Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Junk Science | Tags: Brownouts and Blackouts, No Green Energy, No Green Jobs
Another day and another solar company disaster. First Solar, a solar energy company that received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy announced Monday that it will lay off 2.000 workers worldwide. In December, they laid off 100 employees at a Santa Clara, California plant. The DOE has committed the loan to a project in Riverside County in California that is expected to create 15 permanent jobs and 550 temporary construction jobs.
Now the Department of Energy is preparing to issue another bunch of loans,”subject to a robust monitoring effort to ensure that taxpayers investments are protected” loan program chief David Frantz said. He also said that the Energy Department loan program has “helped the United States keep pace in the fierce global race for clean energy technologies.” Race? What race? Everybody else if getting out. Franz added that those loans support American clean energy projects expected to provide power to nearly 3 million households and are creating tens of thousands of jobs. Construction jobs? Any permanent jobs? Or just till the outfit goes bankrupt?
The money, it seems, has already been appropriated, and you certainly can’t put it back once it has been appropriated. After all there is “intense global competition” and the nation “cannot afford to stop moving forward.” Why ever not?
For whatever reason, Obama has put a lot of faith in clean green energy. He spoke early on about halting the rise of the seas, and he really believed that there would be lots of ‘green’ jobs. He has worked very hard at shutting down fossil fuels: stalling permits in the Gulf using the excuse of safety of offshore rigs; putting the coasts out of reach for drilling; refusing to sign on to the Keystone XL pipeline; pushing electric cars and solar arrays, wind farms and high speed rail; and demanding that in just 8 more years that 30% of our energy come from renewable energy.
The evidence has been very clear that these were pipe dreams — that there was a vast gap between ‘capacity’ as the promoters described it and real power. Wind is intermittent. It doesn’t blow steadily— ever. A wind turbine needs backup 24/7 from a conventional power plant because the wind doesn’t blow steadily. The sun goes down at night, and there is no solar energy on cloudy days nor in the winter when days are short and storms are frequent and people need power more. They require backup power from a conventional power plant as well. And electric cars get their charge from a conventional power plant.
Even now, Spain has dumped their renewable energy. They can’t afford it. Germany has cut way back on subsidies and their world’s leading solar manufacturer has gone bankrupt (as did their subsidiary in this country). Germany is a northern country that gets very little sun in the winter, and solar energy isn’t practical— but the Germans do love the sun. The Chinese, who put everyone else in trouble with their cheap solar panels, have lost interest in solar energy and are going to rely on nuclear energy instead.
It’s hard to know what Mr. Obama believes about green energy? Did he see himself as the hero of the world’s move to a 21st Century clean green world? Betsy’s Page quotes a passage from the new book The Escape Artists; How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery:
Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.
There never were those green jobs promised. There were in some cases a number of jobs constructing the facilities, but running them took very few; not hundreds but ten or fifteen.Where does this notion of a world competition to power our world with solar energy come from? Don’t they read the papers? What do all those intelligence agencies do? Spain is a very sunny country, as is Portugal, as is Italy. If they can’t make it work, and they can’t, doesn’t anybody notice?
Polls from Gallup, Pew and Rasmussen show that radical environmentalism has been seriously losing influence in America for a couple of decades. Last August, a Rasmussen poll showed that 69% ;of Americans believe that scientists have falsified global warming research. Forty years ago Americans were concerned about smog and air quality, but the country has made changes to factories, and developed catalytic converters for cars.
Real life and living in the real world requires common sense and an understanding of market forces. America is a world powerhouse of cheap abundant energy from coal, natural gas and oil. One man is demanding that we shut down those sources and spend our precious wealth on trying to make the sun light our homes at night, dependably power our hospitals, keep our people warm in the winter— all things that it cannot do. Maybe if we just come up with some new and better panel, or figure out some way to store the energy from the sun, or make the clouds go away, If we just invest enough money we can make that little turquoise wedge grow to 30% in just 8 more years, can’t we?
If we just shut down all the nasty, dirty coal plants that the big environmental outfits hate so much, then everybody will have to depend on ….?