Solar power

Aside from the bad environmental news you may have heard about the items listed here and here, you may also have heard good things (from the government and from TV "news" programs) about things that aren't necessarily harmless, beneficial, feasible or affordable.

That includes such things as ethanol, windmill power, electric cars, mass transit, fluorescent light bulbs, and 1.6 gallon toilets.  This page is specifically about solar power, which may someday be practical and affordable without government subsidies, but as of today it is not.  Several solar power companies have already gone bankrupt, including Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, and Solyndra.  The people who used to work at these companies were probably proud of their green jobs, but now they know better.

This locomotive battery probably weighs at least 1250 pounds.
Even before the Solyndra scandal erupted, the whole concept of relying on solar power to replace coal and natural gas was utter foolishness.  On a cold winter night — or any night for that matter — solar cells don't produce any electricity at all.  In the winter, the nights are longer than the days, and the days are often cloudy.  Additionally, your solar panels are useless when they are covered with snow.  The farther north you live, the more you experience these effects, and the more you need some kind of reliable power.  If you rely exclusively on solar power, and you want to sleep under an electric blanket all night and then wake up, make some toast and hot coffee, and take a hot shower, you will need to have a garage or basement full of locomotive batteries.  That means you'll have hundreds of pounds of lead in your house.

There may also be other risks with large battery systems.

Large battery banks require constant maintenance, and they hold enough stored energy to easily burn down your house if you're not careful with them.  "Your batteries should not discharge more than 50%, and should be recharged 100% immediately.  Undercharging, continued overcharging, or contamination can badly damage your batteries."*

See also The Hidden Risks of Batteries.

Oh, but you'll be saving money on your electric bill, right?  By all means, put a pencil to work before you buy your solar power system, and see if you can generate electricity for less than the cost of utility power.  You can't.  That's exactly why solar energy companies are going bankrupt:  With the exception of a handful of utility-hating hippies on the west coast, nobody is ever going to store and use electricity generated by solar cells, and no investor in the world — other than the U.S. government, while it is under Democrat control — will invest in an industry that will never be profitable.

The same is true of wind power.

Most recently, the merits of solar power have been eclipsed, if you will, by Solyndra scandal.  The bankruptcy of several large solar battery manufacturers clearly shows that solar power is not commercially viable.  The scandal lies in the Obama administration's eagerness to keep funding these operations anyway — motivated quite possibly more by politics than environmental ideology.

Background, overview and recap articles:

The Seven Dirty Secrets of Solar Energy.  Secret number one:  The sun is a lazy worker.  This one is hardly a secret.  Everyone knows it, and everyone ignores it.  The sun is an intermittent, erratic, and untrustworthy worker.  It never works the night shift, takes off all rainy days, and doesn't show up during cloudy seasons.  It is "off duty" for more than half the time.  Secret number two:  Solar energy never replaces fossil fuels; it sits on top of them.  Behind every solar "farm" sits a silent, poisonous partner:  an old-fashioned gas and oil electric factory.  Why is this?  Because of law number one:  Someone has to fill in when the lazy sun isn't working. [...] Secret number five:  Politics:  Solar "farms" grow votes for politicians, not electricity for consumers.  Given the preceding negatives, why do nations pursue solar energy?  Because of the backend revenue streams for oil and gas for one, but also for votes for "green new deal" politicians.

Low-Density Intermittent Energy isn't Renewable
  ·   Nuclear is 3 to 5 Million times as energy dense than Solar or Wind.
  ·   Solar is Toxic — a ticking recycling time bomb for the World.
  ·   Weather damages panels and rain leaches heavy metals into the soil.
  ·   California produces too much solar, is forced to sell the excess at a loss of $0.08 KWh to Arizona and Nevada; yet is still mandating more solar.
  ·   Renewables destablize our Grids; forcing expensive peaking power to ramp up, with higher pollution start and stop inefficiencies.
  ·   Solar takes 37 times the materials to make same amount of power as Nuclear

Why Planting Flowers under Solar Panels Won't Make Solar Work.  Solar energy is great for off-the-grid houses and installations.  It can be usefully applied for pumping water for cattle.  Non-electrical solar is perfect for heating swimming pools.  Passive solar can help with building energy usage and lighting.  Utility-scale solar that is going to participate in the electrical grid is nonsense.  It's too expensive, even with huge subsidies.  It doesn't work if it is cloudy or at night.  It delivers too much electricity in the middle of the day and not enough late in the day.  It can't replace any natural gas or coal plants because it can't be counted on.  It is an extremely expensive technique for reducing CO2 emissions compared to many other options.

The "New Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking.  For silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, the physics boundary is called the Shockley-Queisser Limit:  a maximum of about 33% of incoming photons are converted into electrons.  State-of-the-art commercial PVs achieve just over 26% conversion efficiency — in other words, near the boundary.  While researchers keep unearthing new non-silicon options that offer tantalizing performance improvements, all have similar physics boundaries, and none is remotely close to manufacturability at all — never mind at low costs.  There are no 10-fold gains left.

Timely news and commentary:

Solar's Been Taking a Beating Lately.  There have been some spectacular flameouts in the land of solar cells lately.  Actually, there was one today.  Couldn't have made a bigger splash if it tried as it fried.  [Advertisement]  [Tweet]  Yes, you read that right.  In the middle of a big swim meet with thousands of school kids and parents gathered in Australia under the roof of the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center, that solar panel-encrusted roof lit off.  [Tweet] [...] Emergency crews got there and found the fire was literally in the solar array itself.

Coal's importance for Solar Panel Manufacturing.  Why is it that solar panel manufacturing is impossible without coal?  I always thought that coal is "only" important for electricity, contributing to 36% of global power demand, or over 8h of 24h every single day of the year.  I always thought that coal is "only" required to produce all steel.  Let us have a look at solar panel manufacturing, which is really about silicon production.  The vast majority of all energy required to make solar panels is consumed during silicon production, purification, and wafering.  But first let's talk about purity.  6N pure silicon means 99.9999% purity level, 11N pure silicon means 99.999999999% purity level, you get the point.  You may now have a first glimpse of the chemical and mechanical difficulty of making such a pure metal from a natural product.  In this blog post you will see how important uninterrupted power supply is, especial for industrial processes such as silicon smelting.  Obviously, this power comes from coal in China, and cannot come from wind or solar.

German solar industry collapsing: unable to make solar panels from solar power.  About 90% of solar panels installed in Germany come from China, and earlier this year one of the last solar panel manufacturers closed in Germany.  Last week, what was left of the industry begged for mercy (and subsidies) which they didn't get.  Now another German solar panel manufacturer has closed down.  For some cruel reason German factories which are close to their customers, can't compete with distant foreign factories which have access to slave labor, fossil fueled shipping and cheap coal fired electricity?  The bigger question, seemingly, is how did the country that invented the printing press, diesel engines, and the theory-of-relativity get fooled by such a stupid ploy?

Biden OK's Chopping Down of 4200 Joshua Trees for a Solar Farm.  Biden signed an executive order to chop down 4,200 Joshua trees to install solar panels for a favored company, Aratina Solar Project.  The funds for removing the trees will be placed in a mitigation bank, which is code for politicians' pockets.  They've cut the once-protected trees before.  This isn't the first.  They have a lot of them, about two million, and they are in the Joshua Tree National Park.  The trees are unique, and they all have unique signatures.  Where are the environmentalists when you need them?  They only come out of the woodwork when Republicans or energy companies want to do something that will help Americans.  Climate change concerns are a massive fraud.  [Tweet]

World's largest floating solar farm (you read that right) suffers "major loss" after being hit by storm.  [T]his floating solar farm was built on the backwaters of the Omkareshwar Dam in Madhya Pradesh, India, and as you can see by this upcoming video it's been severely damaged by a storm that ripped through the area last month.  [Tweet with video clip]

After Installation, Solar Panels Become a Maintenance Nightmare.  The green new deal and switch to "alternative' energy looks like it's going exactly as planned: costing the taxpayer trillions of dollars and generally pissing everybody off.  That was the case with a number of solar panel owners who are now finding it difficult to get their panels serviced, according to WBAL TV.  Solar panel installation is touted as offering benefits like reduced energy costs, environmental friendliness, and significant rebates.  However, many homeowners have discovered a concerning issue within the industry:  addressing technical problems can be exceedingly challenging — if not outright impossible.

Constructing Eco-Unfriendly Solar Panels  Over  In California's Aqueducts Is Newsom-Level Stupid.  On April 5, 2024, Governor Gavin Newsom of California announced with much fanfare the plan to cover the state's irrigation canals with solar panels to provide electricity for residents and prevent the evaporation of water in these canals.  It sounds like a great idea.  But is it?  This technology has actually been discussed for almost ten years.  Over 100 climate activist organizations such as Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity urged Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau Commissioner Camille Touton "to accelerate the widespread deployment of solar photovoltaic energy systems" above the Bureau's canals and aqueducts.  They claimed that if all 4,000 miles of Bureau-owned canals and aqueducts were covered by solar panels, more than 25 gigawatts of renewable energy could be produced.

The Editor says...
Lots of things could happen, but probably won't.  This scheme could produce 25 gigawatts of power, if it is built on top of a mountain at the equator.  But not if it's built in drainage ditches in California.  And what happens to the solar panels when a flash flood comes roaring down the canal?

'Free Solar Panels' Aren't Really Free.  Ads and promotional emails for free solar panels abound, but beware — unless you've received solar panels as a gift from a friend or charity, there are no solar panels out there just free for the taking.  Some free solar offers are scams that aim to collect your personal data during the process of determining your eligibility for services or working up a price quote — and these unscrupulous outfits also may use installers who are unlicensed and/or lack certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.  Other free solar offers are typically actually solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs) or $0-down financing.  These arrangements give you the option to go solar with no upfront cost, but you'll be paying later.

Scotland's solar speed cameras have failed, due to a lack of Sun!.  They were envisaged as a simple, yet effective way of letting drivers know when they were speeding.  However, radar speed signs — famous for their alternating happy or angry faces — are being rendered useless in Scotland due to budgetary constraints and the country's cloudy skies.  A Mail on Sunday investigation shows some cash-strapped councils have abandoned the network of signs, with many left broken and others unchecked for as long as five years.

As Predicted, California Has Killed the Rooftop Solar Market, Now the State Supreme Court May Step In.  About 2½ years ago I wrote a post titled "California plans to kill the residential solar industry."  At the time, I had just had solar panels installed on my roof to save money and within months California announced a new plan (Net Metering 3.0) that would have taxed me and anyone else who owned a rooftop solar system for owning the panels.  I predicted that if this plan passed, California's rooftop solar industry would fall off a cliff. [...] The backlash to the initial plan was strong enough that Net Metering 3.0 was revised but eventually it did pass and went into effect on April 15, 2023.  Since then, rooftop solar installations in California have indeed fallen off a cliff.

The Man Who Led Solyndra to Bankruptcy Gets $6.6B from Biden.  Remember Brian Harrison, who ran the Solyndra scam and walked away rich?  Well, he's back, and Biden is giving him $6.6 billion in grant money to make computer chips, about which he knows little.  Solyndra was an Obama scandal.  Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC's Arizona subsidiary, whose president is former Solyndra head Brian Harrison, will receive $6.6 billion to build a factory in Phoenix, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced Monday, Free Beacon reports.  According to the Beacon, Harrison was CEO of Solyndra when it declared bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving over $500 million in loans from the Obama administration.  Billions of dollars in Biden energy spending have gone to bankrupt companies ornearly bankrupt companies and their losing CEOs.  "Thanks to this investment, TSMC will also build a third chip factory in Phoenix, increasing its total investment in Arizona to $65 million and creating over 25,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs, along with thousands of indirect jobs," Biden said.  Biden wants to pick winners and losers, and he's terrible at it.

Why Climate Change And Solar Farms Don't Mix.  I just ran across a news story about a massive solar "farm" in Texas destroyed by hail.  I will use the word "farm" only twice in this article in association with solar panels because that's what everyone likes to call them, but putting solar panels on a vacant field is an insult to "farming," so I'm going to call it a solar field instead.  I then internet-searched "hailstorm destroys solar farm" (that's the last time I'm using those two words together) and clicked on "Images."  Stunning is the only word that comes to mind.  This is not the first time delicate solar fields have been destroyed by nature — it's happening all over.

The Editor says...
Yes, and the term "Bitcoin mining" is an insult to miners, but that's what it's called.

Why The Wind And Solar Racket Is The Green New Scam On Steroids.  A strange thing happened the other day.  A large-scale solar panel farm in Fort Bend County, Texas, thousands of acres right in the middle of oil country, experienced a rough hailstorms.  That's not entirely unusual for the region.  I grew up in Texas, and it was always astonishing to have life going on as normal only to have golf ball-sized ice cubes rain down from the heavens seemingly out of nowhere, doing enormous damage to cars and homes.  Well, in this case, the storm utterly destroyed the entire solar panel farm of thousands of acres.  "They look like somebody took a shotgun and blasted it into the air and let the pellets fall down and shatter holes all in them," a resident told the local news.

Giant Hail Destroys Large Portions of 3,000-Acre Texas Solar Farm, Residents Fear Chemical Leak.  A 3,000-acre solar farm 40 miles from Houston, Texas, was massively damaged on March 15 when huge chunks of hail fell from the sky and shattered hundreds of panels, leaving the facility running at "reduced capacity."  From the look of the pictures, it would seem that it's operating at heavily reduced capacity.  [Tweet]  Not only does the storm highlight the fragility of so-called green energy facilities, but area residents are worried about toxic chemical leaks.

Hail cripples massive solar farm, sparking resident fears about vulnerable 'green' tech.  A major hail storm near Houston knocked out large parts of a major solar farm, sparking energy reliability and chemical exposure concerns among nearby residents.  An onslaught of hail in southeastern Texas that destroyed large portions of a massive solar farm is highlighting the perils of trading traditional power sources for vulnerable "green" alternatives and forcing local officials to allay residents' concerns about the potential for chemical leaks from the broken panels.  Aerial footage captured the significant damage suffered by the Fighting Jays Solar farm in Fort Bend County, Texas.  The March 15 storm shattered hundreds of panels and prompted nearby residents to question if the solar panels were leaking chemicals such as cadmium telluride, which is linked to serious health risks in humans.

Three energy realities that renewable advocates can't answer.  [#2] Renewables increase the cost of electricity.  Renewable advocates often claim that the adoption of more wind and solar will lead to lower electricity costs, but the opposite is true.  In a previous Substack, we wrote in detail about how utility companies with the largest rate increase requests in the country admit the energy transition is a major reason behind increasing electricity prices for families and businesses. [...] How is it that renewable advocates are so wrong about electricity cost increases stemming from massive wind and solar buildouts?  The answer lies in relying on fundamentally flawed means of comparison between different electricity sources and the lack of accounting for the diminished value that wind and solar offer the grid compared to more reliable energy sources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear.  In other words, the framework they use for determining electricity prices is wrong because they don't account for the full system costs of maintaining reliability.

Wind and Solar Are No Solution.  Our electricity is mainly produced using fossil fuels, with some hydroelectric (dams) and some nuclear.  Wind and solar are supposed to take the place of fossil fuels.  Right now, when the wind does not blow nor the sun shine, the slack is taken up using coal and natural gas.  To be available when needed, these sources of electricity are kept idling.  But under such conditions, they use almost as much fuel and produce almost as much carbon dioxide, so you have gained little.  When these resources are eliminated, we will have to depend on huge batteries.  In some places, during the winter, there may be week after week with cloudy weather, with rain and snow.  (Where we live in North Idaho, we have had only one week of clear weather in three months.)  It would be impossible to build a battery large enough to power a city for a day, let alone for a week, or a month. [...] Solar panels last a few years.  They produce no electricity at night and little in the early morning or late afternoon.  They produce no electricity when covered with snow, and they make little sense in the northern states or in Canada.  (In fact, I wonder if they make any sense north of the 45th parallel.)  Further, some solar installations failed (more) after a few years, or did not produce as planned.

Dispelling the Cult Claim — "Wind and Solar are Lower Cost Generation than Natural Gas".  Intrigued by the many eco-warriors touting how wind and solar are cheaper generation sources then natural gas I decided to use Scott Luft's (Cold Air) compilation of data for 2023 to calculate on a "simple" basis what each generation source actually cost us ratepayers/taxpayers to see if the claims made were even close to the truth.  Below is a small sampling of what the claims were and who made them!  Please note that four of them are registered "charities" and one is from the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change!

