$141M Solar Plant Has 5 Full Time Employees.This is a Success?

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.


This chart is from Wikipedia.   The data is 2006 but it things wont have changed much by 2011 in terms of percentages.


One response to “$141M Solar Plant Has 5 Full Time Employees.This is a Success?

  1. I feel sad for your dispostion on the climate. The world is changing around you due to anthropogenic climate change and yet as a group enormous amounts of energy go into denying it. I’ve posted on some other sites that “ice is the canary in the coal mine”.


    Arctic sea ice in longest decline seen over past 1,450 years: study

    The scientists have done their homework well and can stand behind their work. When the liertarian and conservatives are ready there is a lot of work to do as your article points out. But it isn’t drudgery, it is and exciting time to do the work of making our lives the best that we can.

    Arctic sea ice in longest decline seen over past 1,450 years: study

    Bob Weber

    The Canadian Press

    Published Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 5:52PM EST

    Last updated Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 8:49PM EST

    Research published in a top scientific journal says Arctic sea ice has declined more in the last half-century than it has any time over the last 1,450 years.
    The study, which gives the most detailed picture ever of the northern oceans over the previous millennium-and-a-half, also concludes the current decline has already lasted longer than any previous one in that period.
    “When we look at our reconstruction, we can see that the decline that has occurred in the last 50 years or so seems to be unprecedented for the last 1,450 years,” Christian Zdanowicz of the Geological Survey of Canada said Wednesday.
    “It’s difficult not to come up with the conclusion that greenhouse gases must have something to do with this,” added Mr. Zdanowicz, one of the co-authors of the report in Nature.
    “We cannot account for this decline by processes that are ‘natural.’”
    Climate change is thought to be occurring faster in the Arctic than anywhere else on Earth and sea ice is considered one of the main indicators. The ice is crucial in northern ecosystems because it provides habitat for everything from plankton to polar bears.
    Its gradual disappearance is also opening previously inaccessible areas to the possibility of resource development, as well as to commercial shipping.
    Mr. Zdanowicz and his team combined 69 different data sources to determine the extent of sea ice for every decade going back about 1,000 years and every 25 years beyond that.
    The team examined tree rings, ice cores from glaciers and lake and ocean sediments. To check the validity of their approach, scientists compared their calculations for the last couple of centuries with real-world observations from satellites, ship logs and other historical accounts.
    They found that by the mid-1990s sea ice had fallen even further than in previous lows such as the so-called Medieval Warm Period between 800 and 1300.
    Team members were also able to conclude that sea ice is influenced by more than just temperature. They discovered that ice actually shrank during what’s known as the Little Ice Age, a period between 1450 and 1850, due to relatively warm ocean waters moving north.
    That’s what’s happening now, said Mr. Zdanowicz.
    “In the last 50 years what has really dominated the changes that we see in the Arctic Ocean is the rise in air temperatures and the rise in temperatures of the waters below.”
    His study didn’t look specifically at the impact of feedback loops in which open water absorbs more of the sun’s heat than reflective ice. But Mr. Zdanowicz said indications are that that is starting to take effect.
    “If you take this reconstruction and you put it in parallel with a number of studies that have emerged, the indications are pretty strong that the warming of the Arctic is accelerating.”
    He acknowledged that although he has been able to get more detail on ice fluctuations than ever before, the time span considered in the paper isn’t very long by geologic standards.
    However, he points out he was involved with a previous paper that went back 10,000 years. That paper found sea ice was lower between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago — and also explained why.
    “At the time, due to changes in the Earth’s orbit, the northern hemisphere was receiving more solar energy than it does now,” Zdanowicz said.
    “That process cannot account for what we are observing now. In fact, we should be heading into a gradual cooling trend right now if our climate was strictly controlled by orbital factors.”

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