Friday, November 13, 2009

Solar Powered Lies

By Alan Caruba

I lived in Florida for some five years between attending the University of Miami and returning after service in the Army for a job I left on news of JFK’s assassination. Some five years ago my older brother, a resident of Boynton Beach, urged me to relocate.

As the exit doors of the Palm Beach Airport slid open, I was hit with a soggy blast of hot air that instantly told me I would not be taking up residence there again.

I returned to New Jersey which shares with Florida, California and ten other States the dubious honor of being on the brink of financial collapse and default. Like others, New Jersey requires that some part of electricity production must came from “renewable” sources such as solar or wind.

Other States have a similar mandate. Utilities have embraced it because the costs are heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars. It is an enormous waste of money made worse by the unreliable aspects of both plus the need to always have a backup supplier, usually in the form of a coal-fired plant.

To make matters worse, Congress is contemplating a national Renewable Electricity Standard that would require more use of solar and wind energy. The argument for this is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid “global warming.” However, there is no global warming. For the past decade, there’s been a global cooling and it is anticipated to last for several more decades.

Finally, it must be said that there is NO connection whatever between greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and any warming that did naturally occur. Ever.

Thus, a national mandate would just multiply the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars required to subsidize these massively inefficient and unreliable forms of electricity production.

In October there was a flurry of news stories about the largest solar panel plant in the United States, located on 180 acres of land, 80 miles southeast of Tampa. Naturally, President Obama paid a visit to the Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center because he is a big booster of renewable energy. He keeps telling everyone that it will generate hundreds, if not thousands, of new “green” jobs.

What the President didn’t say during his visit was that the solar panels and other items were manufactured in nations other than the United States. The solar cells came from the Philippines. The steel mountings were made in Canada. The electric boxes were manufactured in Germany.

The project did generate some 400 temporary jobs, but how many full time jobs will the new Florida installation generate? The total comes to two full-time employees and six part-time groundskeepers who will work one week a month during the rainy season.

And here’s where it just gets totally obscene. The Desoto facilities and two other Florida Power and Light solar facilities will generate enough electricity to power just 3,000 homes of the 4,000,000-plus accounts served by Florida’s largest utility.

Less than 4% of Florida’s energy needs will be met by this $150 million facility. Meanwhile, proposed coal-fired and nuclear plants are fought to a standstill by environmentalists.

And, finally, consider this piece of news. General Electric just announced that it plans to close down its only solar-panel manufacturing facility because if found the price for panels had fallen below production costs! The 82 employees at the Newark, Delaware facility will join the other millions of Americans who are out of work.

America, like Great Britain, is closing in on an era of blackouts because the federal government is doing everything in its power to thwart the building of proven sources of electricity production, coal-fired and nuclear plants. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, sitting atop enough to provide power for the next three hundred or more years. No new nuclear plants have been built in three decades.

It’s only a matter of time before the Obama administration announces that shoveling snow has been reclassified a “green” job. Jimmy Carter’s famed “misery index” is about to shoot off the charts.


Unknown said...


You might be wrong about global cooling....If so, how would that affect the rest of your post?

Alan Caruba said...

No, StageStopVillage, I am not wrong about global cooling. The website you cite is affiliated with the Weather Channel and it is now famous for its bias toward the global warming hoax and opposition to those who cite data to disprove it.

Why not go over to or any of the sites linked to this blog to get the truth?

Buzzg said...

While some presently tout the Weather Channel as being the "leader" in the gorebal warming crusade, John Coleman, who founded the Weather Channel is definitely on the other side of the fence.
Coleman is a harsh critic of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and global warming in genral.
In the fall of 2007 he described the current concern over global warming "a fictional, manufactured crisis, and a total scam."
In 2008 Coleman gave a speech of the same tone, before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, blaming the "global warming scam" and environmentalist lobby, for rising gas and food prices. He also declared the scam "a threat to our economy and our civilization."

Coleman has also made appearances on Fox News Channel and on the Showtime program, 'Penn & Teller: Bullshit!',(sorry for the candor, but this is an important subject), to share his global warming views. Coleman recently published an article entitled "The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam", in which he promotes his ideas that many scientists and politicians have been embroiled in what amounts to scam based on incomplete science and a political motive for a world government. Coleman says the genesis of the global warming movement was the claims of scientist Roger Revelle, an early mentor of Al Gore, whose goal was seeking increased funding for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
Since we all should know by now that Algore has made enormous sums of money for selling "carbon credits" (can we say "Ponzi Scam", boys and girls?)
There has to be an ulterior motive here.
The panic stricken amongst us who have drooled over "An Inconvenient Truth", which has nothing to do with the truth, are still touting the end of life as we know it sometime in the next 30 days. (Compliments of Gordon Brown)
Alan has it right, there is no global warming.
Leave us not forget, Fat Albert "invented the Internet". If you believe that, then you must believe in AGW.
Wake up and take the covers off your 'ead and smell the coffee.
Semper Veritas

Alan Caruba said...

Buzzg: I had the good fortune to meet Coleman earlier this year and we had a good talk about the global warming hoax.

The fact is, I know most of the major "skeptics", i.e., leading meteorologists and other scientists who bravely stood against Al Gore's lies.

Unknown said...

If you had actually read the link, you would know it was a reprint of an AP article reporting on a presentation of data to mathematicians, in this case statisticians, to examine trend lines. the report clearly states that the 'cooling' trend only comes when a particular data set is chosen and not when the decade long sets bracketing it are chosen.

It would have been impressive if you had gone after the math, the methodology or anything but an endless set of ad hominem attacks. I believe the choices we are making now will cost my family money, but need something real to base my beliefs on.