Stealing with Solar:  The Great Net-Metering Heist.  Affluent households in California siphoned nearly $3.4 billion in 2021 from the pockets of low-income families through a government program called net metering.  This program allows people with solar panels to get free electricity while forcing people who can't afford them to pay all of the costs associated with maintaining the electric grid.  What a steal!  Net metering allows customers with rooftop solar installations to sell their electricity back to the grid at the full retail price of power rather than the lower wholesale price that other power providers are paid.  This is great if you own solar panels, but it effectively pays rooftop solar owners more than the electricity is worth. [...] The problem with this arrangement, however, is that the people with solar panels on their roofs are not paying their fair share to upkeep the rest of the grid, but these substantial costs don't disappear; they are foisted upon people without solar panels.  For example, while using solar power will reduce the need to burn some fuel, the cost of fuel is a relatively small part of the total retail price of electricity.

Steal From the Poor, Give to the Rich.  That's what solar power does.  American Experiment's Isaac Orr and Mitch Rolling have an excellent expose of California's solar power scam:  Stealing with Solar:  The Great Net-Metering Heist.  Subhed: "How Solar Panels Helped Wealthy Californians Pick The Pockets of Low-Income Families." [...] It turns out that if solar power isn't massively subsidized by lower income electricity users, the demand for it drops precipitously:  [Chart]  Wind and solar energy are scams that are kept alive only by government corruption.  To the extent you scale back the corruption, they disappear.

California Solar Companies Hit The Skids After Receiving Huge Handouts From Biden, Dems.  Numerous rooftop solar panel companies in California are staring down bankruptcy despite the industry's receipt of generous state and federal subsidies.  For many years, the state has generously subsidized the rooftop solar industry to the annual tune of up to $6 billion in order to spur green energy development, a spokesperson for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the state's utility regulator, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.  Now that state subsidy dollars are starting to dry up, rooftop solar companies in California are struggling mightily, with one insurance company estimating that about 75% of the affected companies in the state are at high risk for collapse, according to pv magazine USA.  Despite the state's rooftop solar industry receiving subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Joe Biden's signature bill that includes $370 billion in green energy spending, rooftop solar firms across California are struggling to stay afloat.

Venango Township supervisors reject solar farm proposal.  Many Venango Township residents are breathing a sigh of relief after supervisors unanimously rejected a proposed project they feared would redefine their community.  That project was a 900-acre, 80 mega-watt solar farm that would include about 300,000 solar panels in Wattsburg.  "I've heard it referred to as a six-month nightmare, but we needed that time for them to become educated about the process and to come together as a community.  Ultimately, we got the outcome that we wanted," said Bruce Whitehair, Venango Township resident.

The Rooftop Solar Industry Could Be On the Verge of Collapse.  A decade ago, someone knocking on your door to sell you solar panels would have been selling you solar panels.  Now, they are probably selling you a financial product — likely a lease or a loan.  Mary Ann Jones, 83, didn't realize this had happened to her until she received a call last year from GoodLeap, a financial technology company, saying she owed $52,564.28 for a solar panel loan that expires when she's 106, and costs more than she originally paid for her house.  In 2022, she says, a door-to-door salesman from the company Solgen Construction showed up at her house on the outskirts of Fresno, Calif., pushing what he claimed was a government program affiliated with her utility to get her free solar panels.  At one point, he had her touch his tablet device, she says, but he never said she was signing a contract with Solgen or a loan document with GoodLeap. [...] She's on a fixed income of $960 a month, and cannot afford the loan she says she was tricked into signing up for; she's now fighting both Solgen and Goodleap in court.  Her case is not uncommon.

Mannum solar farm fire - 9 January 2024.  10 firefighters responded to a triple zero call at 9:45am about an inverter in a shipping container bursting into flames at a solar farm on Piggery Road.  CFS crews managed to keep the fire contained to the shipping container and stop it spreading to nearby solar panels.

Dictatorial Control, From Covid to Climate.  Wind and solar installations, transmission lines, and enormous battery complexes would sprawl across millions of acres of now scenic wildlife habitat and agricultural land.  A single solar facility proposed in Virginia would involve 3,000 acres of panels on 21,000 acres (over half the land area of Washington, DC).  It's just one of dozens of Virginia solar plans — on top of onshore and offshore wind turbine projects.  The installations "will power millions of homes," supporters insist.  Perhaps — but only when the wind is blowing and sun is shining at optimal intensities ... maybe 15-30% of the year in northern latitudes, considering winter snow and sunlight, clouds, nighttime, zero wind and other factors.  Many local residents and other citizens don't want these massive installations in their backyards; the habitat and scenic vista destruction, bird and bat killings, health problems, and electricity costs and disruptions that go with them; or being turned into energy colonies for progressive urban centers.  They've already blocked more than 500 wind and solar projects, on environmental and other grounds.

Massachusetts Solar Power Hits a Wall.  Like many blue states, Massachusetts was an early adopter of the solar power craze, pushing through government subsidies to spur development and setting up solar panels everywhere they could be jammed into place.  But now the solar wave is slowing to a crawl, making the state what the Boston Globe describes as "a victim of early success on solar."  Hundreds of previously approved projects that were billed as being capable of producing 400 megawatts of energy are sitting idle.  And there seems to be a great deal of confusion about what went wrong in the planning stages.

Department of Energy hands $3,000,000,000 to solar panel company accused of preying on dementia patients.  Just over the last year and in Texas alone, there have been more than 50 complaints filed with the state's attorney general's office against the company, known as Sunnova, for alleged "predatory" business practices — a company that has received at least $3 billion in taxpayer money.  Below, you can find a few of the testimonies:
  •   An 86-year-old Texas man diagnosed with dementia signed a 25-year lease; his daughter was left with a $34,000 bill.
  •   An elderly man struggling with senility and months to live signed a contract for $60,000.  (He died shortly after entering into the agreement.)
  •   An 80-year-old woman who was "blind, bed bound, partially deaf, on dialysis, with congestive heart failure" signed a 25-year lease worth $86,000.  (She died within three months.)
  •   A 78-year-old man entered a contract for a 25-year lease but died soon after; a custodian of the house found herself on the hook for $40,000.
To add another layer of scandal, Jigar Shah, Biden's director of the DOE's Loan Program Office (the office responsible for doling out the $3 billion), founded and led a "trade association" named Cleantech Leaders Roundtable (CTLR) before he came onboard as a "civil servant."

Do You Want Electrical Vehicles And Solar Panels Made By Child Slaves And Forced Laborers?  The next time Joe Biden or any politician pushes electrical vehicles or solar panels, ask them where they stand on slavery because the elements that run electrical vehicle batteries and the minerals that go into the creation of solar panels could be made off the sweat and tears of slave laborers as young as six years of age.  Everyone in the climate change world and anti-human trafficking arena knows this but the climate changers may be banking on the average person not knowing this.  When state legislators claim they are working for clean energy, it is best to ask how they are going to achieve that and how are they going to prevent an increase in slavery to achieve their clean energy goals.  Michigan is shooting to reach 100% clean energy by 2040, but now, Michigan House Republicans are proposing to stop the funding of any projects that involves child slaves and forced laborers mining for the minerals to assemble the solar panels and electrical vehicles battery parts.

Overspending for Solar Can Capsize an Entire National Economy.  Here is the story of how solar helped cripple Germany's economy.  It is a story consisting of three simple steps:  overspending, printing money, and triggering inflation.  It can stand as an object lesson in macro-economics, and as a warning against Big Solar for the world. [...] In common parlance, Fiat money is essentially fake or government counterfeit money — except that it's legal.  It is supported by neither gold nor silver nor commodities in the real world, but simply by a government "decree" or Fiat.  (If only we could pay our income taxes that way!)  It saves countries from bankruptcy after they have gone massively into debt mismanaging taxpayer money.  Frequently, it is to pay for wars, after these have decimated an entire economy.  What is extraordinary in the German case, however, is the sheer size of the self-bailout — a half-trillion, a staggering amount, even for the largest economy in Europe.

Fury over plans to turn Welsh beauty spot into one of UK's biggest solar farms covering 334 acres.  Villagers have hit out at plans to surround one of Wales' most renowned beauty spots with thousands of solar panels.  People living in the quaint village of Bishton, east of Newport and on the boundary of the Gwent Levels beauty spot have criticised a renewable energy developer's proposals to cover at least 334 acres of land with solar panels.  UK-based JBM Solar, owned by German energy company RWE, is behind the Craig Y Perthi solar farm project, which will occupy 590 acres of land in total, with solar panels positioned to the east and west of the village.

The dark side of solar panels — how crooks are exploiting net zero.  After a decade of green initiatives and generous government incentives, solar panel sales are booming.  Over 50,700 units were mounted on UK rooftops between January and March, double the figure in the same three months last year, as homeowners scramble to save money in the face of soaring energy bills.  But as solar panels have flown off the shelves, the industry has developed a dark underbelly in which scammers and cowboy installers take eco-friendly households for a ride.  The Financial Ombudsman Service received more complaints mentioning solar panels in 2022 than in the previous eight years combined, Telegraph analysis reveals.  Complaint numbers have sky-rocketed from a low of 15 in 2018, to a record high of 853 last year.  Many of the complaints involve customers being promised bumper returns on their green investment by rogue traders who convince them to take out large loans to cover the upfront cost.

Don't believe the renewables myth.  Wind and solar are not cheap.  Politicians everywhere are repeating the mantra that renewable energy is cheap, and we need to use it instead of gas (currently expensive in and near Europe) to bring down energy costs for households. [...] The Inflation Reduction Act has been designed to make this a reality.  Lots of investment in lovely green energy and green jobs.  This sounds wonderful.  Unfortunately, renewables are not cheap. [...] Originally, subsidies were paid because the technology for producing renewable electricity was immature meaning upfront costs were exceptionally high, but after more than 20 years of subsidies, this is no longer the case.  Today, electricity prices are still determined for the most part by the cost of fossil fuels, so renewable electricity can be sold at much higher prices than the short term cost of production (which is next to nothing).  But even then, renewables still require subsidies.  In fact, subsidies are growing.

Alberta to Wind and Solar:  Not Just Now, Thanks.  Alberta's Conservative premier Danielle Smith has announced a moratorium on new wind and solar projects in her province. [...] In short, Smith wants to pair new wind-and-solar capacity with new natural gas capacity, because of the basic unreliability of renewables.  She's concerned that relying too heavily on wind-and-solar could compromise the electric grid.  But the Trudeau government disagrees.  They've manipulated the market and established a regulatory regime as part of Trudeau's pledged transition away from the traditional resource sector — one of the backbones of the Canadian economy, remember — such that adding new natural gas capacity is nearly impossible.  Since Ottawa has dug in their heels on oil-and-gas, Smith has decided to dig hers in on wind-and-solar.

Let Them Eat Solar Panels.  Recently, during a speech at a high-dollar fundraiser for the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C., President Joe Biden exulted about a solar project in Angola.  According to a transcript of his speech that can be found on the White House's website, Biden said:  "We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean.  We have plans to build in — in Angola one of the largest solar plants in the world.  I can go on, but I'm not.  I'm going off-script.  I'm going to get in trouble."  Ignore, of course, Biden's gaffe about building a railroad across the Pacific.  Ignore, too, his statement that he was "going to get in trouble" for going off script.  Joe Biden is the president of the United States.  He commands a huge arsenal of warships, warplanes, and nuclear weapons.  With whom, exactly, might he be getting in trouble?  Instead, focus on the part about the solar project in Angola. [...] You can be forgiven for not knowing that Angola, an impoverished country of 32 million people where more than 60% of the population doesn't have access to electricity, has made any climate commitments at all.

The Power Of Power Density.  The shape and size of our energy systems are not being determined by political beliefs about climate change.  Instead, those systems are ruled by the Iron Law of Power Density which says: the lower the power density, the greater the resource intensity. [...] The mineral intensity of offshore wind, including huge amounts of copper and zinc, is shocking:  roughly 15,400 kilograms per megawatt of generation capacity.  That is roughly 13 times more than the amount needed for natural gas-fired generation (1,148 kg) and six times more than what's needed for a coal plant (2,479 kg).  The Iron Law of Power Density explains why Siemens Energy just reported a $2.4 billion loss on its wind business in the latest quarter.  It explains why offshore wind projects here in the U.S. and in Europe, are being canceled left and right.  It also explains why, all around the world, rural communities and landowners are fighting back against the landscape-blighting encroachment of massive wind and solar projects.

One solar company poised to rake in $11 billion under Dem rule.  U.S.-based solar panel manufacturer First Solar may receive up to $11 billion in subsidies from the government thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), according to the Wall Street Journal.  The company expects to receive up to $710 million in subsidies this year alone, which is an amount equivalent to nearly 90% of its predicted operating profit for this year, according to the WSJ.  Philip Shen, managing partner at investment bank Roth Capital Partners, estimates that the IRA may end up giving First Solar up to $11 billion in subsidies over the course of the next decade.

Slave labor is the secret to solar power's "success".  I have nothing against solar power or for that matter electric vehicles.  I think each of them fits into a genuine market niche, and if approached realistically they will play a role in the economy for the indefinite future. [...] I'd love to have a luxury 5th-wheel RV loaded up with batteries and tons of solar panels to make short-term off-grid living comfy!  I've even looked into what it would take to do it.  But the plunging price of solar panels is at least partly an illusion, although a useful one for opponents of fossil fuels.  Solar panel production is highly dependent upon Chinese supply chains, and those Chinese supply chains are often using Uighur slave labor.

Destroyed Solar Panels In Hailstorm Will End Up In Landfills Because Recycling Isn't Economical.  The extent of the damage at a Scottsbluff solar farm that was heavily damaged in a hailstorm last week remains unknown.  "They're still working through that process," Grant Otten, spokesperson for the Nebraska Public Power District, which buys electricity from the solar farm, told Cowboy State Daily.  Cowboy State Daily reached out to Sol Systems, which financed and developed the project, but didn't receive a response.  While some of the solar panels at the farm may be salvageable, as well as other equipment, it's likely many of the panels will need to be discarded.  Even if solar panels aren't destroyed by weather events, they gradually stop producing much electricity and reach the end of their lives in 20 to 30 years.

Solar Panels Don't Really Help the Environment, but They Do Help Our Enemies.  The Biden administration has sunk billions of taxpayer dollars into "renewable" energy, but a new report won't surprise Americans who've read any honest research on solar panels.  It reveals that the panels are nearly as carbon-intensive as natural gas.  Not only that, investment in solar benefits America's number one enemy:  China.  Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger shared the analysis from C.P. Colum and Lea Booth on Twitter.  The research, published as "Solar Panels Are Three Times More Carbon-Intensive Than IPCC Claims," was conducted in collaboration with Environmental Progress and The Blind Spot.

Solar panels Three Times more carbon intensive than natural gas?  Michael Shellenberger (that wonderful, courageous man) had a serious of tweets this afternoon and I could not believe my eyes. [...] Chinese manufactured solar panels have taken over the field and we are still told that solar is much cleaner — even with the obvious drawbacks and limitations I've gone over here a million times — that any natural gas powered electricity source.  AND THERE IS NO CHINESE DATA IN THE SYSTEM  I think we all know how the Chinese came to be at the forefront of solar panel manufacturing — the same way they've done everything else.  They don't have an innovative bone in their collective billion bodies, but what they do have is conniving.  Plus cheap labor, no environmental strictures, and enterprise once they steal what they need to make something.  And that's exactly what happened with the solar industry.  There were once German leaders in solar technology who are long out of business because of the Chinese filching their designs.  The fact that these were all Western technologies worked in the favor of the Chinese, too, as far as general acceptance without question concerning the "green" bono-fides for their products.

The ultimate debunking of "solar and wind are cheaper than fossil fuels."  Myth: Solar and wind are cheaper than fossil fuels.  Truth: Solar and wind are only cheaper than fossil fuels in at most a small fraction of situations.  For the overwhelming majority of the world's energy needs, solar and wind are either completely unable to replace fossil fuels or far more expensive.
  •   Observe that "solar and wind are cheaper than fossil fuels" is usually invoked, not to encourage competition but to justify coercive government policies to punish fossil fuel use and favor solar and wind.
  •   Observe that the same people claiming "solar and wind are cheaper than fossil fuels" moved heaven and earth to demand at minimum hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies under the "Inflation Reduction Act" for these supposedly "cheaper forms of energy."
  •   On its face, justifying favoritism toward solar and wind by invoking their cheapness is highly suspicious.  If they're cheaper, why do they need coercive policies to throttle their fossil-fueled competitors (e.g., opposing fossil fuel investment, production, and pipelines) and reward solar and wind?

