Marita Noon reports on some of the vagaries faced by buyers of rooftop solar panels. Florida purchasers were stuck with bills of up to $40,000 for systems that may be unusable or unsafe installed by now-bankrupt companies who will not honor warranties. Elsewhere, firefighters have discussed the risks (electrocution is just one) from fighting fires in buildings with rooftop solar installations. Other solar companies mislead customers or even take their money and disappear.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we are told. Will President Obama be playing golf when terrorists attack the U.S. power grid so as to force a massive, multi-state blackout? Or will he and colleagues like Secretary of State Kerry and EPA Administrator McCarthy remain wholly focused on their own efforts to shut down the power grid through regulations and (as they did with BenGhazi and the Fort Hood shooter) refuse even to brand such an act as terrorist?
Try as he might, President Obama is not going to turn the sow's ear of renewable energy into a silk purse that provides adequate electric power for U.S. homes and businesses -- and government agencies -- at an affordable price. That's the message conveyed by CFACT contributor Alan Caruba in a copyrighted article reprinted with permission by CFACT.
Alan Caruba laments that so many on the Left who rail about environmental causes are so poorly educated -- no wonder, he says, they are so gullible. Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are efficient producers of food, fiber, and fuel and good stewards of our natural resources.
President Obama pledged that under his administration electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket -- presumably so that wind and solar could become more acceptable financially as alternatives. The problem, notes Professor Larry Bell, is that renewable energy does not work that well with the existing power grid system in the U.S. To accommodate increasing wind and solar, Germany will have to spend up to $96 billion in transmission and distribution system upgrades in the next decade. Imagine what the cost would be for the U.S., with is massively larger population and acreage.
Existing wind turbine technology may provide intermittent electric power that, with huge subsidies, can be "competitive" in price with coal and oil - but the turbines chop up bald and golden eagles and other endangered bird species like Cuisinarts. Solar arrays can confuse migratory water birds, including the brown pelican, into thinking they are flying into a water body but instead have their feathers fried or their heads damaged. Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has just authorized a 30-year take permit to protect wind farms from liability under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. In a world where the President "pardons" the Thanksgiving turkey (though we doubt he eats tofurkey!), this is borderline schizophrenia.
With domestic oil and natural gas production soaring thanks to fracking, the nation is taking a harder look at subsidies and mandates for so-called "Green" energy. EPA for the first time proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol that has to be added to gasoline. An Arizona state agency just added a $5.00 monthly fee for solar customers to help pay for use and maintenance of the state's power grid. And 52 House members have signed a letter calling for the end of the wind production tax credit just as the sixth 20,000-pound turbine blade broke off in Illinois and sent shrapnel 1,500 feet away from the turbine hub -- two to three times the legal setbacks for homes and highways.
Most people think of windmills as one of the cleanest, most earth-friendly energy sources around. But according to the Institute for Energy Research, rare earth minerals needed for windmills like neodymium and dysprosium are being mined in China and leaving behind horrible environmental conditions.
Acres required to power 6 million homes -- Wind: 250,000; Solar: 130,000 Nuclear: 430
When it comes to solar power, it has always been a choice of tapping the sun’s heat or light to produce energy – never both at the same time. But that may change now . . .
Europe is pushing people into energy poverty and killing industry's ability to compete. Can others learn before it's too late?
The Economist helped push Britain into the “greenest” carbon policies in the known world. Now, even though the global temperatures haven’t risen for more than 15 years they have created their very own energy crisis.
After Denmark (Europe's star wind energy performer), Germany boasts (sic!) the highest power costs in Europe -- Danes and Germans alike pay about 300% more than Americans for electric power that is increasingly unreliable. The Australians, who had charted a similar course, threw out their Green government. But what will Americans do?
While other countries are changing course and shedding the unsustainable policies, America stands apart from them by continuing to push, as the Washington Post editorial board encourages, building “the cost of pollution into the price of energy through a simple carbon tax or other market-based mechanism.” President Obama’s nominee to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ron Binz, believes in regulation and incentives to force more renewables and calls natural gas a “dead end.”
Net metering has been around since the early 1980s when solar panels were expensive and few people had them. But the dynamics changed drastically when states began passing renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that required predetermined percentages of electricity be generated from renewable sources—some even specified which sources are part the mix and how much of the resource was required. For example, in my home state of New Mexico, the Diversification Rule requires that 1.5% of the RPS must be met by “distributed generation” (read: rooftop solar). Arizona requires 30% of the RPS be derived from “distributed energy technologies” (once again, rooftop solar).