Vanderbilt plays the wheel of energy subsidies!

In 2013, the federal government spent $13.2 billion on renewable energy subsidies, according to the Institute for Energy Research. Collegians at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee decided to show their peers how much money our government wastes on inefficient sources like solar and wind.

IMG_2472CFACT gave students a chance to spin a wheel, where they could land on either “fossil fuels,” “wind power,” or “solar energy.” If they landed on fossil fuels, they won 8 pieces of candy. If they landed on solar, they won 1 piece. While if they landed on wind, they went bankrupt! The game was designed to show how much money the government spends in comparison to how much output the energy sources really give.IMG_2474

“It was incredible to learn how much money governments around the world really spend on energy subsidies,” junior Julia Anderson remarked. “Competition in the free market should decide what energies we use and focus on as a nation.”

Landing on wind turbines caused the contestant to go bankrupt because countries like Spain spend $1.38 million per green energy job. In Britain, it would take 3,000 wind turbines to match HALF the capacity of a single coal plant.

IMG_2458“It’s crazy how much spinning a wheel and winning candy attracts students,” CFACT National Field Coordinator Adam Houser said. “The game helps them understand in simple terms how much bang for your buck you are really getting when our country invests in certain types of energy.”

The outreach game was part of CFACT’s Keep Calm Climate Changes campaign, which aims to bring awareness to the truth behind climate change and renewable energy.