Solar sprawl is tearing up the Mojave Desert.  Is there a better way?  High above the Las Vegas Strip, solar panels blanketed the roof of Mandalay Bay Convention Center — 26,000 of them, rippling across an area larger than 20 football fields.  From this vantage point, the sun-dappled Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels dominated the horizon, emerging like comically large golden scepters from the glittering black panels.  Snow-tipped mountains rose to the west.  It was a cold winter morning in the Mojave Desert.  But there was plenty of sunlight to supply the solar array.  "This is really an ideal location," said Michael Gulich, vice president of sustainability at MGM Resorts International.  The same goes for the rest of Las Vegas and its sprawling suburbs.  Sin City already has more solar panels per person than any major U.S. metro outside Hawaii, according to one analysis.  And the city is bursting with single-family homes, warehouses and parking lots untouched by solar.

Nebraska solar farm crippled by hail, underscoring power source's fragility.  A recent major hail storm in western Nebraska took an entire solar farm out of commission, forcing the local community to turn back to traditional power sources, local officials said.  The so-called Community Solar Project — a 4.4 megawatt solar field comprised of 14,000 solar panels and located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska — is not currently operating and will remain offline until repairs are completed, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) confirmed to Fox News Digital.  NPPD, the state-owned public utility, and energy firm GenPro Energy Solutions developed the project in 2020.  "The solar complex was destroyed by hail," Scottsbluff City Manager Kevin Spencer said in an interview.  "They're assessing the damage, but it certainly looks destroyed to me."

Huge Nebraska Solar Park Completely Smashed To Pieces By One Single Hail Storm!  Multimillion dollar solar project gets reduced to a heap of toxic rubble by one single hail storm.  The Scottsbluff, Nebraska 5.2 MW Community Solar project was part of the NPPD's Sunwise program that consisted of an array has over 14,000 solar panels.  It's reported that it had been put into operation in 2019.

Solar Panels: The Unspoken Environmental Cost.  For more than a decade, climate change skeptics have been sounding the alarm about the not-so-distant consequences of the global push for renewable energy, particularly solar panels.  Their concerns, too often dismissed or overlooked, are now making headlines.  A recent BBC podcast, "The Climate Question," raises serious issues about the lifespan and end-of-life management of solar panels, issues that we have been echoing for years.  ["]While they are being promoted around the world as a crucial weapon in reducing carbon emissions, solar panels only have a lifespan of up to 25 years,["] writes Daniel Gordon of BBC Sounds.  That's a significant problem considering the sheer number of panels being installed worldwide.  As Dr. Rong Deng states,  ["]The world has installed more than one terawatt of solar capacity... there could be as many as 2.5 billion solar panels.["]  The truth is, solar panels aren't eternal.  And as they age, billions will eventually need to be disposed of and replaced, creating what Ute Collier, deputy director of the International Renewable Energy Agency, describes as a potential "waste mountain by 2050."

Ramping up wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles can't solve our energy problem.  Many people believe that installing more wind turbines and solar panels and manufacturing more electric vehicles can solve our energy problem, but I don't agree with them.  These devices, plus the batteries, charging stations, transmission lines and many other structures necessary to make them work represent a high level of complexity.  A relatively low level of complexity, such as the complexity embodied in a new hydroelectric dam, can sometimes be used to solve energy problems, but we cannot expect ever-higher levels of complexity to always be achievable.

Models Hide the Shortcomings of Wind and Solar.  Overview of this Post:  In Sections [1] through [4], I look at some issues that energy modelers in general, including economists, tend to miss when evaluating both fossil fuel energy and renewables, including wind and solar.  The major issue in these sections is the connection between high energy prices and the need to increase government debt.  To prevent the continued upward spiral of government debt, any replacement for fossil fuels must also be very inexpensive — perhaps as inexpensive as oil was prior to 1970.  In fact, the real limit to fossil fuel extraction and to the building of new wind turbines and solar panels may be government debt that becomes unmanageable in an inflationary period.  In Section [5], I try to explain one reason why published Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROEI) indications give an overly favorable impression of the value of adding a huge amount of renewable energy to the electric grid.  The basic issue is that the calculations were not set up for this purpose.  These models were set up to evaluate the efficiency of generating a small amount of wind or solar energy, without consideration of broader issues.

Smoke impedes solar panels.  Back during the last solar eclipse over the continental United States in 2017, grid operators in California had to make adjustments to the electricity grid to account from the lost solar power during the 90 minutes or so that the eclipse dimmed sunlight in California.  Such is the sensitivity of solar power to clouds and other obstructions such as routine dust, winter snow, and ... forest fire smoke.  The northeast is learning this right now amidst the smoke plume blowing down from Canada.

Solar Power Generation Cut In Half Due To Canada Smoke.  For the sake of solar power, let's hope Canada can bring its rampaging arsonists to heel.  That's because the shroud of smoke that covered much of the Eastern US seaboard, has sent solar power generation in parts of the eastern US plummeting by more than 50% as wildfires rage in Canada.

How solar farms took over the California desert: 'An oasis has become a dead sea'.  eep in the Mojave desert, about halfway between Los Angeles and Phoenix, a sparkling blue sea shimmers on the horizon.  Visible from the I-10 highway, amid the parched plains and sun-baked mountains, it is an improbable sight: a deep blue slick stretching for miles across the Chuckwalla Valley, forming an endless glistening mirror. [...] Over the last few years, this swathe of desert has been steadily carpeted with one of the world's largest concentrations of solar power plants, forming a sprawling photovoltaic sea.  On the ground, the scale is almost incomprehensible.  The Riverside East Solar Energy Zone — the ground zero of California's solar energy boom — stretches for 150,000 acres, making it 10 times the size of Manhattan.  It is a crucial component of the United States' green energy revolution.  Solar makes up about 3% of the US electricity supply, but the Biden administration hopes it will reach 45% by 2050, primarily by building more huge plants like this across the country's flat, empty plains.

It Was Always Only About Power With the Left.  California has been building massive solar farms in pristine deserts and rural areas.  Many spread over thousands of acres and require disruptive supporting infrastructure.  In the American Midwest, these new generations of solar farms are unlike anything in our recent past.  Often in size larger than Manhattan, they take out of production tens of thousands of acres of prime farmland.  What is curious about all these next-generation projects is the relative silence of environmentalists to the radical disruptions and dangers they pose to fragile and pristine natural landscapes, rare species of flora and fauna, and quality of life for surrounding rural communities.  In the case of hundreds of thousands of lost farm acres, prior liberal advocacy for preserving America's heartland, and its precious family farm acreage and those who work it, likewise go out the window.  Yet if any clean-burning natural gas plant, affordable housing development, a border wall, retirement community, or farming operation caused as much havoc to the environment as solar — and often wind — farms, there would arise leftist outrage replete with environmentalist-driven court injunctions.  In other words, left-wing environmentalism is calibrated only by whether the Left or the Right is reengineering the landscape.

Most House Democrats, Eight Republicans Help Biden Shield China's Solar Industry from U.S. Tariffs.  Nearly all House Democrats, along with eight House Republicans, helped tank an effort to override President Joe Biden's veto of a bipartisan plan that would have restored United States tariffs on China-made solar panels.  In June 2022, Biden announced a 24-month tariff moratorium on solar panel imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.  Commerce Department officials suspect that the solar panels are actually made in China but have been routed through the four southeast Asian nations to avoid U.S. tariffs on China-made solar panels.  The suspension of tariffs came even as Biden's Commerce Department found that BYD Hong Kong rerouted its production through Cambodia, Canadian Solar and Trina through Thailand, and Vina Solar through Vietnam for the sole purpose of avoiding the tariffs.  This week, after Biden vetoed a House and Senate-approved plan to reinstate the tariffs on solar panel imports, 197 House Democrats and eight House Republicans voted to help the administration stave off the tariffs.

The Dawn of a U.S. Nuclear Renaissance.  There are geopolitical and energy realities coming to fruition that nuclear can solve. [...] The solar panel market is dominated by China.  In 2022, GE's renewables division, the world's largest turbine manufacturer Vestas, and Siemens Energy lost over $4 billion USD combined backing renewable hardware.  The unreliability of the product is the culprit, along with high raw material and logistics costs.  Add a backlash against renewables for their high land requirements and the gargantuan amount of mining needed to extract rare earth metals and minerals, and it shouldn't be surprising that energy realism has taken a back seat to fantasies.

Renewable energy growth brings mounting waste challenge.  Driven primarily by wind and solar power, renewable energy sources surpassed coal for electricity generation in the United States last year, marking a significant milestone.  However, as the industry expands, a new problem emerges:  what to do with the mounting waste generated by worn-out solar panels and wind turbine blades.  More than 90% of discarded solar panels end up in landfills.  By 2030, the retired panels are estimated to cover an area equivalent to about 3,000 football fields.  But the panels, primarily composed of glass and aluminum, contain valuable and reusable materials.

Bipartisan House Votes to End Tariff Protections for Chinese Solar Manufacturers.  Despite objections from the Biden administration, the House voted 221-202 to strike down tariff protections given during the Obama administration for solar panels built by Chinese manufacturers.  The Chinese solar panel industry already dwarfs the U.S., and the need for a tariff — if there ever was a need — is gone.  "Joe Biden's decision to protect Communist China's solar manufacturers from U.S. tariffs is another demonstration of weakness from an already spineless administration," House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told Fox News Digital.

8 House Republicans vote in favor of the Chinese Communist Party.  Just yesterday Breitbart News reported that eight House Republicans joined the Democrats to support Joe Biden's suspension of United States tariffs on suspected Chinese-manufactured solar panels. [...] Biden being soft on China should come not to be a surprise to anyone.  The president of the watchdog Government Accountability Institute, Peter Schweizer, revealed that in 2013 Hunter and Joe flew on Air Force Two to China two weeks before Hunter's firm inked a $1.5 billion deal with the CCP operated Bank of China.  Schweizer exposed numerous lucrative shady deals that benefited the Biden family and Hunter's businesses, where Joe appeared to have a ten percent stake in a company formed in partnership with top CCP officials.  We must also remember that Joe Biden's Washington think tank, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, received more than $54 million from individuals or entities linked to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) from 2014 to 2019.  It would not be beyond the realm of possibility that the attempt to waive tariffs happened with Biden's knowledge that solar panels were made in China but were re-routed to other countries to evade tariffs.

Solar Stooge Kathy Hochul Burns Farm Preservation Rulebook.  I became aware of the particular issues of utility-scale solar development on agriculture after I had a couple of people contact me describing issues that they had and suggested that I look into the issue.  The problems that they raised are real, solutions to mitigate problems are available, but in the rush to develop as many renewable resources as quickly as possible the State of New York has dropped the ball on responsible utility-scale solar development.  Given the massive amount of projected utility-scale solar generation capacity required to meet Climate Act goals the rush to develop solar projects could easily lead to the permanent loss of significant amounts of prime farmland that will hurt farming communities and endanger Climate Act strategies to sequester carbon in soil.

Sunshine Might Be Free But Solar Power is Not Cheap.  Mississippi residents are consistently told that renewable energy sources, like solar panels, are now the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity, but these claims are based on creative accounting gimmicks that only examine a small portion of the expenses incurred to integrate solar onto the grid while excluding many others.  When these hidden expenses are accounted for, it becomes obvious that solar is much more expensive than Mississippi's existing coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants and that adding more solar will increase electricity prices for the families and businesses that rely upon it.  One of the most common ways of estimating the cost of generating electricity from different types of power plants is a metric called the Levelized Cost of Energy, or LCOE.

Run, Don't Walk, From Solar Energy Co-Ops.  Let me say that I am not against solar power.  Two years ago, I installed a photovoltaic (PV) system on my house.  Honestly, my biggest reason was that I thought it prudent to take money out of my equities and invest it into my house when Biden became president.  Turns out I was on target in that respect.  But, beyond that, my electric energy costs since installation are about $30 per month, no matter how hot or cold (I pay the grid connection fee and, of course, the governor still wants his tax).  After two years, I'm glad I did it; it has added good value to my property. [...] I know some readers will take me to task for being a sucker; solar panels are only for hippies and leftists.  They are made by Chinese child slaves, and they incorporate heavy metals that are, today, difficult to reprocess.  But I honestly like my panels.

Media Silent on Biden Admin Plan to Snatch Public Land For Solar Farms.  The media have been largely silent on a Biden administration energy project that one conservationist said would be "armageddon" for public lands.  It's a far cry from how reporters covered similar proposals under former president Donald Trump.  In December 2022, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that her department would expedite plans to build solar energy farms on up to 100 million acres of untouched public land in five Western states, in a bid to "tackle climate change."  The announcement has garnered little to no national attention, save for the occasional report that the Biden administration is expanding renewable energy production.  National outlets took a far more critical approach to Trump-era land use proposals.  "Where Will Trump's War on Public Lands End?" the New Yorker wondered in 2017.

The Editor says...
The climate cannot be prevented from changing.  Solar panel projects are well-known boondoggles that only the U.S. government believes it can afford.  Ask any private homeowner, who has had solar panels on his or her rooftop for a few years, how well that's working out.  I suspect that a large percentage of the solar panels installed on residential rooftops are only there because [#1] an aggressive salesman, years ago, lied about the benefits of solar power, and [#2] even though they don't work, it would cost too much to remove them from the house, they can't be recycled, and somebody will have to be paid to haul them to a landfill.

Big solar goes Big Bust: Largest solar plant in the world dies before it can be built.  But it's a win for the rare Typhonium plant, and possibly also for millions of crabs around Indonesia who might have been hypnotized by undersea cables like the ones near the UK are.  And who knows what that cable would have done electromagnetically for turtles, dugongs, whales and dolphins?  Where are the Greens when giant experimental industrial parks span 5,000 km of wilderness?  Today the massive Sun Cable project collapsed into voluntary administration four years after promising to build the world's largest solar power plant in the Northern Territory.  Sun Cable was a $35 billion project supposedly to collect those sacred green electrons on a 12,000 hectare "farm" in Australia (120 square kilometers) and send them to Singapore via an 800 km land cable and then a 4,200 km undersea cable.  It was theoretically going to be nine times bigger than the largest solar plant in the world, and use a cable 6 times longer than the longest one ever built.  So this was ambition-on-steroids, and had economies of scale up the kazoo, and possibly as much sunlight as any place on Earth, but it was still obscenely uneconomic and expensive.

The Editor says...
[#1] I haven't looked into this (yet), but I suspect that 90 percent of the electric power in this country is consumed within about 100 miles of the place it was generated.  Long-distance power transmission is common, but it's not economically feasible unless the power source is unusually large and reliable (e.g., Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam) and the demand is great.  [#2] It would be a great understatement to say this Australian project was ambitious.  The longest undersea power cable in the world is the North Sea Link, which is 450 miles long.  The Australian project would have shattered this record by almost six-to-one, which should have been a warning to investors that it was never going to happen.

Las Vegas: Muslim faces terror charge after causing 'major damage' to solar plant.  He says he did it "for the future."  Is he some kind of hyper-radical environmentalist who objects even to solar plants, or who thought that he was ramming his car into a conventional power plant?  Or did he do it for a "future" caliphate?  There is no information on either possibility in the available news stories.

The Editor says...
Are muslims offended by solar panels?  I'll have to add that to the list.

Solar Power In Spain.  [Scroll down]  It averaged 1180 MW, but was only really producing at a [reasonable] quantity between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.  Solar capacity in Spain is 18523 MW, meaning that it was only running at 6% of capacity yesterday [1/2/2023].  The idea that the whole of Europe could live off solar power from Spain is ridiculous.

It is Time to Talk About "Capacity Factors".  In electricity generation, capacity factor, utilization, and load factor are not the same.  A lot of confusion exists in the press and certainly in politics, and even amongst "energy experts", about using the term "capacity factor".  It may be excused, since the distinction made in this article became only relevant with the penetration of variable "renewable" energy, such as wind and solar, in our energy systems.
  •   Worldwide average solar natural capacity factor (CF) reaches about ~11-13%.  Best locations in California, Australia, South Africa, Sahara may have above 25%, but are rare.
  •   Worldwide average wind natural capacity factors (CF) reach about ~21-24%.  Best off-shore locations in Northern Europe may reach above 40%.  Most of Asia and Africa have hardly any usable wind and the average CF would be below 15%, except for small areas on parts of the coasts of South Africa and Vietnam.
Natural capacity factors in Europe tend to be higher for wind than for solar.  Wind installations in Northern Europe may reach an average of over 30% (higher for more expensive offshore, lower onshore), but less than 15% in India and less than 8% in Indonesia.

