and soon possibly New York, are advancing their RPS’s to 50 percent renewable energy.

Brownback

  • Wind power is strongly supported in U.S. communities, including rural communities, because wind brings much needed financial resources. Farmers and ranchers received $222 million for hosting wind turbines last year, while the increased tax revenue from wind farms helps cash-strapped rural communities pay for schools, fix roads and improve health care facilities.

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The truth is Americans want more wind power, and here are some firsthand examples why. In the first video, it’s clear that wind power has brought much-needed additional resources to a Texas community.

While in the second video, the Wilson family explains how a wind farm helped them keep operating a ranch that had been in their family for generations.

A 91 percent approval rating is clear evidence of that, especially at a time when widespread agreement on most topics is exceedingly rare. Families and businesses realize growing wind power saves them money while cleaning their air, and they want to see more chapters in this American success story. This good news will likely continue, despite the misinformation spread by paid critics like Bryce.

Fact Check

Greg is AWEA's Deputy Director of External Communications. He is the head editor and writer for Into the Wind, and oversees AWEA's online content and opinion writing. Greg holds a Master's degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University's School of International Service. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University.

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