The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a non-profit public policy research institute, wrote in its 2008 report titled "Alternative Energy Overview" on the NCPA website:
"Just as incentives exist for cutting energy usage and demand, they also exist for increasing production in alternative energy to replace fossil fuels. First of all, the U.S. government gives tax credits to consumers to buy cars that run off of alternative energy and to install devices that generate renewable electricity. For instance, through 2010 the EPAct 2005 [Energy Policy Act of 2005] is offering a tax credit of up to $3,400 to individuals who purchase a car powered by electricity, hydrogen and biofuels. Government subsidies also encourage the production of alternative biofuels like ethanol, biodiesel, and methanol."
Kate Gordon, JD, MCP, Vice Chair at the Paulson Institute, wrote in her Sep. 14, 2015 article "Why Renewable Energy Still Needs Subsidies," available at wsj.com:
"If renewable energy is getting so cheap, why do we still need policies and subsidies to support it? Here’s why. Even if they’re now, finally, cost-competitive at the point of sale, low-carbon technologies are still working with an infrastructure—a utility regulatory system, a power grid, a highway system, a combustion engine-centric fueling system—built for a world powered by fossil fuels. These massive infrastructure projects were built up with public-sector support, including tax credits, low-cost loans, and outright grants from the federal government. Companies designing new energy sources, in contrast, often have to build their own infrastructure and factor it into their costs…
Not only was the playing field built for carbon-intensive energy technology; it is still tilted strongly in that direction by ongoing government subsidies for fossil fuels. Despite the pledge by G-20 countries in 2009 to end handouts for fossil fuels, those subsidies continue to grow. Here in the U.S., the International Monetary Fund has found that the government provides $700 billion a year in subsidies to fossil fuel companies, equivalent to every American handing these companies a check for $2,180 each year.
The world’s citizens are increasingly clear about the major risks we face by continuing our dependence on carbon-intensive energy sources. Innovators and entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate with amazing new low-carbon technologies to move us forward in a more sustainable direction. But just as with any other major economic transition—the Industrial Revolution, the Marshall Plan, the fall of Communism—there is a role for government policy, finance and investment in speeding the adoption [of] the new, while easing the phaseout of the old."
Edward Guinness, MA, Co-Manager of the Guinness Alternative Energy Fund at Guinness Atkinson Funds, stated in an Oct. 29, 2007 article titled "Q&A with Fund Managers of Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund" on AltEnergyStocks.com:
"The subsidies in place allow the [alternative energy] industry to grow and technologies to be developed and mature and drive costs down...
Alternative energy is most developed in countries where government subsidies have been in place for some time. Germany put in place strong incentives in the early part of this decade to encourage demand for solar modules, to encourage installations of wind farms and to support the biofuels industry. Companies in countries with a more progressive alternative energy policy framework therefore developed technology and intellectual property at an earlier state. Other European countries such as Denmark, Spain and Portugal also embraced alternative energy therefore companies tend to be more mature in Europe. However the potential for growth in the U.S. is greater, and once a longer term framework has been put in place, we would expect the U.S. to catch up fast."
Lynn Mytelka, PhD, Professorial Fellow, and Radhika Perrot, MS, Researcher and PhD candidate, both at the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Center (UNU-MERIT), wrote in their 2008 Working Paper Series #2008-031 titled "Changing Configuration of the Alternative Energy Systems" on the UNU website:
"...[T]he role of the government becomes important to mitigate the investment risks by providing production incentives and research subsidies as well be involved in accelerating the development of new renewable technologies until the market becomes stable for firms to make profits...
Because of the nature of technologies and their system embeddedness, the role of government funding and policy support are important constituents in transforming the current fossil fuel based energy system to one towards cleaner and greener forms of energy source."
Jonathan Pershing, PhD, Director of the Climate, Energy and Pollution Program, and Jim Mackenzie, PhD, Senior Fellow, both at the World Resource Institute, stated in a Mar. 2004 paper titled "Removing Subsidies: Leveling the Playing Field for Renewable Energy Technologies" on the World Resource Institute website:
"The existence of market barriers to the introduction of climate friendly technologies provides an example where subsidies may be justified. Renewable energy sources, which often have high initial (capital) costs and concomitant risks, may be subsidized by governments wishing to encourage investments in new capacity or in research to meet environmental or social goals...
Recommendations: To provide for appropriate full life cycle costs, environment-related taxes or charges should be introduced and environmentally harmful energy subsidies removed. Renewable energy subsidies, which meet public goods goals for environment and security, should be adopted..."
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in an Apr. 29, 2008 article titled "EIA's [Energy Information Administration] Flawed Study - and Wind Power's Return on Investment." wrote:
"There is a good reason for establishing subsidies, and that is public return on investment [ROI]. The American taxpayer should be receiving an ROI for the energy subsidies distributed in 2007...