Costs of Wind and Solar Energy Are Skyrocketing.  Advocates of wind and solar energy have argued that the cost of those energy sources would decline over time as they are more widely adopted.  That never made any sense, and it has not proved true.  In fact, the cost of both wind and solar energy is destined to continue rising sharply as the massive quantities of materials they require become more expensive as a result of increasing demand, driven by ill-advised (the politest adjective I can think of) government mandates and subsidies.  In fact, the cost of electricity generated by wind and solar is already skyrocketing.  My colleague Isaac Orr reproduced this chart at American Experiment.  It shows the average cost of wind and solar energy as contracted for in Power Purchase Agreements with utilities from 2019 through early 2022.  It should be noted that these are subsidized prices, not the full cost if you include the portion that is paid by taxpayers.

Solar Firm Collapses, Owing UK Taxpayers £655 Million.  A solar energy company has fallen into administration after racking up more than half a billion pounds in debt to a local authority in Essex, southern England.  Toucan Energy Holdings 1 Ltd., which owns 53 solar farms across the country and was owned by the financier Liam Kavanagh, had borrowed £655 million ($773 million) over four years from Thurrock Council to fuel its expansion.  [Paywall]

China Boasts of Soaring Demand for Its Solar Panels During Europe's Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis.  China's state-run Global Times boasted that the Chinese solar panel industry has "gained a historic foothold in Europe" thanks to European environmentalist policies that deprived the Continent of reliable energy after Russia shut down its gas pipelines.  "Demand for PV [photovoltaic] products has reached a new high, driven by surging natural gas prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the damaged Nord Stream pipelines.  Lately, Chinese solar panels have gained growing popularity among European consumers in addition to electric blankets and hand warmers," the Global Times wrote, providing a grimly amusing snapshot of energy-dystopian Europe on the edge of winter.

Electric Mania.  [Scroll down] This distinction between renewable and nonrenewable is a fallacy as surely as it was a fallacy that electrical currents could bring a dead person back to life.  How do we capture wind or solar energy?  We must produce other things, like wind turbines and solar panels.  Are these clean?  No.  The dirty secret of wind energy and solar production is that the actual wind energy rotors and the solar panels are made of material that, at the end of its useful life, is literally ground up and put into a landfill.  I'm going to talk mainly about wind turbines, but keep in mind that everything I say is also applicable to solar panels.  By 2030, the United States is expected to see as much as one million total tons of solar panel waste.  By 2050, the United States is expected to have the second largest number of end-of-life panels in the world, with as many as an estimated 10 million total tons of panels.  What is going to happen to all that waste, much of it toxic?  Wind turbines typically contain more than 8,000 different components.  One such component are magnets made from neodymium and dysprosium; rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China.  Extracting REs is an energy intensive and heavily polluting process, which makes a mockery of "clean energy" all by itself.

Why solar 'tripping' is a grid threat for renewables.  May 9th of last year was supposed to be a typical day for solar power in west Texas.  But around 11:21 a.m., something went wrong.  Large amounts of solar capacity unexpectedly went offline, apparently triggered by a fault on the grid linked to a natural gas plant in Odessa, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  The loss of solar output represented more than 13 percent of the total solar capacity at the time in the ERCOT grid region, which spans most of the state.  While all of the solar units came back online within six minutes, the incident highlighted a persistent challenge for the power sector that experts warn needs to be addressed as clean energy resources continue to displace fossil fuels.

California is learning that solar doesn't work without battery storage.  California got through the biggest heat wave of the year without having to order any blackout but only just barely.  Gov. Newsom is praising the state's shift to renewable energy as if avoiding the blackouts is proof that the shift to renewables is working. [...] We actually did have blackouts in some places on the hottest days but those were ordered by the power companies not the state.  I wonder to what extent those outages helped the state's independent regulator avoid ordering rolling blackouts.  In any case, everyone agrees we came really close.  Wednesday the Washington Post published a story arguing that the real lesson Newsom and others should have learned from barely avoiding blackouts this summer is that solar without battery storage really doesn't work very well.

Tesla Battery Catches Fire in California Causing Shelter-In-Place Advisory Due to Toxic Smoke.  A Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at PG&E's Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County, California.  A shelter-in-place advisory was in place for 12 hours due to fears of toxic smoke from the fire caused by Elon Musk's battery system, with county officials announcing that even though the fire was "fully controlled" by 7:00 p.m. PT, "smoke may still occur in the area for several days."  KSBW Action News 8 reports that a Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at the local utility company PG&E's Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County, California.  The fire reported started at around 1:30 a.m. on September 20 according to the comm manager for PG&E, Jeff Smith.  No injuries were reported at the time.

Amazon Powered Down All Its Solar Panels Because They Kept Catching On Fire.  Amazon powered off all solar panels from its warehouse roofs' in 2021 after its installations malfunctioned, leading to multiple fires and electrical explosions across its North American warehouses for over a year, according to CNBC.  Solar panels caused "critical fire or arc flash events" in at least six of its 47 North American warehouses with solar installations, between April 2020 and June 2021, according to internal documents acquired by CNBC.  The fires caused Amazon to temporarily diable all its solar installations as the company wanted to ensure its systems were designed, operated and maintained correctly before they could be brought back online.

The Numbers Don't Add Up on Cider Solar Project.  [Scroll down]  In New York, solar power produces only about 12.6 percent of its theoretical capacity.  That means we can expect this 500-megawatt facility to produce only 552 million kWh, annually.  That's enough power for just under 79,000 homes, 37 percent less than advertised.  Moreover, that's only 14 percent as many homes as a more reliable source of electricity could power.  Sure, when the sun is shining, Cider Solar may power more homes.  But on very cloudy days it will power even fewer homes than calculated here.  Cider Solar isn't unique in that respect.  The state's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) as a whole is based on dubious assumptions and questionable math.

A Democrat President Again Wastes Taxpayer Money On Useless Renewables.  Ironically, on September 4, 2009, then-Vice President Joe Biden was the one who announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) had just finalized a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, LLC.  This green energy company manufactured "innovative cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels that provide clean, renewable energy."  Biden enthusiastically noted the DOE loan guarantee aimed to finance the construction of Solyndra's manufacturing plant.  He also bragged that the annual production of solar panels from the first phase of Solyndra's plans would provide energy equivalent to powering 24,000 homes a year for over half a million homes during the project's lifetime.  On September 6, 2011, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, suspended operations at its headquarters, and laid off 1,100 workers.  Solyndra went bankrupt despite $535 million in federal loan guarantees and more than $700 million in venture capital funding.

Report: U.S. Importers Struggle to Find Solar Panels in China Not Made by Uyghur Slaves.  American solar energy companies are reportedly having difficulty complying with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), a law that went into effect in June requiring importers to prove their goods are not tainted with slave labor from the oppressed Uyghur Muslims of China's Xinjiang province.  The UFLPA sets tough standards for importers to affirmatively demonstrate that no forced labor was employed in harvesting raw materials or assembling finished products.  Everything imported from Xinjiang is presumed tainted unless proof to the contrary is provided.

Environmentalism is an Environmental Hazard.  [Scroll down]  The California Public Utilities Commission has admitted that the state has far more solar panels than it needs, but has argued that it should "dramatically overbuild solar" and then let it go to waste.  Wasting a lot of energy has become the best way to stop waste and save the planet.  But that's not all that's going to waste.  With a lifespan of 25 years, the early generations of solar panels have begun to clutter up the state's landfills.  Ironically, only about 10% of the solar "green energy" solution are recycled and the rest represent a serious toxic waste hazard.  Behind the illusion of clean energy is the grimy reality that solar panels break down and just turn into poisonous and dangerous trash.  Recycling, itself a scam, often just sends our waste abroad to poor countries.  A New York Times article described how in Africa, laborers "break them open with machetes and drain the acid into the ground by hand" which "pollutes the soil and water with lead, which can lead to brain damage."  Actual recycling of solar panels is unworkable because it costs more to recycle them than it does to make them.  So it's just more economical to bury solar panels in landfills.

Biden's Green Energy Future Relies Too Much On China's Solar Boondoggle.  Most Americans are all for doing "something" about climate change but aren't willing to pay very much to do it.  If it's a problem, it's a global one.  The U.S. cannot fix it alone.  Every nation must participate.  Some, like China, simply refuse and its use of coal is rising so fast that it wipes out any benefit the reduction of U.S. carbon emissions has had.  Most Americans don't realize how reliant on China the Biden plan is.  The hoped-for transition to producing electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar can't happen without cheap Asian-made solar panels being allowed into the United States.  Without them, the nation can look forward to rolling brownouts — which the White House would like to avoid in the coming summer months, causing it to move quickly to suspend the tariffs on them for two years, despite credible evidence of dumping.

California went big on rooftop solar.  Now that's a problem for landfills.  California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.  Beginning in 2006, the state, focused on how to incentivize people to take up solar power, showered subsidies on homeowners who installed photovoltaic panels but had no comprehensive plan to dispose of them.  Now, panels purchased under those programs are nearing the end of their typical 25-to-30-year life cycle.  Many are already winding up in landfills, where in some cases, they could potentially contaminate groundwater with toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium.

Biden's Solar Power Scam:  How Phony Emergency Declaration Will Help China.  When it comes to energy policy, President Joe Biden has become a master of doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.  His policies on solar panel production and imports are prime examples.  Everyone agrees that we ought to be good stewards of the planet.  That's why it's critical that we get energy and environmental policies right.  Unfortunately, Biden hasn't.  Instead, Biden is pushing for a rapid, government-mandated transition to a society powered by wind and solar energy that he promises will deliver zero greenhouse gas emissions.  That is neither responsible nor reasonable.  Rather, it is a political fantasy agenda that will reduce access to reliable, affordable energy, damage our economy, harm the environment, and undermine our security program.

The "Net Zero" Agenda Has Devastating Consequences.  Proponents of solar will point out that solar generates decent energy returns.  What is often missed is that the numbers used to support this are more often than not cherry picked from locations (enjoying sunlight) and daytime hours.  This is a problem given that solar doesn't work when the sun doesn't shine, which is on a cloudy or rainy day as well as at night.  And this is the time when the bulk electricity demand comes into play to cover for the lack of solar energy.  If a source generates electricity at a time inconsistent with demand, the price it can sell for can often be negative.  It's like trying to sell me a cold cappuccino at 3 pm.  I don't want it.

US solar companies weigh challenge to Biden pause on tariffs.  U.S. solar manufacturers say they are considering legal challenges after President Joe Biden declared a two-year pause for tariffs on solar imports from Southeast Asia.  Biden also invoked the Defense Production Act on Monday as the White House moved to jumpstart solar installations that have been slowed or abandoned amid a Commerce Department inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese products.  The White House said Biden's actions would boost an industry crucial to his climate change-fighting goals while not interfering with or shutting down the Commerce investigation.

Biden Administration Declare[s] National Emergency for Clean Energy Production.  Earlier today [6/6/2022], Joe Biden, working toward the agenda of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Wall Street multinationals, and the radical climate change activists within the far left of the socialist democrat party, declared a national emergency around the issue of U.S. energy prices and policies.  On the front side of the justification, the people in control of the Biden administration, claim that current and future increases in energy prices are likely to do severe damage to the economy and the lives of all Americans.  However, in the background of the issue, this is the 'never let a crisis go to waste' phase of an energy crisis the administration has intentionally created.  The real goal is to fundamentally transform the foundation of the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and into a new era of clean renewable energy.  This is what all of the Biden cabinet officers now refer to as the "economic transition" phase.

Biden [is] finally taking executive action to up domestic energy production — of solar energy.  Whether it be his continued efforts to "deter" Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine had already begun or responding to the baby formula shortage after shelves had gone bare, President Joe Biden's reactionary leadership has been putting America last for nearly a year and a half now, and his latest move to ramp up domestic energy production is sure to do the same.  On Monday [6/6/2022], the White House announced that the president will be invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) along with other executive actions to try to combat the overwhelming reality that the Democratic policy initiatives are crippling the American economy.  With the average price for a gallon of gas more than double since Biden was inaugurated and experts warning of rolling blackouts throughout the summer because the energy grid is not suited to meet the expected demand, the president has decided to double down.  The news broke late Sunday that he would be pushing solar projects stalled by a Commerce Department tariff probe and promoting other clean energy projects.

This country doesn't need solar panels.  It needs petroleum.  QmlkZW4gaXMgYW4gaWRpb3Qh
Biden will trigger DPA, waive tariffs for two years on solar panels to boost productions.  President Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act to spur domestic production of clean energy technology and order a two-year tariff exemption on solar panels imported from Southeast Asian countries in a bid to tackle rising energy prices.  The move will accelerate production of solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps that more efficiently regulate the climate in buildings and equipment for making fuel cells and other electricity-generated fuels.  Mr. Biden also will waive tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian countries in a move to nudge Americans toward green alternatives amid rising energy prices.

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash.  Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change.  They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives — and right now, most of the world doesn't have a plan for dealing with that.  But we'll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming.  By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually.  While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don't cut it for solar panels.  Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions.  And if we fail to develop those solutions along with policies that support their widespread adoption, we already know what will happen.

Greenpeace's Dream Of A Solar-Powered Village Fell Apart In Just A Few Years.  Eco-activist group Greenpeace brought solar power to Dharnai, India, in 2014, constructing a green micro-grid it said would make the tiny village "energy independent" and a model for the rest of the country to follow.  Eight years later, reports indicate the solar micro-grid is not only defunct, but being used as a cattle shed.  The Dharnai venture is only one of many failed attempts by environmental groups, like Greenpeace, to "green" the developing world, according to one of its co-founders.  "It's the same thing that's happened a lot across Africa:  goody two-shoes comes in and builds them a small solar facility," CO2 Coalition Director Patrick Moore, who co-founded Greenpeace in the 1970s, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  "Then, pretty soon the battery wears out and it just doesn't get repaired and they don't know what to do because they don't have any expertise," said Moore, who departed Greenpeace in the 1980s after he said the group lost touch with its original purpose.  "There's plenty of those stories."

Tariff battle splits solar energy industry.  A request for new tariffs on solar cell and module imports from Asia is feeding an intraindustry divide between project developers relying heavily on those products and the U.S. manufacturers competing for more market share.  Interest in solar energy is growing as there are more national and corporate commitments to reducing the use of fossil fuels, and domestic cell and module manufacturers want to grow their industrial base to help meet demand.  Meanwhile, those representing the interests of firms engaged in downstream activities, such as panel assembly and installation, say they want more manufacturing growth, too, but they say the tariffs would hurt their businesses.

Mines, Minerals, and "Green" Energy: A Reality Check.  Among the material realities of green energy:
  •   Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.
  •   Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines.  The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.
  •   By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels — much of it nonrecyclable — will constitute double the tonnage of all today's global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.  By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.

California's solar market is now a battery market.  No US state has led the energy transition like California has.  While other states may have higher portions of wind in their electricity mix, at full sun the output of solar panels in California rivals that of Texas wind power.  It has often been the first state in the nation to pass policies that drive the move to renewable energy and electrification, and these policies are regularly imitated elsewhere.  As a result California has been a pioneer for a range of clean energy technologies.  California has also been the first to experience the challenges of the transition.  The state is famous for its "duck curve," where solar floods the grid in midday and forces other sources of power to ramp quickly in the evening to meet demand when the sun goes down.  The responses to this and other challenges in California have taken many forms — including an emphasis on demand response and using imports and gas plants more flexibly.  It has also meant a lot of batteries.

