Pages: 1 2
The U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Energy Feb. 7 announced plans to fast-track four offshore areas for wind farms, with future wind structures off the coasts of several more states. This could be a disastrous error at a time of oil supply uncertainty. As King Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, this is a futile “grasping at the wind.”
The government could issue leases for four new East Coast wind farms by year’s end, the Associated Press reported. The Interior Department said the sites it has identified are off the shores of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. In coming years, plans are to put wind turbines hundreds of miles at sea out from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Hawaii, and even in the Great Lakes.
The National Wind Strategy acknowledges that financing these far-at-sea turbines in the Outer Continental Shelf will be an unknown expense. But the Strategy states that “financing could amount to roughly half of the cost” of obtaining the wind energy.
The Department of Energy plans initially to spend more than $50 million to begin to try to meet Barack Obama’s impossible goal of generating 80 percent of the country’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.
To put things in perspective, only 11 percent of the electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).In its Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (published in December) EIA predicts only 56 percent of electricity will be generated by not only renewables but also by natural gas and nuclear sources in the next 25 years—far below the President’s boundless wishes.
Many politicians have fallen under the spell of “green” jobs creation, at least partly entranced by the $7 billion in subsidies the Obama Administration has handed out for wind farms and other renewable energy programs. But–as in what economists know as Gresham’s Law–bad money drives out good. Jonathon A. Lesser, founder and president of Continental Economics, Inc., a firm that has worked heavily with utilities, points out, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, green or otherwise.”
Just last September, as Lesser notes, California’s Air Resource Board adopted a mandate that requires the state to get one-third of its energy from renewable energy by 2020. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger foresaw “a million-trillion global market for clean energy, and I look forward to seeing even more investment and job creation happen throughout our state….” As Lesser says, “Politicians blithely ignore economists and continue to promote a mythical ‘green’ economy that will soon emerge.”
In Obama’s State of the Union speech the President said, “I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources….”
Obama named his pal Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric CEO, to head the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. General Electric has more than 13,500 wind turbine installations worldwide. GE could be subsidized to make windmills here, and then ship them to China.
Pages: 1 2