Greens terrified cheap energy will kill wind and solar

Cheap coal, oil and natural gas are outcompeting wind and solar power despite massive government support, and environmentalists are really upset about it.

“I believe low energy prices may complicate the transformation, to Daily Caller  New Foundationbe very frank, and this is a very important issue for countries to note; all the strong renewables and energy efficiency policies therefore may be undermined with the low fossil fuel prices,”  Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told reporters in Brussels.

Americans are spending less on energy than they have at virtually any other point in recent history. Energy prices dropped by 41 percent in 2015 due to innovative new techniques to extract hydrocarbons, like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Environmentalists are also terrified that the rise of cheap conventional energy will hurt wind and solar.

“Increasing reliance on natural gas displaces the market for clean energy,” reads The Sierra Club’s website. This concern notably did not impact The Sierra Club when it took $26 million from natural gas interests to oppose coal power.

Natural gas electricity, in particular, is so cheap that it’s already passing coal power as the most used source of electricity.

Projections from the IEA estimate that developing wind and solar power to substantially impact global warming could cost up to $16.5 trillion between now and 2030. To put such numbers in perspective, the U.S. government is just under $19 trillion in debt and only produced $17.4 trillion in gross domestic product in 2014.

American taxpayers spend an average of $39 billion a year financially supporting solar energy, according to a 2015 report by the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. The same report shows President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package contained $51 billion in spending for green energy projects, including funding for failed solar energy companies such as Solyndra and Abound Solar.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

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About the Author: Andrew Follett

Andrew Follett covers energy and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Brin Jenkins

    Lets pray it does kill off this very wasteful industry. If it worked as well as the advocates claimed no subsidies would be required. The Wind and sunshine are free, but still its inefficient and can’t pay its way.

  • Sam

    Make renewables cost efficient and they may find a niche market for situations where access to the grid is difficult or impossible. Otherwise, we’ll need to stay with coal and NG until nuclear fusion becomes a viable energy source. The renewables will never provide enough electricity for today’s energy needs. Fusion is really our only choice for the future.

  • VACornell

    We talk only about the USA here…..
    Wkat about those Five Hundred million people in Africa?
    Do we ignore them?
    They have very little natural gas.
    Coal is their only answer…let’s build 500 plants.

    • Information Voter

      Funny you mention Africa, that is actually a continent where solar energy could be economically sound.
      There is lots of sun and there is no energy grid in many places. There you could put it not becasue it is green but becasue it allows remote villages to get power with a relatively small investment and with easy maintenance.

      • VACornell

        Agree if economically sound.
        But coal-burning plants are cheaper by far…
        And as they get experience at building, still cheaper.
        Go both…now.

        • Information Voter

          I have nothing against the coal industry, I think it can be made clean, i.e. the particle problems and real pollution can be mitigated and there is an abundance of it, more then Oil and gas. Using coal where it makes sense, in stationary applications, leaves us more oil and gas for plastic and transport.
          I think wind energy generally is more harmful then good but I have nothing against solar energy but you have to use it smart and it has to survive on it’s own merits. Subsidies only made the solar industry so big that it became attractive to the Chinese, they make the profits now and we have no jobs from it. I would also not have had any issue with some grants going in R&D, at least you get knowledge from it. But now they just hand out money to the end user. A very stupid way of social engineering.

          • VACornell

            Agree 99 percent…
            Are the Chinese interferring?…
            What do you mean by “profits now and no jobs”…?
            Vern

            • Information Voter

              What I mean is that in the solar industry, the Chinese are benefiting from the subsidies western governments are forking out and it has resulted in no extra jobs in the West. Basically the Chinese copied the cell manufacturing processes and bought a virtually 100% market share. All the European and American solar companies are either bust or decimated. The EU finally looked in to dumping practices when it was already too late (as usual).

              It would have been a better way to have used funding for R&D purposes and build up a knowledge base in the west. But governments got greedy and wanted quick results so they used inflated feed in tarifs as incentives.

  • VACornell

    No need to get God involved…
    Competition does it…!

  • Evan Pallesen

    Actually the US government didn’t produce a thing. It just racked up more debt and printed more money to palm off on the rest of us…