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.