Chemicals used in the manufacture of solar panels.  The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels.  To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone.  In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium- diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic.  Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

No Amount Of Incremental Wind And Solar Power Can Ever Provide Energy Independence.  No amount of incremental wind and solar power can ever provide energy independence.  Electricity gets consumed the instant it is generated.  Electricity is consumed all the time, and therefore must be generated all the time.  Indeed, some of the peak times for electricity consumption occur on winter evenings, when the sun has set, temperatures are very cold, the wind is often completely calm, and the need for energy for light, heat, cooking and more are high.  During such times, a combined wind and solar generation system produces zero power.  It doesn't matter if you build a thousand wind turbines and solar panels, or a million, or a billion or a trillion.  The output will still be zero.  And calm winter nights are just the most intense piece of the problem.  A fully wind/solar generation system, with seemingly plenty of "capacity" to meet peak electricity demand, will also regularly and dramatically underproduce at random critical times throughout a year: for example, on heavily overcast and cold winter days; or on calm and hot summer evenings, when the sun has just set and air conditioning demand is high.

Solar Plant Failures.  Recently Crescent Dunes Solar Energy plant operators filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  After years of accusations of mismanagement and unreliability in providing power, the plant's operator, Tonopah Solar Energy threw in the towel on July 30, 2021 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, recording about $430 million in secured debt owed to the US Department of Energy (DOE).  It is seeking a settlement under which DOE will recover less than half of the original loan, around $200 million.  Frequent prolonged outages at the plant reduced the expected amount of energy and credits by 50 percent [in] 2019 and 25% in 2020 and beyond.  Crescent Dunes was selling its power at about $135/MWh, while Techren Solar II in Nevada's Eldorado valley priced its power at approximately $30/MWh.  The death knell sounded last summer with a catastrophic failure of the molten salt storage tanks that caused ground contamination and required the removal of the solar tower.

Solar advocates are squaring off against conservationists.  On one side, fans of solar energy are pushing a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, with massive solar projects popping up across the United States.  On the other, conservationists and people who live near the solar projects are watching in horror as green fields are filled with rows of silicon solar panels, damaging ecologically sensitive areas.  "It's kind of funny to me that there's environmental resistance to wind and solar, which is an environmental solution," said Michael Webber, a professor of energy resources at the University of Texas at Austin.  But, he added, it's not entirely unexpected as solar has gone from an emerging technology to one that's now more mainstream.  "Any time you do anything at scale, you start to get resistance," Webber said.  "There's resistance to oil and gas, and nuclear and shopping centers.  It's a sign of maturity in solar that, when people want to scale, you get resistance."

Spain's Solar Energy Crisis: 62,000 People Bankrupt After Investing in Solar Panels.  Seventeen years ago, Spain's socialist government decided to inject subsidies into renewable energy.  As a result, thousands of Spanish families massively invested in photovoltaic energy.  But, as you'll see in our report, the dream rapidly turned into a nightmare.  [Video clip]

Maine official warns community solar projects might not be as 'clean' as they suggest.  So you signed up to participate in one of the new "community solar" projects that are popping up around the state, and feeling pretty good about using renewable energy.  Not so fast, though.  One state official says the program's structure can result in customers consuming more fossil-fuel energy than before, potentially undermining Maine's green energy goals.  Since lawmakers authorized the community solar program in 2019, thousands of Maine residents and organizations have signed up to make payments that help finance the development, construction and operation of midsize solar power plants.  In return, they will receive per-kilowatt-hour credits on their electricity bills that should save them money overall.

California's Solar-Power Welfare State.  The dirty little secret about green energy subsidies is that they are welfare for the wealthy.  And like any entitlement, they are hard to reform once people get hooked.  Witness the revolt by the rich against a California proposal to scale back subsidies for rooftop-solar panels.  At issue is the state's net-metering program that rebates homeowners with solar panels for the excess power they generate and send to the grid.  Utilities compensate solar customers at the retail electricity rate, which can be up to 10 times the wholesale price that other power generators are paid.

Big Oil Absorbs Big Solar.  [Scroll down]  As renewable energy sources continue to expand globally, so-called "Big Energy" corporations are taking notice... and investing big.  Just last month, oil giant Shell announced that it was purchasing 100% of Savion, a U.S.-based solar and energy storage company. [...] Not to be outdone, BP acquired renewables technology company Blueprint Power in October, invested $220 million in U.S. solar projects in July (while also buying Open Energi, another renewables tech company), and has made a slew of other investments in "green energy."  Ditto for Chevron.  Each example is indicative of a broader trend of fossil fuel giants diversifying their energy portfolio to accommodate (and profit from) the expansion of carbon-neutral energy production.  Thus, declaring the "beginning of the end for Big Oil" is a mischaracterization; Big Oil is simply rebranding itself as Big Solar.  Given the tremendous financial resources, energy infrastructure, and technical expertise of our major oil corporations, it seems almost inevitable that any transition to renewables will ultimately go through them, whether the activist left likes it or not.

Biden picks climate agenda over manufacturing allies on solar tariff loophole.  President Joe Biden extended the Trump-era tariffs on solar-energy imports by four years Friday but dealt a blow to U.S. solar manufacturers by leaving in place an exemption that has allowed imports of panel technologies subsidized by China to flood the market.  The decision is a boon for renewable energy developers who will retain access to cheap overseas supplies, specifically the two-sided solar panels used by most large-scale solar projects, helping meet the administration's climate targets.  For U.S. solar manufacturers and union labor, who favored restrictions to safeguard American jobs, the move is a disappointment.

Unreliability makes solar power impossibly expensive.  [Scroll down]  For a start we will simply consider what a stand alone 1,000 MW solar system with battery storage requires for reliability.  The 1,000 MW is power reliably delivered to the grid around the clock. [...] For simplicity let us first assume 8 hours of full sun and full power every day.  Clearly we need 16 hours of storage every night.  That is 16,000 MWh of battery storage.  We also need another 2,000 MW of generating capacity to charge the batteries every day.  So the full sun requirements are 3,000 MW of solar generating capacity and 16,000 MWh of storage capacity, in order to reliable generate 1,000 MW around the clock.  Solar generating capacity can be drastically reduced on dark cloudy days.  When very cloudy the output can be reduced to just 10% of nameplate capacity.  Dark cloudiness can last for days, thus requiring more battery backup along with the generating capacity to charge these dark days batteries.  How many successive days of dark cloudiness to design for is a complex question of local and regional meteorology.

Low wind output
When the Wind Doesn't Blow.  The political push to transform our electrical grid into reliance on "renewable" wind and solar energy keeps running into the laws of physics.  The laws of physics are going to win, but the economic carnage in the meantime will be terrible.  [Chart]  The basic point here is that wind energy shows up only sporadically and unpredictably, and tends to disappear when it is needed the most.  The worst time for a blackout is when the mercury is at -20, as it was yesterday where I live.  Note where electricity was actually coming from in the chart above:  coal, the dark brown line, was the principal source, while natural gas, the light brown line, is only slightly behind.  These are the sources that liberals want to do away with.  Wind was flighty; sometimes it worked, but often it didn't.  Is that how you want your light switches to operate?  And if you can find solar energy on this chart, a technology in which many billions of dollars have been invested, your eyes are sharper than mine.

It wasn't very windy this morning, and that's a problem.  It is a well-understood phenomenon that wind generation in the Midwest essentially disappears when the mercury dips below -22° F.  Electricity generation from wind turbines drops under these circumstances because wind turbines are programmed to automatically shut off when the temperatures get this cold to prevent them from breaking.  Ironically, wind turbines are actually net consumers of power during these periods because they have electric heaters installed in the gearboxes to keep the oil inside the wind turbines from freezing.  Hourly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows wind production plummeted yesterday as the temperatures dropped overnight.  Falling wind output resulted in an increase in coal, natural gas, and oil generation.

Solar panel capacity in Minnesota
The Uselessness of Solar Energy.  You sometimes see newspaper headlines to the effect that, say, a "50 megawatt solar power plant" is being constructed.  But you shouldn't count on getting anything remotely approaching 50 megawatts of power from such an installation. [... Also] bear in mind that while northern states get fewer hours of sunlight than southern states in the winter, they get more hours of sunlight in the summer.  And note that in the best of times, solar panels don't produce electricity anywhere near half the time. [...] That is pathetic.  We spend billions of dollars on solar panels and transmission lines, and in winter, when we need energy the most, they work only around ten percent of the time.

Paving Virginia with solar slabs is bad law.  The ill-conceived Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) has created an enormous stampede of proposed solar projects.  The lineup of "subsidy farms" in progress is breathtaking.  It is also stupid.  The numbers are incredible.  Here are the ugly basics:  780 square miles of solar slabs so far and the list is growing.  That is about 500,000 acres of countryside, farmland or forests destroyed and paved over.  Roughly 500 separate projects blanketing much of rural Virginia.  Requiring a staggering 160 million solar panels, mostly from China and all destined to become hundreds of tons of toxic waste.  The gruesome details are available on a county by county basis.

Green energy?  Solar toys won't cut it.  By the time solar energy reaches Earth's surface, it is spread very thin — even midday sunshine will not boil the billy or make toast.  And solar collectors will convert only about 20% of that weak energy into electricity.  Thus, thousands of solar panels are needed to collect significant energy, and lots more to charge the expensive batteries needed to maintain electricity supply overnight and during cloudy weather.  Despite these disadvantages, force-feeding of "green" energy by all levels of government has given Australia nearly three million solar collectors (mainly imported from China).  It requires scads of land to generate significant electricity from the sun's weak rays.  But even in sunny weather, they produce nothing for sixteen hours every day.

Solar to start new year with some long shadows.  Rooftop solar companies aren't exactly starting out the new year with the sun shining on their faces.  Shares of residential solar companies Sunrun and Sunnova have fallen 19% and 14%, respectively, since the California Public Utilities Commission put subsidies for rooftop solar-known as net metering — on the chopping block in December.  The commission plans to vote on Jan. 27 after taking public comments.  Florida is also considering legislation that would cut such subsidies.

Yet Another Solar Scam.  What follows is my educated opinion.  The Heliogen company is a provider of "artificial intelligence enabled" solar power.  They just received an award from the Department of Energy to build a prototype plant that generates electricity.  As a student of solar energy and the author of the book Dumb Energy, my opinion is that this is another solar energy scheme designed to vacuum up government and private money.  Heliogen is promoting concentrated solar power or CSP.  CSP uses optical methods, generally mirrors, to concentrate sunlight so that high temperatures can be obtained.  If you ever used a magnifying glass to start a fire you were using CSP. [...] Concentrated solar power is not new and has never been remotely practical.  The Ivanpah CSP plant in California near the Nevada border is [an example].  The towers are illuminated by sunlight directed by thousands of motorized mirrors that track the sun and direct the sunlight to the towers.  The intensity of the sunlight on the towers is hundreds of times stronger than the sunlight falling on the ground.  Water circulating through a boiler in each tower is turned into high pressure steam used to power a turbine and electrical generator.  The electricity is only generated during the day and at a cost around 5 times as much as using natural gas.  The plant cost about $2 billion.

Renewables' Reckoning Is Long Overdue.  It's not just that renewables are so intermittent and unreliable that they must be legislated and subsidized; eat up land; will require more storage than physically possible; have nearly bankrupted and blacked out Germany with little emissions improvement; and are doing the same to California and other jurisdictions adopting mandates.  Despite these indisputable truths, the White House's policy remains "a carbon pollution-free electricity sector" by 2035 and "net-zero emissions economy-wide" by 2050.  Yet three additional existential threats must and will lay the renewables narrative bare.  The first was reflected in Joe Biden's recent signing of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.  Forty-five percent of the worldwide supply of solar-grade polysilicon stems from China's Xinjiang region, where it is reportedly largely produced by enslaved Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic Muslims.  (China overall produces three-quarters of polysilicon and 95% of solar wafers.)

California plans to kill the residential solar industry.  Admittedly, this isn't going to be a post that's of interest to everyone.  It's primarily of interest to me because a) I live in California and b) this summer I had a Tesla solar system installed on my roof.  And now, just months after I had that installed, the state is planning to change the incentives offered to homeowners in what is effectively a tax on solar.  Why would a state completely run by Democrats want to make it less likely for people to install home solar?  Because they need more money of course.

Biden Megadonor Scores $500 Million Federal Loan for Solar Company.  A solar energy company owned by a Biden megadonor received a $500 million government loan to build a manufacturing facility in India, the Biden administration announced this week, raising questions about whether the company's political clout played any role in the financing decision.  The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation granted the loan to First Solar, which is owned by billionaire Walmart heir Lukas Walton, to build a solar module plant in India.  Walton contributed over $300,000 to President Joe Biden's campaign last year, and over $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee, according to campaign finance records.  The loan to First Solar is the "largest single debt financing transaction" issued by the DFC, the agency announced this week.

Solar Energy Isn't Always As Green As You Think.  Solar panels glimmering in the sun are an icon of all that is green.  But while generating electricity through photovoltaics is indeed better for the environment than burning fossil fuels, several incidents have linked the manufacture of these shining symbols of environmental virtue to a trail of chemical pollution.  And it turns out that the time it takes to compensate for the energy used and the greenhouse gases emitted in photovoltaic panel production varies substantially by technology and geography.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that the industry could readily eliminate many of the damaging side effects that do exist.  Indeed, pressure for it to do so is mounting, in part because, since 2008, photovoltaics manufacturing has moved from Europe, Japan, and the United States to China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan; today nearly half the world's photovoltaics are manufactured in China.  As a result, although the overall track record for the industry is good, the countries that produce the most photovoltaics today typically do the worst job of protecting the environment and their workers.

That Dirty Green Energy.  In this editorial, we will focus on solar, just to keep things short.  Solar power depends on photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight to electricity.  Those panels, indispensable to the process, are where solar power's green reputation breaks down.  To start with, solar panels have a lifespan of roughly 25 to 30 years, so at some point, they become trash.  (For the record, powering the world with solar energy would require more than 51 billion panels, which would take up more than 115,000 square miles, a parcel of land larger than Arizona.  There are nearly 1.5 million panels right now in the lower 48.)  What do we do with them?  Solar panels are recyclable — technically.  But "the process in which materials are separated can be tedious and requires advanced machinery," says CED Greentech, which means energy will be burned to extract the components.  Consequently, most dead solar panels, which are in fact considered hazardous waste, end up in landfills.  Which isn't green at all, since the greens despise landfills.

Some Louisa County farmers say a solar energy project is destroying their properties.  Louisa County resident Bobby] Marks has always called Louisa County home.  "This property has been in our family for four generations," Marks said.  "We own about 265 acres of farmland, pasture land woodland combined.  No price on it.  It's valuable to us."  Marks takes pride in his Bickley Road property, as does fellow farmer Dewey Collier III.  However, they say with each rain their land is being threatened by their new neighbor.  "If they want a solar field back there, that's their property and their business," Collier III said.  "But when you destroy surrounding land, then it becomes our business."

The Real Cost of Government Mandated Wind and Solar.  The government and big financial institutions promote a fraudulent analysis of the cost of solar and wind electricity.  Their narrative is that wind and solar are competitive with traditional fossil fuels and that the cost of wind and solar is rapidly dropping.  Academics and the media amplify and spread the fraudulent analysis.  The basis of the fraud is a simple comparison of the cost per kilowatt hour at the plant fence for electricity produced by wind or solar versus electricity produced by a traditional plant.  Some or all of the massive subsidies for wind and solar are ignored in such comparisons.  With such a rigged comparison, wind or solar may seem competitive.  A proper comparison reveals that wind or solar are five or even ten times more expensive than natural gas or coal electricity.

Biden Chief of Staff Backs Green Energy Despite His Costly Role in Solyndra Scandal.  [I]n August, the Democrat-controlled House passed a Biden-backed $3.5 trillion budget framework encompassing many "Green New Deal" initiatives such as a "Climate Corps" and a program to encourage utilities to sell carbon-free energy.  [White House chief of staff Ron] Klain enthusiastically predicted success with green energy in the last Democratic administration's $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, a politically connected company that made solar panels.  That decision became one of the most embarrassing scandals of President Barack Obama's two terms.  Government documents — some long public, others obtained by The Daily Signal in a Freedom of Information Act request — tell the story of how immersed Klain was in pushing taxpayer dollars to a company that soon collapsed.  The Solyndra mess became symbolic of crony capitalism and climate boondoggles.

Virginia preservationists fight to save Civil War sites from solar energy execs.  The speed limit sign posted inside the barbed wire fence says 15 miles per hour.  If you are driving over unmarked graves it is best to proceed with caution, all the better to avoid the yellow excavator bucket lying idle on the gravel roadway.  Tree saplings have been planted the length of the perimeter to eventually obscure from public view hundreds of solar panels that rest on what was once a landscape of misery for boys from Georgia and Pennsylvania.  The field, known as Savage's Station, owes its name to the at least 900 Union and Confederate soldiers who killed each other here in Henrico County in 1862.  The site is now filled with the ambitions of environmentalists, politicians, and solar energy executives.

