The fundamental issues of solar and wind power are numerous, so let’s review the top 11.
Washington is trading an end to the 40-year-old oil export ban in exchange for an extension and perpetuation of renewable energy programs and President Obama’s Clean Power Plan
Repealing the ban on oil exports is a win-win for the U.S. and its people; revising the solar investmenttax credit and the wind production tax credit are a lose-lose proposition that will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars for an infinitesimal environmental gain. The American people should not be blackmailed by partisan politicians who want their wind and solar subsidies as the price of the positive benefits of lifting the crude oil export ban.
CFACT advisor Larry Bell explains that wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy that, unlike the 24/7 reliability of fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and even for the most part hydroelectric, tend to be at their peak during low-demand periods and at their low ebb during high demand. The result of shutting down existing power plants for these not-so-green alternatives will surely be blackouts and brownouts -- plus higher energy prices and a lower standard of living.
A possible hidden agenda in the UN's Agenda 21 is world depopulation through not allowing sub-Saharan Africans, for example, the opportunity to improve their standards of living via modern technology, even affordable electricity. Even worse, the grandiose schemes for renewable energy only are ilkely to result in a collapse of the energy grids due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy.
Opposition to the excesses of the Obama EPA and other related agencies is mounting -- unions are seeing jobs die; landowners do not like trumped up "endangered species" habitat designations rob them of economically productive land, and ordinary citizens are recoiling from the higher costs for unreliable renewable energy.
CFACT advisor Marita Noon shows, using publicly available documentsjust jhow dependent the solar industry is on subsidies and other favorable government policies in which the many subsidize the few. Even though the price for photovoltaic elements has dropped dramatically, the industry could not survive without the Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy, state renewable portfolio standards; (which are fading fast), and the Obama Administration’s pro-solar policies.
The Environmental Protection Agency, following the lead of the Obama Administration, has promulgated rules designed to shut down America's coal industry and force the U.S. economy to rely on unsustainable wind and solar energy for future power generation. Americans in the know realize this course of action will lead to energy shortages, brownouts and blackouts, higher energy prices, and more. Lawsuits seeking to curtail the EPA's power are pending in federal court -- and the plaintiffs point out that the EPA is violating its own rules and federal law in its quest for power.
CFACT advisor Marita Noon says that 2015 promises to be a dark year for those who have benefitted from massive subsidies for wind, solar, and biofuels -- the public is tiring of the cost and the failed promises -- and of higher food costs. There will surely be a massive fight between Washington and the states over this -- but wait and see.
With Louisiana looking to trim a budget deficit (partly caused by Obama energy policies), the state legislature is considering a dramatic cutback in subsidies for rooftop solar installations -- subsidies that in one documented case amounted to $33,000 of the cost of a $40,000 system. The customer was quite happy, noting that after a 5-year amortization for his $7,000 investment, his energy is now free. But who is amortizing the $33,000 that taxpayers paid for? If it took 5 years to amortize $7,000, then it must take nearly 30 years to amortize the true cost of the solar installation -- longer than the lifespan of the solar units.
The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?
CFACT contributor Marita Noon points out that wind and solar power are free, but converting them to usable energy typically requires fossil fuel backup systems because neither wind nor solar is 24/7n reliable. Pointing out these facts -- and the higher energy costs for the poorest among us -- typically is met with ugly rhetoric, character assassination and such like, because wind and solar companies and the die-hard supporters of renewable energy cannot refute the facts.
Fueled by subsidies and mandates, the new rooftop solar-leasing market industry has engaged in “deceptive marketing strategies” to sucker unsuspecting homeowners into misleading zero-money-down teaser loan deals. Many customers are unaware they must include these units in their homeowners insurance policies, the units may stop working long before the 20- to 30-year lease expires (and they are liable for maintenance and replacement of defective parts), and the solar companies may place a lien on the entire property, not just the solar equipment, making it more difficult to transfer ownership via sale. There are numerous other pitfalls, including a serious fire hazard from defective units.
If the U.S. continues on its current path, electricity rates are going to skyrocket (as President Obama promised) and there will be massive power outages because of the shutdown of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Energy poverty is America's future -- and we know this based on the German experience. There, because of the nation's high renewables requirements, electricity prices have already more than doubled -- and Germans are building new coal-fired power plants to address the intermittency of solar energy (which is often nonexistent in winter).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel just decided to lay out additional funds to push that nation to 40% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, an action in line with its Energiewende goals to move beyond fossil fuels. Except it cannot. Germany has done too much too quickly --