- the $1.2 billion spent on nuclear energy in 2007 led to zero megawatts (MW) installed. - the $3 billion spent on coal led to about 1,400 MW installed (without carbon reduction or storage, since that is not yet commercially viable). - the $800 million spent on renewables (not including hydro) in 2007 led to about 6,000 MW installed. Of that, the $724 million provided to wind led to over 5,200 MW of new, zero-emissions, fuel-free generating capacity—35% of the ENTIRE new power generating capacity added in the country that year.
With wind and other renewable energy technologies delivering such a strong public return on investment, shouldn’t the federal government be making sure that they enjoy strong and stable policy support?"
The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) wrote the following in a Jan. 24, 2006 report titled "America Competes" on its website DemocraticGovernors.org:
"America’s economy is hampered by its dependence on foreign oil, which adds to our trade deficit, increases the nation’s energy costs, especially for manufacturers, and is harmful to the environment. By dramatically reducing this dependence and investing in domestic sources of energy, we will create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Democratic Governors have made significant strides in the states, but need the federal government to do its part by:
1. Redirecting Oil and Gas Subsidies to Alternative Energy Sources. That money should be invested in other energy sources like alternative fuels, wind, and solar power..."
Calvin M. Hoy, PhD, Professor of Economics at the County College of Morris, in a Mar. 24, 2008 New Jersey Online article titled "No Subsidies," wrote:
"Artificial governmental incentives such as subsidies, tax credits, mandates and tariffs should be removed. In the search for alternate energy sources, we are better served when firms in the competitive marketplace seek profits at their own risk.
In the competitive marketplace, firms can only procure profits for themselves by conferring benefits on others. However, with government assistance, firms can make themselves better off without conferring any benefits on anyone, that is, other than themselves."
Ben Lieberman, JD, Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment, and Nicolas D. Loris, Research Assistant, both at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in a July 28, 2008 article titled "Energy Policy: Let's Not Repeat the Mistakes of the '70s" on the Heritage Foundation website:
"Several recent bills would either subsidize or mandate alternative fuels and/or vehicles. However, the 30-plus-year history of federal attempts to encourage such alternatives includes numerous failures and few, if any, successes...
After all these years, Washington has failed to grasp the serious economic and technological shortcomings of these energy alternatives, which is why they needed special treatment in the first place. Federal efforts to pick winners and losers among energy sources—and to lavish mandates and subsidies on the perceived winners—have a dismal track record relative to allowing market forces to decide the direction of energy innovation."
Jerry Taylor, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote in an article titled "Alternative Energy in the Dock" for the Ripon Society's "Public Policy for Debate" series in the fall of 2007 on the Cato Institute website:
"...[T]he underlying premise of energy policy – that the federal government must act to promote alternative energy - is dubious. If investing in alternative energy makes economic sense, investors will make those investments of their own free will because that’s how profits are secured in a free market economy. If investing in alternative energy does not make economic sense, investors will rightly eschew those investments. If the government encourages or compels investments in things that don’t make economic sense, nobody wins save for the particular parties gaining the subsidy.
Although most armchair energy gurus believe that government subsidy can hasten the day in which alternative energy sources can compete in the market without government help, this represents the proverbial triumph of hope over experience. If the objective of government subsidy is to produce industries that ultimately won’t need government assistance, then we have yet to find a consequential example of energy subsidies that have produced the intended result."
Ronald R. Cooke, author of Detensive Nation: From Regulation to Leadership, in a Mar. 18, 2005 article titled "Alternative Energy: It's Time to Evaluate Our Options" on the Financial Sense website, stated:
"No proposed energy solution is useful unless it will be economically and structurally viable without government support. No subsidies. No special regulations to encourage production or consumption. Yes, I know. If government preferences, subsidies, military action, and so on were added to the real cost of oil, we would pay at least twice as much as we do for gasoline, diesel, and heating oil fuels. But in the long run, such preferences and subsidies are economically unsustainable. Energy technologies are viable only if they are able to provide us with a solution that can stand on its own under the political, economic, or environmental constraints that lie in our future."
John Culberson, JD, Member of the US House of Representatives (R-TX), is quoted in a June 23, 2008 article titled "Culberson Takes on Multiple Wind Power Execs" on the Houston Chronicle website:
"These people in the wind energy business have made their fortunes because they are subsidized by you and me, and the Democrats passed a big energy bill late last year that jacked up taxes on the oil and gas industry by about $14 billion and then handed the money over to the wind energy folks and other industries. That's just dead wrong. We need to eliminate those subsidies. If they can't make it in the free market - particularly with oil at $130 plus - the alternative energy guys can certainly make money if it's a good idea."