Fly At Your Own Risk: “Angry Birds” for Real!

Breitbart brings this “turkey roast” to bare:

In February, Secretary of Energy dedicated the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in southeastern California, calling it a “shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy” [no pun intended, apparently]. 

However, the project–funded by $1.6 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees from the 2009 stimulus–is killing wildlife as it concentrates heat on reflecting towers to maximize output.

The Ivanpah array (seen from the air in a Breitbart News photograph above) is cited in a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that describes it as a “mega-trap” for wildlife, according to the Palm Spring Desert Sun

In one section of the report, law enforcement officers from the agency describe visiting Ivanpah and witnessing “birds entering the solar flux and igniting,” each becoming a “streamer” of fire and smoke

And the Washington Times (Via Lonely Conservative) points out some of the issues at hand:

1. Solar flux: Exposure to temperatures over 800 degrees F.

2. Impact (or blunt force) trauma: The birds’ wings are rendered inoperable while flying, causing them to crash into the ground. Birds that do not die are often injured badly enough to make them vulnerable to predators.

3. Predators: When a bird’s wings are singed and it can not fly, it loses its primary means of defense against animals like foxes and coyotes.

The study found that besides the intense heat, birds may be mistaking large solar panels for bodies of water. The injured birds then attract insects and other predators to the area. They, too, are then vulnerable to injury or death.

In one instance, researchers found “hundreds upon hundreds” of butterfly carcasses (including Monarchs). The insects were attracted to the light from the solar farms, which in turn attracted birds and perpetuated a cycle of death and injury.

Other issues with alternative energy:

But there is a “hidden” cost behind powering a plant not producing enough power:

…But Ivanpah uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel, and data from the California Energy Commission show the plant burned enough of it in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold at which power plants and factories in California are required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.

The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014….

See MORE

Alternative Energy Boondoggle, [California] Tax-Payers Being Ripped Off!

Medieval Scam Alert

According to the EIA, new on-shore wind power is about 37 percent more expensive than new advanced-coal technologies. And solar power makes wind power look like a bargain — new solar photovoltaic power is close to 300 percent more expensive than new advanced-coal technologies. Americans already massively subsidize these costly forms of energy. Wind receives federal subsidies equal to $23.37 per megawatt hour, and solar receives $24.34 per megawatt hour. (Coal receives 44 cents per megawatt hour.) ~ National Review

I have people close to me that will never vote for a bond measure because they do not want their property taxes to increase, but they will increase everyone’s taxes to fund failing business plans and technology. The disconnect is astounding. Here is a positive look at this ponzi scheme that has transferred millions of tax-payer monies to fund the company, to fund people buying the product, and to fund the buying back of the energy — all at the cost of the tax-payer because profit in this industry is impossible:

…Additionally, renewable energy qualifies for accelerated depreciation, which has the effect of reducing OFM’s taxable income and will lower the company’s tax obligation by about $170,000 over two years, Zalcberg said.

Then there’s the business of selling power to the power company. OFM is selling electricity from its solar farm to Progress for 18 cents a kilowatt hour, a premium price approved by state regulators to promote solar energy. At the same time, OFM is paying only one-third of that price for the power it buys from Progress.

The effect is that instead of paying a utility bill, OFM will receive $60,000 yearly from Progress over its 20-year contract with the utility….

Now, here is the John Locke Foundation looking at the same topic:

Getting taxpayers and electricity ratepayers to pay your electric bill

This September 2010 N&O report about the Holly Springs furniture company OFM shows why solar is so popular with private businesses and why it is such a bad deal for taxpayers and ratepayers.

According to the numbers in the story, we can make a rough calculation of who pays and who benefits. First, OFM gets the taxpayers to pay for half of the cost of the solar equipment (i.e., half of $1.4 million, or $700,000). Then OFM receives taxpayer-paid tax breaks worth $170,000. Then Progress Energy ratepayers pay OFM 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced by the solar panels, while OFM buys power from Progress Energy for 6 cents per kilowatt-hour to run its facility — a net profit of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Over 20 years, that would amount to a $1.2 million “profit” from Progress Energy inflicted on ratepayers by the legislature when it passed SB 3.

We must remember that OFM must pay for one-half of the cost of the solar panels, but subtracting the $700,000 cost from the total subsidies above ($2.070 million), OFM gets a cool “profit” after that expense of $1,370,000 to its bottom line courtesy of North Carolina taxpayers and Progress Energy ratepayers.

