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Renewables are a Drag on Economy

October 25, 2010

Contrary to all the talk about Green Jobs, renewables are actually a drag on the economy.

Recognizing that we do not have an inexhaustible supply of money, the economy will do best when money is used wisely, by investing in projects that have the best returns.

The opposite has been happening: Money resources are being used to promote the least efficient methods for generating electricity.

Renewable Portfolio Standards, Feed-in Tariffs and the 2.1 cent per kWh subsidy for wind energy are examples of promoting poor investments.

If money is spent on new wind farms, PV solar or illusory projects like Hot Rock Geothermal, it isn’t available for other projects that have far better economic returns.

Here is a quick look at wind energy.

Wind generates very little electricity during the afternoon when it’s needed, but, instead, generates electricity at night when it’s not needed.

As we have previously seen, electricity from wind, as suggested by those who favor wind energy, such as the American Wind Energy Association, is at least 12 cents per kWh, which is significantly higher than all traditional methods for generating electricity.

The AWEA’s rosy view on the cost of wind generated electricity fails to account for additional investments required for wind to work at all.

First, there is the investment in gas turbines to back-up wind farms for when the wind doesn’t blow.

Then, there is the investment in, what are essentially, dedicated transmission lines that are required to bring the electricity from remote areas to where it can be used.

And, now, we are told, there is a need to build pumped storage facilities to use the electricity that’s generated at night when no one needs it. Pumped storage uses the electricity generated at night to pump water to a higher elevation where it’s stored until the next day when there is demand for electricity, which is when the water is released to flow through water turbine generators.

Similar evidence exists for other renewables. In Germany, for example, the German government had to guarantee a price of over 50 cents per kWh for twenty years to get people to invest in PV solar.

It’s true that building these facilities creates short-term jobs, but these jobs are at to the detriment of long-term economic growth and more jobs.

Very expensive electricity makes it difficult for industry to compete, and it forces families to pay more for their electricity, which reduces their ability to buy consumer goods, such as cars, clothes, vacations and entertainment.

Renewables are being promoted by extreme environmentalists because of their fear of global warming, which they believe is caused by burning fossil fuels.

A majority of Americans no longer fear global warming, so the minority is forcing unwarranted development of renewables on the rest of the country, and creating a drag on the economy.

© Power America, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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