Exploding birds on solar farms not a myth after all.  U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, recently discussed a problem with solar projects in which birds fly into the path of the sun reflected from those huge mirrors, and ignite on fire, exploding in mid-air.  "Low-rent far-left" media outlets mocked him.  Claimed Raw Story, "Gohmert's bird rant is yet another recent example of the congressman's penchant for latching onto any conspiracy theory or right-wing talking point under the sun."  Crooks and Liars was equally blunt:  "Listen, people.  Birds who have Windmill Cancer are already vulnerable to spontaneous combustion under normal circumstances.  Everyone knows that, because I made it up there when I typed it just then.  And birds who survive all the treatments for Windmill Cancer shouldn't be flying from California to Nevada anyhow, because they're just taking unnecessary chances with their nine lives."  Online commenters held back nothing:  "Birds exploding in mid air?  You have to be one of the stupidest persons I have every come across," claimed Tom Kirkman.  Lennie Seaman added, "Exploding birds?  Did you not go to school when you were still capable of rational thought?"  However, the problem that remained was that Gohmert's concerns were true, and valid.

Green Technologies Cause Massive Waste and Pollution.  Solar panels are mostly made of glass, which has low value as a recycled material, but they also have small amounts of silicon, silver, and copper as well as heavy metals (cadmium, lead, etc.) that some governments classify as hazardous waste.  Hazardous waste can only be transported at designated times and via select routes.  Because solar panels are delicate and bulky, specialized labor is required to detach and remove them to avoid their shattering and polluting local areas. [...] The U.S. government does not have a PV recycling policy and as such most solar waste ends up in landfills after cables and aluminum frames are removed.  States have not been addressing the problem adequately, either.  First Solar is the only U.S. solar panel manufacturer that has a recycling program, which applies only to its own products.

Solar Panel Toxicity Overview:  When potential solar project host communities ask solar developers what toxic materials are in their solar panels, they typically say that they are not aware of any.  Although that may seem evasive, it may be an accurate response as:
  a)  most solar panels come from China,
  b)  China does not have anywhere near the environmental concern that we do, and
  c)  Chinese suppliers are unlikely to divulge negative information about their products.
The takeaway is:  buyer beware.  In other words, potential host communities for industrial solar facilities should be aware of what we do know — and then act accordingly to fully protect their community.

The lurking threat to solar power's growth.  A few lonely academics have been warning for years that solar power faces a fundamental challenge that could halt the industry's breakneck growth.  Simply put: the more solar you add to the grid, the less valuable it becomes.  The problem is that solar panels generate lots of electricity in the middle of sunny days, frequently more than what's required, driving down prices — sometimes even into negative territory.  Unlike a natural gas plant, solar plant operators can't easily throttle electricity up and down as needed, or space generation out through the day, night and dark winter.  It's available when it's available, which is when the sun is shining.  And that's when all the other solar plants are cranking out electricity at maximum levels as well.  A new report finds that California, which produces one of the largest shares of solar power in the world, is already acutely experiencing this phenomenon, known as solar value deflation.

Now is the Time to Get Serious About Nuclear Energy.  In a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Solar Power's Land Grab Hits a Snag:  Environmentalists," Samantha Gross of the Brookings Institution writes, "An energy system based on renewables is still an industrial-scale system, with large generation and transmission projects that people don't necessarily want in their neighborhoods."  Mojave solar farms essentially displace the animals that were living there.  Indian tribes have also protested against the projects.  Several of the largest projects in the planning stages are in jeopardy of cancellation.  In contrast, for access, oil and natural gas require only a 12-inch hole in the ground.

Why Everything They Said About Solar Was Wrong.  [A] major new study of the economics of solar, published in Harvard Business Review (HBR), finds that the waste produced by solar panels will make electricity from solar panels four times more expensive than the world's leading energy analysts thought. [...] Conventional wisdom today holds that the world will quadruple the number of solar panels in the world over the next decade.  "And that's not even taking into consideration the further impact of possible new regulations and incentives launched by the green-friendly Biden administration," Atasu, Wassenhove, and Duran write in HBR.  But the volume of solar panel waste will destroy the economics of solar even with the subsidies, they say.  "By 2035," write the three economists, "discarded panels would outweigh new units sold by 2.56 times.  In turn, this would catapult the LCOE (levelized cost of energy, a measure of the overall cost of an energy-producing asset over its lifetime) to four times the current projection."  The solar industry, and even supposedly neutral energy agencies, grossly underestimated how much waste solar panels would produce.

The blackout agenda.  Solar power fails every day from sunset to sunrise as well as during rain, hail, snow, or dust storms.  No matter how much land we smother in subsidized solar panels, they will still fail.  Wind power fails often and unpredictably, sometimes for days, especially in quiet cold winter weather.  It also shuts down during cyclones, heavy winds or icy conditions.  No matter how many hills we uglify with their subsidized roads, transmission lines, and bird-slicers, they will still fail.  No one notices when green energy fails (as it often does) because coal, gas and hydro keep the lights and heaters on, trains running, petrol pumping, batteries charging and dairies, abattoirs and hospitals operating. [...] Hyped energy "solutions" to intermittent green energy include big batteries, Snowy 2 pumped hydro and hydrogen.  These all consume more energy than they can produce; and more green fashion accessories like electric cars will quickly suck the whole electricity network dry.

The Dirty Secret of 'Clean' Energy.  President Biden pledged to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.  An estimate shows that to reach this ambitious goal, at least half of the U.S. power supply would have to come from clean energy such as solar and wind.  However, one dirty secret that President Biden and his green allies don't want to talk about is how "clean" solar energy is largely built on forced labor in Xinjiang, China, according to a new investigative report by U.K.'s Sheffield Hallam University.

Report:  The Case for Reform of Solar Energy Planning.  Current guidance in the planning system relating to ground-mounted solar projects is around ten years old and obsolete.  Guidance relating to solar power does not give ordinary agricultural land — categories Agricultural Land Classification Grade 3b and below — its due weight in the planning balance, even though such land is preferred for some purposes and valuable, both for reasons of food production, reduction of food miles, and the associated carbon footprint.  The lack of protection for such land constitutes a loophole in the system, since developers find it relatively easy to secure permission to change the use of large areas of land from agricultural to industrial; consequently there is a strong trend towards mega-scale solar projects, some covering thousands of acres.

Soaring Solar Costs Could Slow The Renewable Boom.  This year looked like it would be a... windfall... for renewable energy companies with the advent of the Biden Administration and its massively expensive clean energy push.  Nevertheless, solar is getting left behind unexpectedly.  Year-to-date, solar module prices have risen 18 percent after consecutive years of falling into the mainstream's grasp.  One element in the solar module equation is to blame: polysilicon.  Polysilicon (known more formally as polycrystalline silicon) is a high-purity form of silicon that is a fundamental ingredient in solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing.  It serves as a feedstock for the production of today's solar cells.  Polysilicon is witnessing a severe supply squeeze.  This is great for suppliers but not so great for solar manufacturers.

Solar farms:  A toxic blot on the landscape.  Environmental lobbyists argue that solar energy is a crucial part of a sustainable future, but they talk less about the growing doubts raised by scientists and angry groups of residents.  Because, apart from ruining the view, solar panels are also woefully inefficient at their only job — which is to generate electricity amid the cloud and rain of north-west Europe.  Then there is the question of disposal.  The materials the panels are made with have a life expectancy of less than 50 years and are difficult and expensive to recycle, raising the prospect of discarded panel mountains leaking dangerous heavy metals.  And with the majority of panels now made in China, there are fears — all too plausible — that some have been produced in forced labour camps, including those where members of the oppressed Uighur minority are imprisoned.

The huge, destructive green lie.  [Scroll down]  Recycling solar panels is going to be a huge problem, too, as they have a lifespan of about 30 years.  Not many have reached that point, but it's coming, and soon.  Wind turbines are a bit less dicey.  They just seem to cause a huge amount of landfills, as opposed to toxics.  This means some creative minds will figure out something good to do with them... maybe.  The only thing propping up the green movement that I can see is politics and "free" (taxpayer) money to subsidize it.

Batteries are fossil fuel, too!
The Hidden Risks of Batteries.  The meteoric rise of lithium-ion batteries in the transport and IT sectors has been spurred by demand for technologies that reduce carbon emissions and decrease energy use.  While this sounds like a win for everyone, there's a darker side that could alter the perceptions of ethically minded consumers and create significant risks for brands.  If you look at the production of cobalt and lithium used in these batteries, a stark picture emerges of an industry exposed to issues such as child labor, modern slavery, and the undermining of land and water rights.  Demand for these raw materials is set to grow significantly.

Know Your Supplier:  Why We Should Not Buy Cheap Chinese Solar Panels.  The Biden Administration is promoting the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping in a White House climate summit at a time when Congress is considering whether or not to halt the import of solar panels from China for human rights reasons.  "China's Solar Dominance Presents Biden With an Ugly Dilemma," read the headline of a New York Times article published yesterday [4/21/2021].  "President Biden's vow to work with China on issues like climate change is clashing with his promise to defend human rights."

Solar panels manufactured by firms linked to Chinese slave labor.  Solar projects commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, the government's Coal Authority, United Utilities and some of the UK's biggest renewable energy developers are using panels made by Chinese solar companies accused of exploiting forced labour camps in Xinjiang province, a Guardian investigation has found.  Confidential industry data suggests that up to 40% of the UK's solar farms were built using panels manufactured by China's biggest solar panel companies, including Jinko Solar, JA Solar and Trina Solar.  These firms have been named in a recent report on the internment of more than 1 million men and women from the Muslim Uyghur community, in what UK MPs on Thursday voted to describe as genocide.

Why Wind and Solar Energy Are Doomed to Failure.  Wind and solar energy are both essentially obsolete technologies.  There is a reason why only the very rich or the very adventurous sail across oceans:  the wind is unreliable, and at best produces relatively little energy.  Nevertheless, liberals have concocted fantasies whereby all of our electricity, or perhaps our entire economy, will be powered by those fickle sources.  There are a number of reasons why this will never happen, but a paper published last week by Center of the American Experiment argues that land use constraints are the most basic reason why wind and solar are inexorably destined to fail.

Wind and Solar Potentially Aren't Climate Cure-Alls.  Perhaps the most obvious criticism of renewables is their intermittent nature, or as Fergus calls them "unreliable".  Solar panels clearly don't work when it's dark and wind turbines don't turn when it isn't windy, but the problem goes far deeper than this.  Solar energy is fundamentally at odds with our energy usage patterns, being offline when we're making dinner and watching tv after work.  On overcast days when we're more likely to be inside production levels fall, and that's nothing on the scale of capacity issues caused by snow.  Even the ambitious plans for huge desert solar arrays face repeated cleaning to remove sand from the panel surfaces.  The real issue with solar, however, is seasonality.  In the Northern Hemisphere during winter, when the earth is angled away from the sun, there is a 50% decrease in solar power production.  The only solution to this requires either twice the number of panels, half of which will be excess capacity in the summer, or having back-up power stations that will remain idle for half the year.

Re-Evaluating Solar Photovoltaic Power:  Fourteen Serious Ecological Impacts of Solar.  Even when reality is harsh, I prefer it. [...] The illusion that we're doing good when we're actually causing harm is not constructive.  With reality, discovering true solutions becomes possible.  As extreme weather events (caused, at least in part, by fossil fuels' greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions) challenge electrical infrastructures, we need due diligent evaluations that help us adapt to increasingly unpredictable situations — and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ecological damage.  I have a hard time imagining a future without electricity, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, phones and vehicles.  I also know that producing and disposing of manufactured goods ravages the Earth.  Internationally, governments are investing in solar photovoltaics (PVs) because they promise less ecological impacts than other fuel sources.

Joe Biden Pledges to Make Solar Panels More Environmentally Toxic.  If you thought Arsenic doped Silicon or Gallium Arsenide on your roof was bad, how about solar cells made of organic Lead compounds, or Cadmium Telluride?  Biden's quest for cheaper solar is exploring some truly terrifying photovoltaic innovations. [...] Rechargeable batteries used to contain Cadmium, it was discontinued because Cadmium is horribly toxic. less than half a gram of Cadmium in your system will really mess up your day.  Symptoms include cancer, "Cadmium Blues" (persistent flu like symptoms), renal failure, softening of the bones, emphysema and respiratory damage.  Can you imagine having several pounds of Cadmium on your roof?  What if your neighbour's solar powered rooftop catches fire?  Tellurium is unpleasant, though it does not seem as toxic as Cadmium.  At least people seem to recover from Tellurium poisoning.

US Solar facilities kill tens of thousands of birds every year.  America's solar farms have a bird problem.  Utility companies have been finding bird carcasses littering the ground at their facilities for years, a strange and unexpected consequence of the national solar boom.  No one was quite sure why this was happening, but it was clearly a problem for a type of energy that was billed as being environmentally friendly.  So in 2013, a group of utilities, academics, and environmental organizations came together to form the Avian Solar Working Group to develop strategies to mitigate avian deaths at solar facilities around the US.  "There was very little research about the impacts of solar on birds," says Misti Sporer, the lead environmental scientist at Duke Energy, an electric utility in North Carolina, and member of the working group.  "What does it mean when you find a dead bird?  Nobody really knew."  But simply getting the data on avian deaths at solar facilities proved challenging.  In 2016, a first-of-its-kind study estimated that the hundreds of utility-scale solar farms around the US may kill nearly 140,000 birds annually.

Those millions of new 'green' jobs are going to China and India.  When U.S. "Special Envoy" for Climate John Kerry recently urged workers upset by the Biden administration's decision to scuttle the Keystone XL pipeline to "learn to make solar panels", he was oblivious to the fact that China and India dominate the solar panel manufacturing market.  President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Recovery Plan is to build a modern, resilient climate infrastructure that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, but Biden, like Kerry, may not be aware of America being unable to financially compete with the world's solar panel manufacturing markets without huge government subsidies.  China and India not only control the supply chain of materials for solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries, but also have the least stringent environmental controls for the mining of the renewable materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, copper, and many others, and minimal labor laws for their low-cost labor supply.

Solar Makes No Sense, But It Makes Money.  Utility scale solar installations make no sense in Western New York.  The energy industry standard of energy efficiency is called "Energy Returned on Energy Invested" (ERoEI). Consider the energy expended to manufacture, transport, install and decommission utility scale solar compared to the amount of electricity New York solar can produce.  As Documented by Forbes Magazine, industrial solar at this latitude falls below the "economically viable threshold".  Industrial solar is rated at four compared to nuclear at 75 on a Forbes ERoEI graph showing energy produced related to energy invested.  Why would policy makers encourage a project that uses more energy to build than it can produce in its lifetime?

Toward a Renewable Chaos:  Carbon Imperialism and Disadvantaged Smaller Nations.  [W]ind and solar make up an insignificant percentage of the world's energy consumption.  The renewable contribution to global energy consumption in 2017 was less than 2%.  Solar and wind contributed just 7% of the world's electricity in 2018.  There is a reason for that.  Besides being expensive, they are highly intermittent and so are unreliable.  Further, wind and solar power cannot be used without backup by fossil fuel-powered energy sources.  Even in Germany, increased reliance on wind and solar has resulted in energy chaos.  Berlin is facing energy shortages as both wind and solar have failed during the ongoing winter, and coal plants are running at full capacity to meet the demand.  "With this supply of wind and photovoltaic energy, it's between 0 and 2 or 3 percent — that is de facto zero.  You can see it in many diagrams that we have days, weeks, in the year where we have neither wind nor PV.  Especially this time (winter) for example — there is no wind and PV, and there are often times when the wind is very miniscule.  These are things, I must say, that have been physically established and known for centuries, and we've simply totally neglected this during the green energies discussion," said Dr. Harald Schwarz, professor of power distribution at the University of Cottbus.

Get ready for more Obama-era green energy scams.  With Democrats about to control all the levers of power in Washington, the biggest winners might be the wind and solar companies.  These firms' stocks continue to surge mostly because President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to invest several hundred billion dollars in green energy through a pipeline of taxpayer-funded grants, loans, tax credits and loan guarantees.  This game plan looks suspiciously like a replay of the litany of green "stimulus" fiascoes that Biden piloted as vice president back in 2009 with the $800 billion Obama stimulus plan.  The experiment in the government as an investment banker belly-flopped with embarrassing failures from Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and Abound Solar.  Taxpayers lost billions of dollars on these lemons.

