The Nevada Copper Mountain Solar 1 plant is being visited today, 21 March by President Obama where he will deliver remarks on his Administration’s focus on diversifying our energy portfolio. Solar 1 is the US’s largest photovoltaic power plant. It cost $141 million to build. According to the Nevada Journal: “Funding included $42 million in federal-government tax credits and $12 million in tax-rebate commitments from the state of Nevada.” It has 5 full-time employees. About $10 M of incentives per green job. Apparently the President considers this a success.
President Obama’s visit to the Solar 1 Facility in Boulder City is the perfect illustration of why the president’s economic policies are such a failure,” said Andy Matthews, president of Nevada Policy Research Institute, (NPRI). “The government has spent over $50 million to ‘create’ five permanent jobs and build a plant producing a product — expensive solar energy — that no one would purchase without a government mandate.
“That’s not a path to a vibrant economy; it’s the road to serfdom. This mindset — of government attempting to pick winners and losers in the economy through subsidies and regulation — is a major reason why the national unemployment rate is at 8.3 percent, Nevada’s unemployment rate is 12.7 percent and the national debt is over $15.5 trillion.”
Kyle Gillis, a reporter for the Nevada Journal, the source of much of this posting, adds: “Solar plants aren’t the only government-funded energy projects in Nevada that haven’t lived up to their proponents’ promises. The Reno Gazette-Journal recently reported that seven local windmills that cost taxpayers $1 million to install have only saved the City of Reno $2,785 in electricity costs over their 18 months of existence”.
The Solar 1 plant is associated with Bolder City, NV but the power generated is being sent to Southern California. California mandate’s power must be 20% renewable by 2010, 33% renewable by 2020. They did not achieve the 2010 level of 20%. If the California Utilities supplying the energy do not comply, they risk being fined. Californians seem to want to drive business from their state with many environmental policies that businesses just can’t afford. California’s electricity price is 9th highest in the nation only surpassed by Hawaii, and group of Northeastern states such as Connecticut, and New York. By the way, hydroelectric power is not considered renewable under this California mandate.
Obama used his “luddite” and “straw man” speech today. I cannot recall a President in my lifetime that has been so incautious with what he says. I guess it goes with the territory of being on a constant campaign. I would think the appropriate name for the President is “fabulist”—and of course I am saying that politely.
I want to leave you with a chart that shows the hill that solar and wind have to climb to reach the heights that the President and his sycophants have set. As you look at the chart below, think of Matt Ridley’s words: “To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero.”
WORLD ENERGY USE
This chart is from Wikipedia. The data is 2006 but it things wont have changed much by 2011 in terms of percentages.