American Elephants

The New York Times Continues To Try to Save You from the Horrors of Global Warming. Sigh! by The Elephant's Child
March 5, 2010, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Law, Science/Technology | Tags: , , ,

“The Newest Hybrid Model” is the title of a story on the front page of today’s business section of the New York Times.  The article is headed by a dramatic photo of 500 acres of solar panels sitting next to an unimpressive natural gas plant in Indiantown, Fla., owned by Florida Power & Light.

The natural gas plant — which occupies no more than 15 acres — produces 3,800 megawatts of reliable electricity.  The mammoth 500-acre solar array next to it (about 3/4 of a square mile) will produce 75 megawatts of electricity at its maximum — that is, on a hot summer afternoon.  (Fortunately this is the time of peak demand from air-conditioning).

According to the Times:

The solar array…is an experiment in whether conventional power generation can be married with renewable power in a way that lowers costs and spares the environment.

This isn’t quite right. Solar power depends on— the sun.  At night, or when the sky is cloudy, solar power requires backup from a conventional power source.  This plant will dispense with the fiction that solar can stand on its own.  So you have a 500 acre solar array that will add an additional 2 percent generating capacity onto a stand-alone gas plant.  This, the Times claims is a big advance.

The Times enthuses:

The latter is critical if the nation is to succeed in reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide. Power plants account for over a third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for global warming.

Why are they doing this when it economically seems to make no sense?  Some state legislatures have decided, prodded by the greens, that “renewable energy” is the future.  And probably more because they know some other state that is doing it, and they want to seem as “forward thinking” as their neighbors.  There is no such thing as “renewable” energy anyway.

This is not science or technology, but politics and hype. With the collapse of the entire “global warming” agenda, and the exposure of the fraud that backed it, it is time for legislatures to catch up and recognize that wasting this kind of money when state finances are in such troubled territory is beyond foolish.  Most legislatures, however, would rather raise taxes.


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