We Don't Need No Stinking Giant Mirrors.  [Tweet]  A Medicine Hat solar thermal project was demolished for scrap last week after the city, fed gov, and provincial carbon tax fund invested a total of $13M into the project.  After an unsuccessful trial, Medicine Hat was unable to sell off the equipment.

75 Megawatt Solar = 7.5 Million to Decomission in 2020 dollars.  Last evening [10/21/2020], Municipal Land-Use Planner Larry Lahr exposed Mt Joy Twp and its Zoning Officer for not having the legal or ethical authority to waive the ordinance requirements of Chapter 81 stormwater management for this conditional-use application.  Followed by expert testimony from NC State Mechanical Engineer Dr. Herbert Eckerlin that analyzed and cross-referenced several decommissioning formulas to arrive at approximately 7.5 million to remove this proposed solar facility and restore 600 acres of land back to its original condition, at today's dollars.

The Rooftop Solar Scam and How to Get Rid of It.  Residential solar is a disaster for the electric utility.  Once the customer installs solar, the utility loses almost all its revenue but keeps nearly all its expenses.  The expenses are maintaining a connection to the customer's house including the distribution system that carries electricity from the generating plants to the customer.  The generating plants still have to be ready to provide regular quantities of electricity to each solar homeowner as soon as the sun sets and whenever it is cloudy.  The only saving for the electric utility is reduced fuel consumption in its generating plants when fossil fuel electricity is displaced by solar electricity.  That expense is minor part of the expenses associated with servicing a typical homeowner.  The electric utilities are forced to engage in net metering programs by politicians.  The politicians are driven by homeowners looking for a bargain and by the residential solar installation industry.

Biden's Energy Plan:  Sacrificing Goats to the Sun Gods.  Wind and solar cannot be the instrument to achieve the (unnecessary) goal of 100% zero carbon electricity by 2035.  Wind and solar are erratic and unpredictable sources of electricity.  As long as wind and solar supply less than about 25% of the electricity in a grid, the grid can handle the erratic energy supply by throttling backup plants, usually natural gas plants, up and down to compensate for the ups and downs of wind or solar.  When wind and solar go past the approximate 25% threshold, spells of excess wind and solar power appear.  The problem is that wind and solar power are peaky, with peaks 3 to 5 times the average power.  It may be possible at times to accept 80% wind and solar in some grids.  But a significant amount of traditional power plants have to be online to provide regulation and compensate for the seesawing wind and solar.  To get past the 25% wall requires some storage of electricity to flatten out the peaks.  But battery storage is horribly expensive, easily doubling the cost of wind and solar.

The Real Cost of Wind and Solar.  The main problem with either wind or solar is that they generate electricity erratically, depending on the wind or sunshine.  In contrast, a fossil-fuel plant can generate electricity predictably upon request.  Blackouts are very expensive for society, so grid operators and designers go to a lot of trouble to make sure that blackouts are rare. [...] Both wind and solar have pronounced seasonality.  During low output times, as for summer wind, the fossil-fuel plants are carrying more of the load.  Of course, solar stops working as the sun sets. [...] Even very sunny southwest cities have 50 or more cloudy days per year, stopping or reducing solar generation. [...] The big picture is that when wind or solar is added to a grid it is supplemental power.  No coal or gas plants are eliminated.

Green Energy Isn't So Green.  [T]here's an ever-growing landfill of evidence that the so-called Green Revolution is also an extraordinarily toxic and wasteful one.  Columnist Michael Shellenberger called our attention to green energy's dirty little secret in 2018 when he asked a simple question:  "If solar panels are so clean, why do they produce so much toxic waste?"  Shellenberger cited a 2016 International Renewable Energy Agency estimate that there were approximately 275,000 tons of solar panel waste worldwide at that time — a figure the agency says could reach more than 85 million tons by 2050.  He also cited research scientists at the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics who wrote, "Contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater."

Solar power plunges as smoke shrouds California.  Smoke from California's monstrous wildfires has turned the color of the skies into a doomsday reddish-brown — and slashed the output of the state's array of solar power installations, by far the largest in the nation.  Shortly after noon yesterday, statewide solar generation recorded by the California Independent System Operator was almost one-third below the levels reported on many days in the summer, before the outbreaks of fires last month.  Wind from offshore has pushed smoke into areas where solar installations are concentrated.  "We are seeing reductions to behind-the-meter and large-scale solar throughout the state," said California ISO spokeswoman Anne Gonzales.

Solar panels are starting to die.  What will we do with the megatons of toxic trash?  Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change.  They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives — and right now, most of the world doesn't have a plan for dealing with that.  But we'll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming.  By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually.  While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don't cut it for solar panels.  Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions.  And if we fail to develop those solutions along with policies that support their widespread adoption, we already know what will happen.

Turns Out Green Energy Is A Dirty Business.  We argued last week that California's blackouts offered a grim preview of the left's energy agenda.  But that's only part of the carefully concealed truth about renewables.  Those solar panels so precious to the you-must-conform green-shirts are a particularly nasty environmental menace. [...] Left out of the often mistaken, never-in-doubt assertions of renewables' unalloyed goodness is the fact that the hardware used is hardly renewable.  It wears out and needs to be replaced.  Then what?  "The problem of solar panel disposal 'will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment' because it 'is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle,'" writes energy analyst Michael Shellenberger, quoting a Chinese recycling official.

The Plague of Renewable Portfolio Standards.  At a modern natural gas generating plant, two thirds of the cost is capital, and one third is fuel.  If you idle the plant because at a particular time there is no market for the electricity, two thirds of your costs keep on running.  At a nuclear plant, fuel is extremely cheap.  Nearly all the cost is capital or staffing, and nearly all the costs continue if the plant is idle.  Idling a nuclear plant saves practically nothing.  That gives a clue why nuclear plants generally run flat out, turned on more than 90% of the time.  With a wind or solar generating plant, nearly all the cost is capital.  If you turn off wind or solar generation, because there is no market, all your expenses turn into losses.  Wind or solar plants, usually, can be turned off on command, but they can't be turned on unless the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.  They are erratic generators.  Not only can you not be sure of turning them on when needed, but they are liable to turn off by themselves because the wind died or a cloud moved in front of the sun.

Megatons of Solar Panel trash coming to a dump near you soon.  Solar panels need a special kind of recycling that costs 4 to 8 times as much as the recycled bits and bobs are worth.  And the first major generation of solar panels will hit their use-by date soon. [...] In the EU the producers have to recycle the panels they make.  Rules to deal with solar remnants are apparently in progress in Australia, India and Japan, but there are almost none in the USA.

That Dirty Green Energy.  We argued last week that California's blackouts offered a grim preview of the left's energy agenda.  But that's only part of the carefully concealed truth about renewables.  Those solar panels so precious to the you-must-conform greenshirts are a particularly nasty environmental menace. [...] In his 2018 Forbes column headlined "If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?" [Michael] Shellenberger also quotes a four-decade veteran of America's solar industry, who said "the reality is that there is a problem now, and it's only going to get larger, expanding as rapidly as the PV industry expanded 10 years ago"; and researchers from the Institute for Photovoltaics in Stuttgart, Germany, who found that "contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater."

Nuclear to Replace Wind and Solar.  Wind and solar are not remotely competitive with coal or natural gas for generating electricity.  The promoters of wind and solar lie about this constantly, claiming that they are close to competitive.  The lies have two major components.  They ignore or misrepresent the massive subsidies that wind and solar get, amounting to 75% of the cost.  Then they compare the subsidized cost of wind or solar with the total cost of gas or coal.  But wind or solar can't replace existing fossil fuel infrastructure because they are erratic sources of electricity.  The existing infrastructure has to be retained when you add wind or solar, because sometimes the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.

Burying The Truth:  No Sensible Environmentalist Supports Filthy Wind & Solar.  Even after 30 years and endless subsidies, no country is powering itself exclusively with the wind and solar; no country ever will.  But that doesn't stop our political betters berating us, should we ever beg the question about the purported logic of throwing endless $trillions at something that's already proven to be an abject failure.  Whatever your views on climate change (the apparently existential threat formerly known as 'global warming'), the idea that trying to run modern, civil societies on sunshine and breezes might somehow prevent it is, of course, a complete nonsense.  One environmentalist who called it out, loud and early, was Michael Shellenberger.  As a long-time advocate for reliable, affordable and safe nuclear energy, and critic of intermittent renewables — calling wind and solar worse than useless — Michael combines common sense, logic and reason, in an era when those attributes have become scarce commodities.

Why Subsidised Wind & Solar Are Sending South Africa's Power Prices Into Orbit.  Rocketing power prices and grid instability are two inescapable consequences of subsidised wind and solar.  While sunshine and breezes might be free, attempting to run your power system using nature's gifts, brings with it a raft of other costs which RE zealots tend to gloss over.  The electricity generation and distribution system — which wind and solar power are meant to completely replace — is one that was designed to work all on its lonesome; no mythical mega-batteries; no load shedding when the wind drops or the sun sets; no prayers to the wind gods; no fuss; and no failures that can't be fixed in an engineering jiffy.  The same can't be said of the unreliables, which always and everywhere depend upon the system as it was — one built on ever-reliable coal, gas, nuclear and hydro (where it's available).  But STT is referring to a system that works, always has and always will.  On the other hand, those seeking to profit from the wind and solar scam claim keep talking about a new 'system'; when, in reality, all they've got to offer is chaos.  And chaos costs.

Trump Recovers Taxpayer Cash On A $1 Billion Obama-Backed Solar Plant.  The Department of Energy reached a settlement Thursday to recover $200 million in taxpayer funds from a loan the Obama administration distributed in 2011 to finance a $1 billion solar power plant that was deemed obsolete before it could officially go online.  The settlement between DOE and Tonopah Solar Energy must now be approved by a bankruptcy court, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.  The DOE provided a $737 million loan to Tonopah in September 2011 for the purposes of financing the $1.1 billion Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada.  The agency disbursed funds for the plant in 2011 and 2013 before the project experienced problems requiring improvements, rendering the Crescent Dunes obsolete by 2015, Bloomberg reported in January.

Why the World's Most Advanced Solar Plants Are Failing.  The government's leading laboratory for renewable energy has released a new report detailing the strengths and flaws of concentrated solar energy.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published the report with the stated goal of using very mixed feedback on existing concentrated solar projects to create a list of suggested best practices going forward.  The NREL report "is titled CSP Best Practices, but it can be more appropriately viewed as a mix of problematic issues that have been identified, along with potential solutions or approaches to address those issues," it begins.  What's inside includes problems shared across concentrating solar power (CSP) projects as well as general issues of large-scale construction.  There are also issues with specific kinds of CSP plants based on their designs.

Solar Capacity Low Where the Sun Doesn't Shine?  Who Could've Known?  The idiocy quotient of government rises again as solar capacity falls to abysmal levels in Minnesota where the sun doesn't shine all that much in winter.  Data show that solar panels do not work well during Minnesota winters.  Solar panels generated nearly 30 percent of their potential output in July of 2018 in Minnesota, but electricity generation from the state's solar plants dropped to 5.6 percent by December 2018.  Reasons for the performance decline — which only politicians and interest groups could find surprising — include shorter days during winter, performance of solar panels lessened from snowfall because snow reflects light, and the expense to clear snow off of solar panels.

Grand Theft:  US Taxpayers Liable For $120,000,000,000 In Subsidies to Wind & Solar.  In the absence of endless subsidies there would be no wind or solar industries.  Period.  The minute talk turns to cutting those subsidies, the rent-seekers profiting from the wind and solar scam scream 'blue murder'.  In the USA, the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time is on a scale and magnitude that would make Croesus turn green with envy.  If the wind and solar scam continues unabated, American taxpayers will be forced to fork out more than $120 billion, in the form of direct subsidies, tax credits, and mandates for the generation and transmission of chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

Homeowners out thousands of dollars after second solar installer fails in two years.  Darrin Lundeen thought he did everything right when he went shopping for a company to put solar panels on his house.  He looked at online reviews and settled on five finalists.  He checked the companies out with the Better Business Bureau.  He even decided against hiring the firm with the lowest bid.  But a year after Altaray Solar installed a $28,000 system on his home in New Hope, it still doesn't work.  Even worse, Lundeen has to deal with about $6,000 worth of damage to his basement, which flooded last year when power was unwittingly cut to his sump pump.  The culprit, Lundeen said:  faulty wiring by Altaray.

Surprising Disadvantages of Using Solar Energy.  Solar energy is a renewable resource that has received a lot of attention thanks to the various benefits of using it as a source for electricity generation.  While there are many advantages to using solar power, there are also several downsides that the public should be aware of.

Much-touted Crescent Dunes solar plant goes bust.  Do readers remember the Crescent Dunes solar power plant in Tonopah?  The project commenced some 10 years ago and was financed in part with a $737 million federal loan guarantee.  Nevada Energy fully supported the project, promising to buy power at a rate almost six times as high as the market at the time.  At the same time, the company was destroying Nevada's residential solar businesses by pushing through a measure to reduce the "buyback" of energy generated by households to less than one-sixth of the going rate.  How is the Crescent Dunes doing?  It ceased operations in April.

Barry is a total con man. Remember Solyndra?  [Thread reader]  In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs.  However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt.  It was later revealed that the company's shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama's campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.  It was also revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra's financial troubles.  For example, according to the company's security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production.  In 2010, Obama visited the Solyndra factory and cited it as a role model for his "stimulus" program, saying "It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."

Top Executives Plead Guilty to Participating in a Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme.  The owners of DC Solar, a Benicia-based company, pleaded guilty today to charges related to a billion dollar Ponzi scheme — the biggest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the Eastern District of California.  The government's investigation has resulted in the largest criminal forfeiture in the history of the District with over $120 million in assets forfeited that will go to victims, and has returned $500 million to the United States Treasury, with more to come, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Intermittent & Unreliable Wind & Solar The Greatest Subsidy Scam In History.  The so-called wind and solar 'industries' were built on lies, myths and propaganda and run on subsidies.  As wind power 'investor' Warren Buffett put it:  "We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms.  That's the only reason to build them.  They don't make sense without the tax credit."  Buffett might have continued, that it's the only reason anyone invests in them.  As to the lies, myths and propaganda, the spate of bushfires that have swept Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australian this summer have energized doomsday climate cultists who — without a shred of scientific evidence — pronounce, with godlike certitude, that those fires were all caused by Australia's failure to rein in its carbon dioxide gas emissions.  Ergo, those fires could have been wholly prevented had we only carpeted every inch of the Australian countryside with windmills and every rooftop with solar panels.  It's a sad indictment of Australia's journalistic tradition that the mainstream press not only repeats this nonsense ad nauseam, but magnifies it by berating any politician with the temerity to stick to the facts.

Pelosi's Brother-In-Law's Company Received $737,000,000 From Obama's Energy Department.  Even as government financed "green energy" pioneer Solyndra was failing, the Obama administration approved an additional $1 Billion in loans to similar green energy projects.  A whopping 737 million of that money went to the Crescent Dunes project situated in Tonopah, Nevada, to finance a 110-megawatt desert solar power plant.  Stay with me.  Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law' company was a primary beneficiary of that money landing a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for Crescent Dunes.  Funny that as Democrats scream that Saudi's renting out an entire floor of a Trump hotel is an untenable emolument.

This $1 Billion Solar Plant Is an Obsolete, Expensive FlopBloomberg reports that a planned $1 billion solar plant was out of date and obsolete before it could even be completed.  The Crescent Dunes plant opened outside of Las Vegas in 2015, when its technology was already behind, and the solar boom since then has completely eclipsed it.  Now, the closed and abandoned plant is the subject of huge ongoing lawsuits.  In a way, Crescent Dunes was like the Elon Musk dream solar farm of its heyday after construction was approved in 2011.  It covers about 300 acres with thousands of solar collectors that power a central molten salt tower.  In 2011, a handful of companies presented plans for the plant and received over $700 million in government loan guarantees.