And that is not all. OFM and other businesses that participate in this fleecing of taxpayers and ratepayers get glowing media reports like this one.

OFM Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Solar Farm With Plans to Expand

Holly Springs, N.C. — This month office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler OFM is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the 250-kilowatt solar farm it installed on the rooftop of its headquarters in Holly Springs, N.C. last August. The company has since been producing more energy than it uses…

Why not expand when you can force taxpayers and ratepayers to pay your electricity bills? Businesses that feed at the public trough are nothing new. This example illustrates that the environmental movement is the new home of crony capitalism, with taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for solar, wind, electric car batteries, new LED lighting, the list goes on and on. Businesses get billions, politicians get good press, and taxpayers and ratepayers get fleeced. For more details, see John Stossel’s report on crony capitalism….

…read more…

Hurting the poor the most

The Institute for Energy Research found

that electricity prices are almost 40%

higher in states with mandates for their use.

(source)

How bout’ California? We can see the same boondoggle going on here as well… and its getting worse under government MoonBeam! (Waaay worse.) Here is some info from Hockey Stick, via the WSJ:

…California, for example, has allocated $3.3 billion in rebates for solar installations through 2016 and compensates residents between $0.20 and $0.35 cents per watt of expected performance (about 5% to 10% of the total cost of installation). San Francisco, which has a 100% renewable goal, provides additional rebates ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per residential installation.

Meantime, school districts in California have received a total of $400 million this year for energy-efficiency projects, including window-glazing and solar-panel installations. SolarCity has contracted with school districts in Barstow, Simi Valley, Los Angeles and other cities.

SolarCity also benefits from “net metering” policies that 43 states, including California, have adopted. Utilities pay solar-panel customers the retail power rate for the solar power they generate but don’t use and then export to the grid. Retail rates can be two to three times as high as the wholesale price of electricity because transmission and delivery costs, along with taxes and other surcharges that fund state renewable programs, are baked in.

So in California, solar ratepayers on average are credited about 16 cents per kilowatt hour on their electric bills for the excess energy they generate—even though utilities could buy that power at less than half the cost from other types of power generators

Not to mention green jobs and money going to waste or keeping money laundering back into the political parties (mainly Democratic):

Cal Watchdog asks a simple question, gives three short responses, and then you can read the rest:

Now that the $2.167 billion California Solar Initiative is winding down, electricity ratepayers might ask: What was it and what did it accomplish? Was it:

1.) A cutting edge solar energy project to bring about a “self-sustaining” solar power industry, as touted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and state legislators?

The answer is mostly no based on post-project evaluations done by academic experts.

2.) A program to replace very expensive conventional peak time power plants with equally expensive but clean rooftop solar electricity that is generated at the time of day when it is hottest?

The answer is no. Contending that rooftop solar power replaces conventional peak time power is bogus. This is because electricity rates are tiered depending on usage and climate zone and the fact that ultra peak power rates during heat waves and cold snaps only last maybe as much as four weeks out of 52 weeks in a year.

3.) An expensive, artificial green energy and jobs program that is now being wound down, as there is a recovery in the jobs market?

The answer is yes. Since California’s Solar Initiative did not produce a self-sustaining rooftop solar power market (Question No. 1) and cannot be justified as a replacement for expensive peak time electricity, this leaves us with one conclusion: It was mainly a jobs stimulus program that ended up adding about a $200 tax to 10.8 million utility customers’ electric bills.

[….]

Millions of utility customers subsidize solar installations

Of course, the CPUC omitted disclosing that the $6.16 per kilowatt cost of installing rooftop solar power came by adding $2.167 billion to the electricity bills of other California electricity ratepayers. To provide subsidies to the 118,303 recipients of residential, commercial and governmental rooftop solar power installations the electricity bills had to be raised for 10.8 million customers of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) through its subsidiary the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE).

In other words, the Solar Initiative mandated on average about 91 other electricity customers to subsidize the rooftop solar installations of each rooftop solar power installation. Spread over 10.8 million customers, that equates to about a $200 tax per California electricity customer. The California Solar Initiative is another socialized system like Social Security that is based on a larger base of utility ratepayers paying for a smaller number of recipients. It is a program based on privatizing profits and socializing losses.

Thus, the $6.16 per kilowatt cost installed and 43,000 solar-energy-related jobs created by the California Solar Initiative are artificial and not market-based. The program could never have become self-sustaining in the first place.

