Solar Energy School Propaganda 101

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The Obama administration’s crony green subsidy scandal is erupting like a solar flare in Washington. But do you know what your kids are learning in their environmental education classes about this red-hot taxpayer eco-scam? Chances are: not much.

Instead, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Democratic apparatchiks at the National Education Association are disseminating solar power propaganda masquerading as math and science curricula.

Titled “Solar Power and Me: The Inherent Advantages,” the lesson plan for middle-school and high-school students directs them to “take note of how solar energy is incorporated into the infrastructure of various cities nationwide and write a short essay about how they would encourage solar energy use in their own town.”

A worksheet labeled “All About Solar!” makes the blanket assertion that solar technologies are “a sound economical choice as they can reduce or eliminate exposure to rising electricity rates, or even eliminate one’s need to pay an electrical bill! In addition, solar panels can be a smart long-term investment, with many solar vendors offering 20-30 year warranties on their products.”

The only warranties worth anything from bankrupt, half-billion-dollar solar company Solyndra Inc. are the warranties on the Disney whistling robots and saunas that adorned its Taj Mahal headquarters. But I digress.

Another worksheet cheerleads the “financial savings” of “solar power and me” and coaches students to “imagine you live in amazing and sunny Anaheim, CA, where the combination of local and federal rebates covers 74 percent of your total cost of a solar panel system!” The exercise then entices the student to take out a 20-year loan on a new solar panel system to produce even greater illusory savings.

Yet another question-and-answer key reads: “How would switching to solar energy affect energy use at your home and school?” Answer: “In general, switching to solar energy would lower your home’s electrical costs and reduce your emissions, thus saving money and improving the environment.”

But as Brian McGraw of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute points out: “There might be a small niche market, but solar energy is still largely incapable of producing reliable electricity at rates that are even in the ballpark of cost competitiveness compared to coal or natural gas.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the force behind billions of dollars’ worth of rushed green energy loans overseen by deep-pocketed Obama bundlers, himself acknowledged that solar tech will need to improve five-fold before it even begins to have a cost-competitive shot.

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  • goskiing

    The reason it would take so long for the Denver installation to pay for itself is that electrical tariffs for large buildings are often based on demand charges, not use. Solar cannot offset demand at night, so it doesn't get a fair shake in this situation economically. This is a problem with the billing system that needs to be fixed, not an indictment of solar cost.

    In many residential energy markets without demand charges solar RIGHT NOW is COMPETITIVE with NO SUBSIDY. Yes, one must consider the value of the energy it will produce over it's entire life (by the way 25 years with ESSENTIALLY NO MAINTENANCE is amazing, try to say that about any other power plant) but when you do that it is the obvious choice. This is based not on cleanliness, but pure economics.

    Regarding our You looked out a plane window lately? Oh yeah, our skies are SO CLEAN! No problem with pollution right now! Give me a break. This assault on a viable future for the sake of deep pocketed fossil fuel interests is despicable. There are all kinds of asthma, cancer, and quality of life costs that are not placed in the equation.

    Solar is a smart future, and those that are bashing it right now do not care about economics, they care about how these technologies disrupt the status quo.

    Solar is ready to roll and it precisely that reason that the assassination has begun.