February 3, 2014 by Bob Livingston
“Every four minutes another American home or business goes solar, every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.” — President Barack Obama, State of the Union address, Jan. 28, 2014
Here’s a better idea: Let’s progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries, and stop there.
Glance down the trail of destruction carved out of the American economy by the crony policies of the illegal usurper currently occupying the people’s house, and you will see it littered with the bodies of his favored green energy boondoggles. Like armadillos along a southern interstate highway, they lay toes up, rotting away.
Despite billions of dollars printed at the Fed and thrown at the Solyndras and Solar Trust of Americas of the world by Obama’s Department of Energy, solar energy firms remain unviable. Yet Obama wants to throw more money at them still.
Solar energy is — for lack of a stronger term — inefficient. Billions of dollars have already been poured into wasteful solar energy projects. And it’s being done so on the basis of two lies: that solar energy effectively reduces so-called carbon emissions and that solar power is now cost-effective.
The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that it will take at least 11 more years for solar power generation western States to have a chance to become cost-competitive. Solar electricity is currently 67 percent more expensive to produce than wind and is twice as expensive to produce as natural gas.
Already solar energy receives a subsidy of 96 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). Other forms of renewable energy receive a subsidy of only 1 cent per kwh. So while solar’s costs look low, 96 percent of the cost is paid for out of the Treasury rather than by the consumer.
Solar energy is just another wealth redistribution scheme where the U.S. government picks the winners and losers, with the winners always being friends of the regime.
The science of anthropogenic global warming is anything but settled — Obama’s lofty declaration during the SOTU notwithstanding — and, in fact, is standing on ground far shakier than that over the San Andreas Fault. And so is the idea that solar energy reduces carbon.
A study by McKinsey and Company determined that use of nuclear, wind and even coal with carbon capture do more to reduce so-called greenhouse gases. Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that solar panels ranked 28th out of 33 “carbon-reducing” options.
Obama’s attacks on coal-fired electric generating plants have had the effect of reducing the amount of electricity produced in the United States. But renewables have not picked up the slack, despite the billions of dollars being thrown at them.
In 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. generated a net of 4,119,388 million kwh of electricity. In 2012 that total was down to 4,047,765 million kwh. So electricity production is down 1.7 percent under Obama, even as he’s gone full-throttle in his promotion of electric cars as the future of the car industry — another boondoggle his regime is throwing money away on hand over fist.
The trend continued in 2013. Through the first nine months of last year — which is currently all the data available — electricity production stood at 3,078,460 million kwh. In the same time frame of 2012, a total of 3,095,504 million kwh was produced.
Under Obama’s reign of error and despite the investment of billions of dollars, solar’s contribution to the entire energy production grid has climbed from .02 percent to a whopping .2 percent.
Meanwhile, the cost of electricity continues to soar. In December 2009, the month before Obama was inaugurated, the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s seasonally adjusted electricity index was 193.965, according to CNSNews. In December 2013, the index was up to a record 203.186.
In December 2008, one kwh of electricity cost the consumer 12.4 cents on average. Last month (after five years of Obama policies), the average cost of electricity was 13.1 cents per kwh.
The upshot is, if you’re a financial contributor to Obama’s campaign or library fund or the Democrat National Committee and you can claim to have a green energy idea, it’s a lucrative time. But if you’re an American consumer of electricity, you are being fleeced.