Conviction without reason is useless. Give us some facts. Or a plausible alternative explanation as to why carbon credits etc. won't help and something else will.

Alan Caruba said...

I am a science WRITER, not a mathematician. I take my data from a wide variety of sources and an affiliate of the Weather Channel is not one of them.

Don't bother replying. Go away.

Anonymous said...


Your way off base, in fact your so wrong I am only compare your ramblings with that of an uninformed person who is aligned with the special interest coal, oil and political power. It's obvious you don't have a clue about what power renewable energy has. Your one of the last zealots of the talking heads for the Coal and Oil Industry. Global Warmings effects on the planet are irrefutable, by all but those who are uneducated, misinformed or PAID LOBBYISTS for The Coal Oil and Natural Gas Industries. Sorry Alan, I have seen fermenting pumpkins in the field with a better grasp of the situation than you have. I suggest you read VITAL SIGNS ISBN 978-0-393-33129-5
by The World Watch Institute. Your comments reek of paid by the coal industry and the American Chamber of Commerce. You don't give a Rats tail about the health of the planet. Get your self educated
and get the facts

Alan Caruba said...

Get over yourself, Michael. For the record, I am NOT paid by any energy company, think tank, or any entity connected to the energy industry. I have, however, been writing about energy topics for a very long time and, as you will note from my post, documented everything I said.

You may feel superior to everyone else who is not as GREEN as you, but the facts do not support you. Renewable energy currently provides just over 1% of all the electricity Americans use. If it was practical, it would be able to exist without US taxpayer subsidies. It's not.

DO NOT, Michael, write again. Further uninformed posts pretending to know things about me that are false will be rejected. Now go away.

Rich Kozlovich said...

The Hockey Stick Graph, which gave impetus to this whole thing, has been shown to be fraudulent! James Hansen’s data has been shown to be fraudulent or at the very best incompetent. They unwillingly turned over their data to be peer reviewed and in the case of the Hockey Stick Graph it was forced by a Senate Committee. That isn’t science and that is what they based all of this nonsense on in the beginning. This pattern repeats over and over again, so why does anyone still cling to this nonsense?

In point of fact, it doesn’t matter if the globe is cooling or warming. The issue is whether CO2 is causing it. CO2 isn’t what traps heat, water vapor does and that hasn’t, along with the effects of the sun, been part of the data fed into computer models.

A thousand years ago it was substantially warmer than it is now. Did any of the terrible things they are predicting for today occur then? No! There is absolutely no evidence that any king that these dire predictions took place then. If it didn’t occur then why would we believe that they would occur now? We shouldn’t! Besides….please explain how it got so warm one thousand years ago without industrialization. Is it perhaps cyclical and tied in with the sun’s Grand Maximas and Grand Minimas? If that is the case…and it is….then all this nonsense about CO2 is just that….nonsense!

The difference between greenies and sane people is that sane people search for data to draw conclusions. Greenies draw conclusions and then search for data to support their preconceived ideas. That is where the real problem lies. They won’t look at any data that doesn’t tell “their” truth. After the actual facts fail to support them they are arrogant, morally superior, self righteous and smarmy. When facts ultimately fail to tell “their” truth that is all they have left. Not much to cling to during a Grand Minima.

RBM said...


Maybe I misread but, " to power just 3,000 homes of the 4,000,000-plus accounts served by Florida’s largest utility.

Less than 4% of Florida’s energy needs will be met by this $150 million facility."

Isn't that like .0008%?

Pundits said...

You seem to drawing some Flak from the 'alarmists', so allow me to counter that.
Renewable power plants use artful interpretation to direct people away from the tiny amounts of power they actually do generate.
To do that they quote wonderful figures like this one does, where it says it can generate power to supply 3,000 homes, so let's look at that.

This plant generates a total amount of power for the year. Then, using the average power consumption for one year for one home, they then divide that into the plant total, giving, in this case that 3,000 homes.

However. the plant does not supply those homes. It only supplies the power to the grid where it is used by the three sector consumers, Residential (37%) Commerce (35%) and Industrial (29)

When that produced power supplied to the grid is stated in its correct application, it means that the delivery rate for that power from this Solar PV plant when compared to the maximum amount it can produce, we find that the delivery of that power amounts to an efficiency rate of just under 20%. This means it delivers that total power for only 20% of the time, or a tick over four and a half hours a day, which is around the solar PV industry average.

Using that same (incorrect) analogy, the nearby Crystal River Plant, (four coal generators and one nuclear generator) supplying power to the same grid can effectively supply 1.9 million homes and do it for the whole 24 hours of every day.

The plant does not supply X number of homes. It supplies power to the overall grid.

Also, the point that it uses little water is again another fallacy, as those panels need to be kept pristine clean at all times for maximum efficiency.

The plant proudly states also that it can supply that power for 30 years, again a bit of a reach, as 20 to 25 years is expected as the industry average.
That same Crystal River plant can supply its power (24 hours a day) for 50 years, with the ability to extend that licence out to 75 years, ticking over no stop barring maintenance, 24 hours of every day, as opposed to minimal power from the Solar plant at around 6 hours a day in Summer and 4 hours a day in Winter.


Pundits said...

I neglected to mention in the earlier comment this startling fact.
That same nearby Crystal River Power Plant that supplies power to the same grid as does this wondeful new Solar plant supplies the maximum yearly power output from the solar plant every 14 and a half hours.


Alan Caruba said...

Thank you, Ed, for your excellent clarification. It only serves to amplify the empty promises of "renwable energy."