Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released the research paper, The Economic Fall and Political Rise of Renewable Energy.

The paper’s author, Robert L. Bradley, Jr., the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research, offered the following statement:

“The modern history of wind power and on-grid solar power can be summarized in four words: economically incorrect, politically correct. As documented in the paper, U.S. companies invested heavily in renewable energy technologies in the 1970s/1980s only to suffer losses and, in most cases, to exit. Only massive taxpayer and consumer subsidies in the 1990s reversed these market verdicts, leading to today’s government dependence.”

Key Points:

  • Renewable energy had almost of 100% market share throughout human history until it was replaced by more affordable and efficient mineral, carbon-based energies that powered the industrial revolution and vastly increased living standards.
  • The birth of wind power as commercial energy began in California in the early 1980s. The winds were no stronger than before, but government largesse kicked in as a misguided response to the 1970s energy crisis.
  • Massive government subsidies to solar and wind energies over four decades have enriched companies like Enron and NextEra but have failed to make these sources of energy competitive with fossil and nuclear fuels
  • Corporate cronyism has cost consumers and taxpayers billions of dollars, making energy in American less affordable and reliable.
  • Human ingenuity and innovation free of government intervention continue to enable the ever-expanding use and ever-decreasing cost of modern fuels to support our daily energy needs.

“Vast subsidies for renewables have made electricity in America less reliable and affordable,” said Bill Peacock, vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “As both Texas and the federal government seek to address this problem, the answer is not more subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels. The answer is to eliminate subsidies and mandates for all sources of energy.”

The full paper may be found here:


Key Fact
Hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies have been spent on solar and wind energies since the 1970, but those subsidies have failed to make these sources of energy competitive with fossil fuels.