Just what we need, more tax subsidized and expensive ‘green’ energy

The new president of NV Energy, Paul Caudill, told the Elko Daily Free Press recently that the new 235-mile, $550 million, 500-kilovolt transmission line from Ely to Apex — One Nevada or ON Line — will enable the company to use more renewable energy —  geothermal, solar and potentially wind power.

Caudill, who became president in December, has a background in renewables. He was president of MidAmerican Solar, as well as CEO and president of Phoenix Solar U.S. and vice president at SunPower Corporation.

Wind turbines in Spring Valley near Ely.

“I think possibly in the next five years, there would be more solar and geothermal …” Caudill told the Free Press. “We’ve made a huge commitment to renewable energy.”

And why not? The company passes on any costs to its customers.

While Caudill was touting green energy, Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, penned an op-ed for the Las Vegas newspaper saying green energy is a job killer:

“According to a comprehensive study recently released by a team of Spanish academics, each new green job costs the rest of the economy 2.2 other jobs because of the necessary subsidies. More damning is the study’s finding that each green megawatt of energy destroys an average of more than five jobs, with each solar-powered megawatt eliminating nearly nine jobs and each wind-powered megawatt costing more than four jobs.

“These perverse trade-offs can be laid at the feet of government energy subsidies. Whether it’s $150 or $150 billion, the government’s financial intervention distorts the economy by shifting investment from proven job creators to expensive experiments that — as Solyndra and others demonstrate — don’t always pan out.”

Perhaps, one of the reasons Caudill said wind power “potentially” is that, as Pyle notes, Congress has yet to renew the Wind Production Tax Credit, a taxpayer-funded subsidy that covers 50 to 75 percent of wind energy’s wholesale costs. Taxpayers pay up front, then ratepayers pay also because of higher power costs and the necessity of building fossil fuel power plants to kick in when the wind dies down. There is a move in Congress to renew the tax credit for wind.

Apparently the green fiasco in Europe has taught us little. European industries pay three to four times more for  natural gas, and over twice as much for electricity as American companies, according to The Economist.

The new German economic minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has said green energy mandates are leading to a “deindustrialization” of Germany, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

But what is really perverse is that all that green energy is not accomplishing its goal of reducing carbon output and saving the planet from global warming.

Retired electrical engineer Kent Hawkins wrote in February 2010 that “the introduction of wind power into an electricity system increases the fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions beyond levels that would have occurred using efficient gas plants alone as the providers of electricity equivalent to the firmed wind.”

This is because every kilowatt-hour of intermittent electricity introduced into the grid must be backed up by a reliable fossil-fuel generator. When the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine, the demand for electricity remains. There is no known means of storing electricity in a reservoir like water.

But starting and stopping gas-, coal- or oil-fired generators is inefficient, comparable to operating a car in stop and go traffic instead of steady and efficient on the open highway. Just like the car, the fuel consumption can double, along with the carbon emissions, negating any presumed carbon savings by using solar or wind.

10 comments on “Just what we need, more tax subsidized and expensive ‘green’ energy

  1. iShrug says:

    Even when it’s “in your face” obvious that the green stuff isn’t efficient, or necessarily good, government continues to force it on us. And forces us to pay for it. IMHO, it amounts to money laundering.

  2. Milty says:

    According to Nyp, it’s just the government carrying out its duty to provide incentives.

  3. Weevil says:

    What I love about Mr. Mitchell’s constant whining about green energy is his utter hyporcisy. He complains about tax subsidies for green energy. But, do you suppose he would give his back for the solar array in his back yard? How much power does he generate that we ratepayers underwrite each month?


  4. No hypocrisy here. I’ve mentioned being — in the words of Ronald Reagan — a welfare queen who got ratepaying suckers to help build my solar panels, for which I get the retail rates when I send power onto the grid. Opportunistic, maybe, but not a hypocrite.

  5. Vernon Clayson says:

    There’s a total cloud cover today and very little wind, how dreadful is it that carbon based energy is keeping the lights on; there’s also some from the generators on the dam but little is said about that energy generation even though hydro is the greenest of the greens.

  6. Steve says:

    Bull Mitch has been clear that the tax credits and electricity credits from Nevada power are what make that pencil out. For his system the ROI, as he has written in the past, is 20 years.

    It is worth noting that getting on the Solar generations program with NV Energy is a crapshoot for the average homeowner. Its a freaking lottery. You sign up for a chance to get a chance.
    On top of all that the electric credits for newer systems is being lowered each year now.

  7. That Hoover Dam power mostly goes to California.

  8. Milty says:

    15% of California’s electricity comes from hydroelectric. With the current drought, Californians are being told that if they don’t conserve water now, they may not have air conditioning this summer.


  9. […] solution: Less burning of fossil fuels, use of job-killing renewable energy that cost a fortune to build and operate, while releasing tons of carbon and other […]

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