pixiedustPresident Obama’s “clean power plan” brings new meaning to his lead from behind strategy. It involves replacing reliable fossil energy sources with pixie-dust-powered alternatives.

Only one day following the Supreme Court’s ruling to block the EPA’s planned power plant mercury emission regulations, he committed the U.S. to a goal of generating 20% of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

That means at least three times more subsidies than we currently blow on windmills and burn with sunbeams . . . and that’s a lot.

Wind and solar each already receive more than 50 times more subsidy support per megawatt-hour than conventional coal, and more than 20 times more in terms of average electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures, annual “Federal interventions and subsidies” for wind (4.4% of American electricity) costs for taxpayers ranged from $5.5 billion and $5.9 billion between 2010 and 2013, and from $1.1 billion rocketing up to $4.5 billion for solar (0.4% of our electricity) during that period. For comparison, those allocated to fossil fuels (about 60% of total electricity) dropped from $4 billion to $3.4 billion.

Although lemming powers of observation aren’t highly regarded, wouldn’t you think witnessing fellow critters plunge en masse over cliff unemploymentlineedges would offer cause for some among them to reconsider the perilous path ahead?

Painful EU experiences offer teachable lessons. Consider Denmark, for example. On Earth Day, 2010, President Obama praised the country as a great Green power model. And yes, while the country theoretically produces about 20% of its electricity from wind and solar, CEPOS, a Danish think tank, reported that this only supplied between 5% and 9.7% of average annual demand over the previous 5-year period.

Danish consumers pay the highest electricity rates in Europe, more than three times more than we do.

Existing German energy policies, where 7.8% of electricity comes from wind and 4.5% derives from solar, force households to fork out for the second highest power costs in Europe — often as much as 30% above the levels seen in other European countries.
Such circumstances are only likely to worsen with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plans to wean the country off fossil fuels and nuclear power. Subsidies for wind power — which delivers only about one-fifth of the theoretical installed capacity — are three times higher than those paid for conventional electricity.

angelaPresident Obama also lauded Spain as a fine example of renewable energy progress. Yet a study released by researchers at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos a few months later presented a far less enviable picture.

Over the previous 8 years the Spanish government had spent $791,597 in subsidies to create each Green energy job, and exceeded $1.38 million per wind energy job.

Each of those Green solar jobs cost 2.2 jobs in lost opportunities elsewhere in the workforce, and each megawatt of installed wind energy capacity destroyed 4.27 other jobs.

Italy’s wind and solar experience record is even worse. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Bruno Leoni Institute, the amount of capital required to generate one job in the renewable sector would create between 4.8 and 6.9 jobs in the industrial sector or elsewhere just based upon subsidies alone.  Of the 50,000 to 120, 000 renewable jobs they propose to create by 2020, 60% will be temporary.

Experiences in the United Kingdom are reportedly similar to those in other EU countries. A study by Verso Economics determined that each renewable job “created” by subsidies displaced 3.7 others in their general economy. “Renewable Obligations,” which increase market prices for electricity from renewable sources, cost U.K. consumers an additional $1.75 billion during 2009/2010.

In 2011 British wind turbines produced a meager 21% of installed capacity (not demand capacity) during good conditions.

As in Germany, this has made it necessary for the U.K. to import nuclear power from France. Also similar to Germany, the government Francenukeis closing some of its older coal-fired plants — any one of which can produce nearly twice the electricity of Britain’s 3,000 wind turbines combined.

Yeah, and then there’s our own uber-Green California, which mandates that renewables provide 33% of the state’s electricity by 2020 and proposes to increase to 50% by 2030.

Over just the past 3 years their electricity rates have already risen by 2.18 cents per kilowatt hour — about four times the national rate — as more and more wind and solar came on line.

Meanwhile, so long as natural gas drilling is restricted, climate crisis hoax-premised EPA regulations strangle fossil power generation, and nuclear energy expansion is delayed, we are racing hell-bent along the same road to perdition. Let’s consider the peril before joining the EU and California lemming pack in a final, fatal jump.


  • Larry Bell

    CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."