Solar Energy School Propaganda 101


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After examining decades’ worth of failed subsidized solar efforts at home and around the world, the Institute for Energy Research concludes: “Although stand-alone solar power has a certain free-market niche and does not need government favor, using solar power for grid electricity has been and will be an economic loser for ratepayers and a burden to taxpayers.”

The DOE/NEA curriculum encourages students to pressure politicians to pour more money into supposedly underfunded green energy schemes.

But the House Budget Committee reported last week: “The president’s stimulus law alone included tens of billions in new government subsidies for politically favored renewable-energy interests: $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy investments; $17 billion for the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; $2 billion for energy-efficient battery manufacturing; and billions more on other ‘clean-energy’ programs for a total of $80 billion. Two years later, the president’s promise of millions of jobs stands in stark contrast with reality.”

A more useful homework assignment would be to have these future taxpayers calculate how much their moms and dads are spending to prop up Obama’s green jobs industry and its elite Democratic campaign finance donors/investors. The White House projected 65,000 new jobs from nearly $40 billion in green job stimulus spending. Instead, fewer than 3,600 jobs were created. Get out your calculators, kids: That’s $4.85 million per job. Investor’s Business Daily crunches the numbers further on the taxpayers’ return on its DOE green loan guarantee “investments” and finds that the program will cost a whopping $23 million per job.

A separate NEA solar energy lesson plan marketed with Dow Corning teaches 5th- through 8th-graders “how solar panels work.” A more apt, real-world lesson would teach them how they don’t work. The myth that this alternative energy source “pays for itself” is busted with just a cursory glance at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.

President Obama staged a photo-op on the facility’s solar panel roof in 2009 when he signed the green jobs goodie-stuffed stimulus law. The museum refused to disclose electric bills before and after installation of the solar array. But after digging into the lavishly taxpayer-funded project, the Colorado-based Independence Institute discovered that the panels — which only last 25 years — wouldn’t “pay for themselves” until the year 2118, more than a century from now.

It’s elementary. The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking any eco-winners or losers. “Too Green To Fail” redistributes wealth from viable private projects to pipe dreams, forces higher taxes and energy costs on everyone, and rewards partisan funders at public expense. Teach your children well. They’re inheriting the bill.

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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.