A Cup of Cape Wind Coffee

In response to a Cape Wind news story on this site, a commenter said:
“Increasing the cost of electricity can't be good for business, and it must be a net job loser!”

People who criticize Cape Wind for increasing electricity rates want you to ignore this important point: The extra cost for the typical rate payer will be about the cost of a cup of coffee per month ($1.50/month for National Grid, closer to $1.00 per month for NSTAR). That is, the annual cost from Cape Wind for a typical rate payer will be between $12 and $18.  To repeat:  $12 to $18 each year.

One can ask: “Why pay any extra at all?”. The answer to that question is this: “Offshore wind may be a large industry down the road. If Massachusetts takes the lead in this new industry, it will likely become its hub. While there’s no guarantee that this will happen, it’s worth the cost of a cup of coffee per month to find out”.

There are few guarantees in life. There’s never been a guarantee that a new technology, including a new energy technology, will succeed. There’s no guarantee that offshore wind will succeed in the U.S. But if it does, and if MA has taken the lead in it, the state will benefit greatly by being at the center of a new industry.

It’s worth the cost of a cup of coffee each month to position MA to be the hub of a U.S. offshore wind industry down the road.

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