November 9, 2015 | Number of The Day
Difference between what NJ taxpayers paid toward federal wind subsidies over past decade and state wind developers actually received

Regular readers of NJ Spotlight probably know that New Jersey has had virtually no luck in getting its stalled wind-energy sector out of the doldrums. Its one major offshore project, a 25-megawatt pilot from Fishermen’s Energy, has never gotten the go-ahead.

That situation isn’t just bad for the state’s economy and its air quality, it’s very expensive. Over the past decade, New Jersey taxpayers have shelled out $825,780,657 for federal wind subsidies that has not been reinvested in the state’s wind industry, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Research.

It’s not that New Jersey didn’t earn any federal wind subsidies over the past decade. It received $2.84 million. Unfortunately, it paid out $828.62 million in taxes. Hence, the sizable difference between taxes collected and subsidies received.

New Jersey is one of 30 states and the District of Columbia that the report, “Estimating the State-Level Impact of Federal Wind Energy Subsidies,” calls, understandably enough, a “net payer.” Texas, the top “net taker,” received $2.998 billion more over the past decade than Texas taxpayers contributed to support federal wind subsidies.