…read more…

When government picks winners and losers, we all lose:

The California Air Resources Board is reportedly considering a new plan to help transportation for low earners: buying them cars. The agency would like to give those of low income a voucher to buy energy-efficient vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, which has a sticker price of $21,000. The board currently gives drivers $1,000 to $1,500 to get rid of their older vehicles in an attempt to curb carbon emissions; there is a second program that gives up to $4,000 depending on the vehicles involved.

….The CARB has even implied that it could sponsor the full purchase of an $18,000 for families of three looking to pick up a hybrid. Stanley Young, spokesman for the Air Resources Board, said that California should “make sure low-income people can also get into these clean vehicles.”

The federal cash for clunkers program was an immense failure, frontloading car purchases but doing nothing to truly spur demand for new vehicles. This program would have the ostensible goal of moving America’s auto industry toward more fuel efficiency; instead, it would redistribute income by subsidizing big business.

~ Breitbart

“A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge” ~ George Gilder

Central planning ALWAYS fails. Competition is a “discovery procedure,” Nobel-prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek taught. Through the competitive market process, we producers and consumers constantly learn things that force us to adjust our behavior if we are to succeed. Central planners fail for two reasons:

First, knowledge about supply, demand, individual preferences and resource availability is scattered — much of it never articulated — throughout society. It is not concentrated in a database where a group of planners can access it.

Second, this “data” is dynamic: It changes without notice. No matter how honorable the central planners’ intentions, they will fail because they cannot know the needs and wishes of 300 million different people. And if they somehow did know their needs, they wouldn’t know them tomorrow.

~ John Stossel

What A Racket! And Using Other People`s Money ta` Boot (Green Cronyism)

(H/T to Escheiner)

(CNSNews.com)– To fund a solar power system for his alpaca farm, an Alabama farmer combined a $40,648 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, federal tax credits, and a $142,500 federally funded loan with a 1-percent interest rate.Cozy Cove Alpaca and Llama Farm in Gurley, Alabama is now generating its own power and is selling the excess electricity at above-market prices to a corporation owned by the U.S. government.

Alpaca farm owner Tony O’Neil received a USDA “Rural Energy for America Program” grant of $40,648 as part of his effort to install a solar power system to generate electricity for his farm. Cozy Cove is now generating its own power and selling the excess power to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is owned by the federal government.

“The TVA had a program going,” O’Neil tells CNSNews.com. “There’s an incentive if you put solar panels on your farm or on your house, they would buy all the power from you for 12 cents (per kilowatt hour) above the normal rate that you pay.”

“In our case, that equates to about 22 cents a kilowatt hour, as we would pay about roughly 10 cents a kilowatt hour for power. So, they would agree to purchase the power for 10 years at 22 cents,” O’Neil says, “Then it was explained to me that you get a 30 percent federal income tax rebate as part of the incentive to go solar.”

O’Neil also received a 1-percent interest rate loan of $142,500 using funds from the AlabamaSAVES program for his solar project.

The AlabamaSAVES website says, “The program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides extraordinary financing solutions for commercial and industrial energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects in Alabama and is administered by Abundant Power Solutions, LLC.”

O’Neil expects to earn about $15,000 per year by selling his electricity to the TVA.

“It’s roughly going to be $15,000. So far, since it’s been in operation about six months now, it’s generated about $8,000. Of course, it’s been the longest days of the year. As it’s towards the winter time, it’s going to get less and less, hopefully it will all turn out to be close to $15,000 per year.”

…read more…

John Kerry vs. `The Warming[?] World`

Mouse Over Graph

Via a guest post by Paul Driessen at What’s Up With That, entitled Our real manmade climate crisis

In his first address as Secretary of State, John Kerry said we must safeguard “the most sacred trust” we owe to our children and grandchildren: “an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate.”

Even the IPCC and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea level rise, storms, droughts, polar ice and temperatures or other weather and climate events and trends display any statistically significant difference from what Earth and mankind have experienced over the last 100-plus years…

[….]

1) Influence peddling.

Over the past three years, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center alone poured $335 million into environmentalist climate campaigns, and $1 billion into green lobbies at large, notes Undue Influence author Ron Arnold. Major US donors gave $199 million to Canadian environmental groups just for anti-oil sands and Keystone pipeline battles during the last twelve years, analysts Vivian Krause and Brian Seasholes estimate; the Tides Foundation poured $10 million into these battles during 2009-2012.

