Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies
A paper in Nature Energy this week dives into the weeds by trying to estimate the economic benefits of wind and solar power across the whole of the US. Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs.
Two ways to look at this: Either we should be subsidizing the cost of solar/wind at 7 cents/kWh or we should be adding a 7 cents/kWh tax to all fossil-fuel generated electricity (coal/oil/NG).