Friday, December 9, 2011

That's Billion with a "B"

My two (or so) regular readers know that I'm skeptical of so-called "green energy" on a broad scale. The technology, and reliability, are just not there to make this economical when expanded at anything larger than cottage industry levels. Today's story by Texas Watchdog underscores that thought:

(Texas Public Utility Commission pushes for $7 billion transmission lines for wind power, Mark Lisheron, Texas Watchdog)
With a shale oil and gas revolution bringing us an era of inexpensive fuel and greater energy independence, an ever-resourceful state has found a way to add $7 billion to our electric bills.

The Public Utility Commission, chafing because deregulation has left it out of actual power generation decisions, wants ratepayers to pick up the tab to run wind power lines from West Texas to North Texas and Houston, according to a skeptical story today by the Dallas Morning News.

Quite unlike the downward plunge in fossil fuel prices, a project that just a few years ago was estimated to cost $5 billion is now almost $7 billion. And when Donna Nelson, the chairwoman of the Utility Commission who thinks laying the lines is prudent at either price, says the current figure is only an estimate, its track record would suggest the number will not be getting smaller.
All of this money spent for energy that's only expected to satisfy a small slice of Texas' energy needs is ridiculous on it's face. I see a burgeoning role for green energy at a micro level, but when you start to expand the concept the cost/benefit analysis gets very, very unfavorable.

Environmental stewardship is not the problem. It's possible to be green without being a raving ecomental. Really, it is. Let's start by trying to not pollute, recycle what we can, grow some square foot gardens and try and keep our cars in running order. If we choose to install personal solar panels onto our homes that's all the better. Because that's where 'green energy' has a future in my opinion. These pie-in-the-sky, job creating behemoths that are being fed to us from fantasy land are just going to result in the waste of Billions (with a B) of taxpayer dollars that could better be served fueling the real economy.

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