Tags: Renewable | Energy | Costs | Obama

Renewable Energy May Be Popular, But Beware the Costs

By    |   Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:12 PM

Like most Americans I would embrace solar and wind if it was a dependable energy source.

But we’ve learned that failed prospects like Solyndra (which squandered a $535 million taxpayer loan from the Department of Energy) are indicative of the inherent challenges of renewable energy, which despite the best of intentions, is untrustworthy and costs billions of dollars.

Harvard Government Professor Stephen Ansolabehere during a December 2014 appearance at the University of Chicago noted that: “People have the relative harms about right. People have the relative costs for traditional fuels about right. They’re way too optimistic about [the cost of] solar and wind, and the caution is that if you inform them, you’re going to get lower support.”

That’s exactly the dilemma. As America experiences an energy glut, with the cost of the domestic production for coal and natural gas going down, Americans still cling to the perception that renewable energy is cheaper and more dependable.

Even Bill Gates, who embraces technology, suggested that “current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. Wind and solar depend on the weather. The cost of decarbonization using today’s technology is beyond astronomical.”

So when President Obama recently pledged that the U.S. will generate 20 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030, it made for a great sound bite.

But like most of the president’s commitments, he never factored in the costs.

It is estimated that to meet Obama’s pledge, it will cost America some $2 trillion dollars.

The problem is, he has no idea where this money will come from.

The United States gets almost half its electricity from coal; it’s the cheapest source. It costs about $3.00 per million BTU.

On the other hand, the U.S, Energy Information Administration notes that when assessing wind, solar, ocean, and geothermal power, the technology isn’t built in bulk, and wind and solar don’t work when it’s dark or not windy. Wind and solar both require a lot of land. If you factor in the cost to buy land and build the plants and run them, nuclear is far cheaper for the amount of energy it can generate.

As we’ve discovered, corruption runs rampant in green energy, thanks to massive tax breaks and other taxpayer handouts for Obama cronies. In most cases the money granted to these projects is never repaid, and instead of creating jobs, jobs are actually lost because we don’t invest these valuable resources in more productive areas of our economy.

It’s important to look at jobs when we assess energy generation and supply. There are approximately 174,000 blue-collar, full-time, permanent jobs related to coal in the U.S.: mining (83,000), transportation (31,000), and power plant employment (60,000).

This total does not include indirect employment — workers who are not directly employed in the coal industry, but whose jobs are supported by that industry. It is entirely possible that thousands — even tens of thousands — of workers are indirectly supported entirely by the coal industry.

This number would be three times as high if the EPA had not made a crusade of crushing coal mines and coal miners.

On the other hand, renewable energy data suggests that in 2011, the wind energy industry directly employed 75,000 full-time-equivalent employees in a variety of capacities, including manufacturing, project development, construction and turbine installation, operations and maintenance, transportation and logistics, and financial, legal, and consulting services.

Pipe dreams rarely work. The president needs to examine the cost of his actions. The poster children are: ACA, immigration policies, minimum wage, tax policies, and the inheritance tax. The list goes on and on.

And once again, energy is in his crosshairs.

Renewable energy is one of those pipe dreams. Whoever takes Obama’s place will be stuck with a legacy of bad ideas and high debt. Now add $2 trillion to this legacy — a legacy of debt that will be inherited by future generations.

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Renewable energy is one of those pipe dreams. Whoever takes Obama’s place will be stuck with a legacy of bad ideas and high debt. Now add $2 trillion to this legacy – a legacy of debt that will be inherited by future generations.
Renewable, Energy, Costs, Obama
Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:12 PM
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