Throwing green money after a green energy chimera, Sen. Heller?

Paging Sen. Dean Heller, paging Sen. Heller. Telegram for Sen. Heller.

I told you the other day that our junior senator, who is up for “re-election,” though that term might not fit since he was appointed to fill out John Ensign’s term, is all for extending the production tax credit for wind farms. His website boasts, “Since its inception, the PTC has helped the United States create thousands of megawatts of new clean, renewable electricity, resulting in thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars’ worth of economic activity.”

At what price? Oh, how about $7 billion in tax money.

California windmills. (Photo by Bloomberg)

Today’s Wall Street Journal does the math. Like I’ve not provided this remedial course repeatedly over the past year.

First, the 1603 grant program has been paying up to 30 percent of the construction costs for renewable energy plants and Obama’s budget calls for extending that program. The PTC, set to expire at the end of the year, gives wind energy projects a 2.2 percent tax credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated.

“Because wind-powered electricity is so expensive,” The Wall Street Journal editorial explains, “more than half of the 50 states (including Nevada) have passed renewable energy mandates that require utilities to purchase wind and solar power — a de facto tax on utility bills. And don’t forget subsidies to build transmission lines to deliver wind power to the electric grid.

“What have taxpayers received for this multibillion-dollar ‘investment’? The latest Department of Energy figures indicate that wind and solar power accounted for a mere 1.5% of U.S. energy production in 2010. DOE estimates that by 2035 wind will provide a still trivial 3.9% of U.S. electricity.”

The return on our investment is a negative. As the WSJ writers explain, wind and solar are net tax beneficiaries. The taxpayers and rate payers are footing the bill for profits and salaries for companies that have no chance of ever surviving in a free market. (Even the laconic and non-judgmental narrator of the video above notes that the windmills are maintained with subsidies.)

Please advise Sen. Heller that the wind lobby gave 71 percent of its PAC money to Democrats. Who is he representing when he backs such interests on the backs of his constituents?

Earlier this week Chinese premier Wen Jiabao told the opening session of the National People’s Congress the government will promote strategic emerging industries, but it will also “put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power.”

Profits in those industries have dropped dramatically. Profits at Goldwind, a major Chinese wind turbine maker, have fallen 74 percent in the past year.

Paging Sen. Heller. Wake up call.

The Chinese are weaning themselves off the blind faith in an unproven technology, but you want us to keep charging over the cliff?

6 comments on “Throwing green money after a green energy chimera, Sen. Heller?

  1. Steve says:

    Wrong, this is a proven tecnology. Wind and Solar have both changed very little in 50 years of testing. Both have proven themselves not viable for large scale use in a private market. But they are definetly not unproven technologies.
    For small residential applications to function they both require significant subsidies. For rural applications it can work, in fact here is an axample anyone can visit.

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tv/video/0,,20573591,00.html

    Check out the off grid litehouse, its a B&B. I recomend it for anyone who thinks wind and solar are the future. You too can live in this lap of luxury.

    Note the “No Cost Solar” referenced is actually a PPA contract, you agree to pay a fixed cost for electricity for the life of the contract usually 20 years and the other party installs and maintains the system. In NV we pay 12 cents per KWH, the PPA would be about 9 cents. This makes it more viable to homeowners but still requires about a 50% subsidy to achieve that 3 cent reduction and for existing homes you better be sure the roof shingles wont need replacing soon. Taken as a future hedge it is likely to be a good idea for individuals but still is not going to do anything to make these technologies viable in large scale applications.

  2. Don says:

    Very sad when the communists understand, before we do, that when an enterprise is not self sustaining it should be stopped. Perhaps now that the Chinese are moving away from these non-viable energy sources we can too.

    If there is any role for government it should be in supporting investment in research not production. An increase in efficiency of solar panels would make them viable.

  3. Athos says:

    Steve, you made a comment about how long we got into this mess, and how long it will take to get out. Here is another prime example of step one (in the Athos playbook!).

    Stop the lying!

    Why Dean Heller, who was my congress critter prior to being my Senator, is buying into this lie, is puzzling to me. Kick backs, Dean? Future jobs for you and yours? Why are you spending Hilary, Harris, Drew and Emmy’s money?

    Don’t you realize there is a debt problem in America? STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY ON BULL SH*T SOLUTIONS! If we want, we can invest OUR OWN money into this Utopia.

    Do you really want Shelley B to be our next Senator?

  4. Steve says:

    Thats why I point out the truth of living on these power sources. Look at the vid specially the B&B. This whole thing is a mess and these people have us over a barrel.

  5. I’ve said that very thing about research instead of nonviable production facilities, Don.

    Sent from my iPad

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