All told, US foundations alone have “invested” over $797 million in environmentalist climate campaigns since 2000! And over $19.3 billion in “environmental” efforts since 1995, Arnold calculates! Add to that the tens of billions that environmental activist groups, universities and other organizations have received from individual donors, corporations and government agencies to promote “manmade climate disaster” theories – and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Moreover, that’s just US cash. It doesn’t include EU, UN and other climate cataclysm contributions. Nor does it include US or global spending on wind, solar, biofuel and other “renewable” energy schemes. That this money has caused widespread pernicious and corrupting effects should surprise no one.

2) Politicized science, markets and ethics.

The corrupting cash has feathered careers, supported entire departments, companies and industries, and sullied our political, economic and ethical systems. It has taken countless billions out of productive sectors of our economy, and given it to politically connected, politically correct institutions that promote climate alarmism and renewable energy (and which use some of this crony capitalist taxpayer and consumer cash to help reelect their political sponsors).

Toe the line – pocket the cash, bask in the limelight. Question the dogma – get vilified, harassed and even dismissed from university or state climatologist positions for threatening the grants pipeline.

The system has replaced honest, robust, evidence-based, peer-reviewed science with pseudo-science based on activism, computer models, doctored data, “pal reviews,” press releases and other chicanery that resulted in Climategate, IPCC exposés, and growing outrage. Practitioners of these dark sciences almost never debate climate disaster deniers or skeptics; climate millionaire Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved; and colleges have become centers for “socially responsible investing” campaigns based on climate chaos, “sustainable development” and anti-hydrocarbon ideologies…

[….]

3) Climate eco-imperialism impoverishes and kills.

Climate alarmism and pseudo science have justified all manner of regulations, carbon trading, carbon taxes, renewable energy programs and other initiatives that increase the cost of everything we make, grow, ship, eat, heat, cool, wear and do – and thus impair job creation, economic growth, living standards, health, welfare and ecological values.

Excessive EPA rules have closed numerous coal-fired power plants, and the agency plans to regulate most of the US hydrocarbon-based economy by restricting carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, generating plants, cement kilns, factories, malls, hospitals and other “significant” sources. Were it not for the hydraulic fracturing revolution that has made natural gas and gas-fired generation abundant and cheap, US electricity prices would be skyrocketing – just as they have in Britain and Germany.

EU papers carry almost daily articles about fuel poverty, potential blackouts, outsourcing, job losses, economic malaise and despair, and deforestation for fire wood in those and other European countries, due to their focus on climate alarmism and “green” energy. California electricity prices are already highest in USA, thanks to its EU-style programs. The alarms are misplaced, the programs do nothing to reduce Chinese, Indian or global emissions, and renewable energy is hardly eco-friendly or sustainable.

Wind energy requires perpetual subsidies and “backup” fossil fuel power plants that actually produce 80% of the electricity attributed to wind, and blankets wildlife habitats with turbines and transmission lines that kill millions of birds and bats every year. In fact, industrial wind facilities remain viable only because they are exempted from many environmental review, wildlife and bird protection laws that are enforced with heavy penalties for all other industries. Solar smothers habitats with glossy panels, and biofuels divert crops and cropland to replace fuels that we have in abundance but refuse to develop.

Now climate activists and EPA want to regulate fracking for gas that was once their preferred option.

[….]

Symbols Lost

BP goes ‘beyond petroleum’

Then in 2000 BP, now a group of companies that included Amoco, ARCO and Castrol, unveiled a new global brand with a new mark, a sunburst of green, yellow and white symbolizing dynamic energy in all its forms. It was called the Helios after the sun god of ancient Greece. In a press release announcing the change, the group said it had decided to retain the BP name because of its recognition around the world and because it stood for the new company’s aspirations: ‘better people, better products, big picture, beyond petroleum.’

In related news, BP is quitting its 40-years of investment in solar power:

It seems to be a trend now, last October it was Siemens who gave up on solar, now it is British Petroleum, who has been in the solar business nearly 40 years, and has made the last closure announcements, finalizing what they announced in 2011.

In the news today:

(Reuters) – British oil major BP shut down the remnants of its solar unit on Wednesday, drawing a line under the business on which most of its Beyond Petroleum tagline of the early 2000s was premised.

[….]

The company confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to exit its large-scale projects at Long Haven in the U.S. and Moree in Australia.

BP announced plans in July to abandon its household and industrial rooftop solar activities to concentrate on the larger projects but said on December15 that even those were no longer viable.