A Georgia Tech study concludes that if the state invested in more renewable energy, it would eventually result in lower electricity rates.
The cost of energy is going to keep going up says Georgia Tech researcher Marilyn Brown. Projections show electricity will cost about 2 cents more per kilowatt hour by 2030. But Brown says if state policy was friendlier to renewable energy-- people wouldn’t have to pay as much in the future.
"In the South as a whole, we would pay $23 billion less in electricity if we were to invest in modest subsidies for renewables and better performing renewables through research."
Brown says a renewable energy electricity standard would reap even more savings. It would require the state get a certain amount of energy from sources like industrial heat waste, biomass, wind and solar. Most states in the nation have these standards; most southern states do not. That partly explains why the South lags the nation in renewable energy production.
“So the average southern state currently generates 3.7 percent of their power from renewables and the average for the nation is 9.5 percent," says Brown. "No state in the south exceeds the national average, so we're very far behind."