The feds bet $737 million on a salt tower for solar power.  You'll never guess the result.  An inconvenient truth is that the sun sets each day, but the Obama Administration's green planners had an app for that.  They decided to invest in the Crescent Dunes facility that would use molten salt to store heat from the sun, produce steam, and generate electricity even at night.  The utility NV Energy had already agreed to buy the electricity.  Government support would carry the project to sunny success.  In September 2011, the Energy Department described how the 110-megawatt facility would "be the first of its kind in the United States and the tallest molten salt tower in the world," powering more than 43,000 homes a year.  The precedent was Solar Two, a small pilot plant decommissioned in 1999 that had shown it was technically feasible to use molten salt to store and generate power.  But in a 2006 report the Energy Department said the 10-megawatt facility "was never expected to be a viable commercial-scale plant and, in fact, did not validate economic feasibility."  No worries.  It's only taxpayer money, [...]

Another Expensive Solar Scheme Bites the Dust.  The purveyors of solar energy are working overtime to spin the now official failure of the Crescent Dunes thermal solar plant in central Nevada.  The contracts to purchase the electricity from the constantly broken plant will be voided.  Bloomberg Businessweek claims that Crescent Dunes was obsoleted by technological advances in the form of photovoltaic based solar plants.  That is nonsense and misses the whole point of the Crescent Dunes project.  It also misses the reality that all utility-scale solar is a failure — not marginal, not growing into being practical, but a total and complete failure.  The scalable forms of renewable energy are wind and solar.  Hydro is severely limited by most state laws that define renewable energy — not because hydro is not renewable, but because it is not politically correct.  Dams are not politically acceptable to the kayakers and big thinkers at the Sierra Club.  Nevada is wind poor but sunshine rich.  So for Nevada, solar is the only route to energy nirvana.  Nevada has a law requiring that 50% of the electricity be from renewable sources by 2030.

It's time to hit the off switch for solar, wind power tax breaks.  The solar Investment Tax Credit is scheduled to wind down, which means special interests are pushing for an extension — part of an end-of-the-year grab bag of tax breaks known as a "tax extenders" bill.  A Republican Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a wide-ranging effort to increase U.S. energy independence and security at a time of declining oil and natural gas production.  Two key components of the law were the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy.  Both were reauthorized in 2015, again by a Republican Congress, as part of a deal to allow the United States to begin exporting crude oil.  But as Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, then chairman to the House Ways and Means Committee, points out, it was supposed to be a one-time extension, which is why he doesn't support the effort today.

Widespread electrical blackout in central Australia caused by... clouds.  The danger of reliance on electrical generation power sources that can suddenly surge or diminish the way wind and solar energy do was highlighted by a major blackout that left central Australia and the "major" town of Alice Springs without electricity for up to nine hours.  Yesterday, two top energy officials in the Northern Territory lost their jobs over the fiasco.

The Toxic Pandora's Box of Solar Panels?  A neighbor down the street proudly placed solar panels on his house.  He spent $4,000 after government subsidies and whatever deductions he may have taken from his income tax.  He is confident that this move will save him tons of money on electricity and will safeguard the planet from global warming Armageddon by reducing his carbon footprint from fossil fuels.  There is one fly in this perfect ointment — solar panels generate "tons of toxic waste" during the production process and during their disposal/replacement.  The solar energy advocates, who only see cheap electricity with rose-colored glasses, are oblivious to the reality of cost, toxic chemicals, environmental pollution, and health hazards to humans and animals.

California Turns Off a Lot More Than Just the Lights.  Going solar isn't necessarily any protection from California's new "planned" power outages, and local residents and businesses are enduring a lot more than just a few inconveniences.  Bloomberg's Chris Martin has a story on California's troubles with one of my favorite headlines ever:  "Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don't Work in Blackouts."  Apparently, many of California's would-be Earth-savers had no idea that just putting solar panels on their roofs doesn't mean they'll have power when PG&E switches it off.

Uh oh!  Californians Learn That Solar Panels Stop Working When Power Is Cut.  As part of their efforts to prevent wildfires, California's electric supplier PG&E shut down power to approximately 800,000 residents and businesses in the northern part of the state last week.  The thinking is that dry, windy conditions spark wildfires and if the utility could take large swathes of the power grid offline when those conditions are present, this would prevent fires.  The Mercury News reports that in the last couple of years, several major fires have started from "PG&E power lines in the Wine Country and Sierra foothills."  Many residents did not understand why their solar panels stopped working when the power was cut.  It turns out that only solar panels which are installed with a battery backup will keep the lights on.

Squeaky clean, huh?  Obama forgot about these 25 scandals.  [#21] Solyndra and the lost $535 million:  In 2009, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra received a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy.  In 2010, Obama claimed Solyndra was "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."  Solyndra shut down in August 2011, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the $535 million.  ABC News reported, "The deal later came under scrutiny from independent government watch dogs and members of Congress, which said the administration had bypassed key taxpayer protections in a rush to approve the funds — claims the administration has denied."

North Carolina Energy Company Finds Solar Power Actually Increases Pollution.  If we expect to create a prosperous future fueled by low-cost, clean energy, it's time to recalibrate the way we think about renewables.  That requires us to move beyond the once cutting-edge view that solar power is a key ingredient in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  Ironically, a frequent target of environmentalists, Duke Energy, is showing us that's not the case.  In fact, Duke documents show the negative impact of deploying solar power on the electric grid.

2.9 Billion Bird Deaths Linked to Solar, Wind.  Feathers at the foot of a wind turbine.  Bird droppings at the base of a solar panel.  A coroner could use these signs to establish the cause of mass bird death.  And a novelist could pen a murder mystery titled:  Death by Renewable Energy.  In 1969, there were far more active coal plants in America than today.  However, in 1969, there were also 2.9 billion more birds in America.  In the last decade alone, 289 coal plants have closed — a 40 percent reduction.  Meanwhile, wind turbines and solar panels are going up at a record pace and scientists are reporting a "full-blown crisis" in the disappearance of 29 percent of North American birds.

Tesla solar panels [lead to] calls for Elon Musk's resignation.  Tesla solar panels are exploding — but not in popularity.  The brand's solar panels have multiple safety issues, causing over half a dozen fires.  It is no surprise that Tesla buyers, big and small, are shocked and dismayed by the numerous bugs that have been found in these so-called "luxury" products.  Even Tesla short-sellers are disgusted with Tesla's recent controversies, with some even beginning to call for CEO Elon Musk's resignation.

Solar panels:  Thousands of customers complain.  Thousands of people who bought solar panels have complained to a financial watchdog that they are not bringing them the returns they were promised.  Many people took out loans to pay for panels on the promise they would save thousands of pounds in electricity costs and make money generating power.  They say they have not had the expected savings, and the Financial Services Ombudsman has had 2,000 complaints.

Fury over the fading benefits of solar power as thousands complain.  They were promoted as the eco-friendly way to generate both electricity and cash at the same time.  But now thousands of home-owners who bought solar panels have complained that they're not reaping the rewards they were promised.  The Financial Ombudsman Service has received 2,000 complaints and Barclays has put aside millions to compensate those who took on costly loans to pay for mis-sold panels.

Former National Grid director says ministers should impose limits new wind and solar farms to help avoid power cuts.  Ministers should impose limits on the construction of new wind and solar farms to help avoid a nationwide blackout, according to a former director of National Grid.  Colin Gibson, who was power network director of Britain's electricity system, claimed that some existing turbines and solar panels may have to be disconnected, and new developments restricted, to "secure" the system after major power cuts earlier this month.

The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy.  Solar energy is terrible for the environment in a number of ways, including the fact that large land areas must be devoted to it.  At Forbes, Michael Shellenberger highlights another problem with solar energy: it produces vast quantities of hazardous waste, which are not being adequately dealt with. [...] Disposal of decommissioned solar panels in regular landfills is "not recommended in case modules break and toxic materials leach into the soil."  But where do most decommissioned panels go?  Landfills.

Duke Energy application points finger at solar for increased pollution.  A seven-month investigation and numerous public information requests have revealed the move to increase solar power might be leading to an increase in the very emissions alternative energy sources aim to reduce.  Duke spokeswoman Kim Crawford confirmed that increased solar power on the state's electric grid is increasing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a dangerous air pollutant.  She said that reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could also reverse if current solar growth continues without policy changes.

How Elon Musk Fooled Investors, Bilked Taxpayers, and Gambled Tesla to Save Solarcity.  [Scroll down]  In public, Musk doesn't talk much about Tesla's factory in Buffalo — a place he once, in better times, dubbed Gigafactory 2.  Gigafactory 1, of course, is Tesla's much-hyped futuristic electric car plant outside Reno.  Gigafactory 2, which is shrouded in silence and secrets, was a controversial side venture:  a high-stakes move to dominate America's growing market for solar energy.  Tesla bought the factory's main tenant, SolarCity, for almost $5 billion in 2016.  The plan, in true Muskian hyperbole, was to turn the plant in Buffalo into what was billed as the largest manufacturing facility of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.  SolarCity would build 10,000 solar panels per day and install them on homes and businesses across the country.

Walmart sues Tesla over solar panels it says caused multiple fires.  Walmart has sued Tesla, saying solar panels supplied by the electric carmaker were responsible for fires at about seven of its stores.  The fires destroyed significant amounts of store merchandise and required substantial repairs, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket losses, according to a lawsuit filed in a New York court on Tuesday [8/20/2019].  As of November 2018, no fewer than seven Walmart stores, including those in Denton, Maryland, and Beavercreek, Ohio, had experienced fires due to Tesla's solar systems, according to the lawsuit.

Renewable Energy Hits the Wall.  Wind and solar are erratic sources of energy.  The output depends on the weather.  Solar doesn't work at night.  Because they are erratic, there have to be backup plants, generally natural gas plants, that balance the erratic flow of electricity from wind or solar. [...] As long as the percentage of electricity that comes from wind or solar is small, the grid can handle the erratic nature of that electricity.  But if the penetration becomes large, severe problems start to emerge.  Solar power is strongest in the middle of the day and weakens toward the end of the day.  But the late afternoon and early evening, when solar is dying, are when power usage peaks in many locations.

Photos show the world's first solar road that's turned out to be a colossal failure.  France appears to have been on the solar road to nowhere.  In July, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reported that the 0.6-mile solar road was a fiasco.  In December 2016, when the trial road was unveiled, the French Ministry of the Environment called it "unprecedented."  French officials said the road, made of photovoltaic panels, would generate electricity to power streetlights in Tourouvre, a local town.  But less than three years later, a report published by Global Construction Review says France's road dream may be over.  Cracks have appeared, and in 2018, part of the road had to be demolished due to damage from wear and tear.

Solar power is an expensive dead end.  There are plenty of well-meaning idealists supporting the use of solar power.  Unfortunately, they have mostly been fooled.  The people making money from solar are only too eager to exploit them.  Solar power, among other forms of so-called renewable power, is mandated by Senate Bill 358 (SB358) and may be further mandated by a constitutional amendment that will be on the 2020 ballot.  As solar power is the renewable power that works best in sunny Nevada, the prospect is that billions will be spent on solar power here in the next 10 or 15 years.  Solar power is intermittent power, though.  It comes and goes according to the weather and, of course, it does not work at night.

Why solar power is a looming disaster for Nevada.  Solar power cannot reduce the need for fossil fuel plants because peak summer demand takes place just as solar is quitting for the evening.  Solar power is a redundant capital investment with benefits dwarfed by the cost.  Even if batteries are added to support solar power into the evening, fossil fuel plants can't be eliminated because there are many cloudy days, even in the sunniest parts of the southwest.  If much more solar is built, the Nevada electrical grid will be faced with excess solar power during the middle of the day, forcing the solar to be curtailed, wasting money spent on solar.  The solar interests are proposing the use of expensive storage to "solve" this problem.

Carbon-Free Power:  Solar versus Nuclear.  Solar power has received hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and research grants in the United States alone, and perhaps as much as a trillion worldwide over the past 30 years.  For that investment, solar contributes roughly 1% of the world's total power.  So which is better, solar or nuclear?  While it is impossible to provide a definitive answer now, there is a gigantic laboratory in Europe that gives a strong indication.  That laboratory is France and Germany.

What It Will Take for the Wind and Solar Industries to Collapse.  The bankruptcy of PG&E, the largest California utility, has created some cracks in the façade.  A bankruptcy judge has ruled that cancelation of up to $40 billion in long-term energy contracts is a possibility.  These contracts are not essential or needed to preserve the supply of electricity because they are mostly for wind or solar electricity supply that varies with the weather and can't be counted on.  As a consequence, there has to exist and does exist the necessary infrastructure to supply the electricity needs without the wind or solar energy.  Probably the judge will be overruled for political reasons, or the state will step in with a bailout.  Utilities have to keep operating, no matter what.  Ditching wind and solar contracts would make California politicians look foolish because they have long touted wind and solar as the future of energy.

Cost Shifting is the Name of the Game Regarding Wind and Solar.  Per Economics 101, no cost ever disappears.  Eventually, the various shifted wind and solar costs, plus direct and indirect wind and solar subsidies, would increase the prices of energy and of other goods and services.  Efficiency and productivity improvements elsewhere in the energy sector, and other sectors of the economy, may partially, or completely, offset such increases.

Planned Solar-Panel Facility Threatens Historic Virginia.  A proposed solar-panel facility near Culpeper, Va., has local residents and landowners dissatisfied, since many say it would disrupt Virginia's historic sites while offering an unreliable energy source.  "For reasons of agricultural productivity and zoning, historical sensitivity and natural beauty, it does not belong in this area," Alex Foshay, the owner of an antebellum mansion in the area told the Culpeper Star-Exponent.  "You are going to be placing permanently based solar panels upon Civil War battlefields."

Disentangling the Renewable Energy Scam.  The solar energy industry is telling its pals in Congress that it is willing the lose most of its subsidies.  The current subsidy for solar is 30% of the construction cost.  To that subsidy, an additional 10% subsidy is available due to special fast depreciation for solar energy plants.  The 30% subsidy is scheduled to ramp down to 10% by 2022 and thereafter remain at 10%.  This is not a consequence of declining costs of solar that makes the industry no longer in need of such a large subsidy.  Solar electricity is a mature industry, and cost declines are moderate.  The real reason the solar people are happy with a lower subsidy is that the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) is not their most important subsidy.  The real subsidy is more complicated and better hidden.

The Energy Solution That Should Make Everyone Happy.  Wind and solar are subsidized approximately 70% by the federal government.  The state quotas are effectively an additional subsidy because the electric utilities have to agree to long-term contracts with wind and solar promoters in order to meet their quotas.  The unsolvable problem with both wind and solar is that these are erratic sources of electricity that come and go according the wind and sun.  As a consequence, the electricity they supply is a supplement that can't be counted on.  When wind or solar electricity is flowing, some fuel is saved in the main fossil fuel plants, usually natural gas-powered plants.  Solar has the additional problem that most electricity is delivered at the wrong time — in the middle of the day, not in the early evening, when it is needed.  For technical reasons, it would be difficult and expensive to get to 50% renewable electricity by 2030 by depending mostly on wind and solar.  The wind and solar people have schemes such as new subsidies for batteries, but nothing is on the horizon that will cure the huge problems of wind and solar.

Solar intermittency: upbeat "annual" carbon reduction estimates miss the "hourly" reality.  There is a maximum speed at which solar capacity can expand.  You know you've passed it when insufficient storage means solar curtailment, or selling the daytime excess means curtailment of other clean energy generators.  As solar grows, so too will this problem.  Vincent Xia, at the Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University, reports on a new Stanford study which says emissions predictions are not taking this into account, thus overestimating solar's benefits.  The study calculates that the 2025 predictions of emissions reductions are 50% too high in their California test case.

We Shouldn't Be Surprised Renewables Make Energy Expensive Since That's Always Been The Greens' Goal.  [T]he output of solar panels declines one percent every year, for inherently physical reasons, and they as well as wind turbines are replaced roughly every two decades.  As for circularity, solar panels and wind turbines are rarely recycled because the energy and labor required to do so are much more expensive than just buying raw materials.  As a result, the vast majority of solar panels and wind turbines are either sent to landfills or join the global electronic waste stream where they are dumped on poor communities in developing nations.  And that's just at the level of the solar and wind equipment.  At a societal level, the value of energy from solar and wind declines the more of it we add to the electrical grid.  The underlying reason is physical.  Solar and wind produce too much energy when we don't need it and not enough when we do.

Clean Energy Has Questions to Answer.  Xcel Energy out of Colorado is shutting down two coal-fired generating power plants in favor of the largest solar-plus storage project in the United States.  This $2.5-billion "scheme" allowed only 11 companies to bid on the project out of 400 applicants.  Pueblo County, Colorado originally had reservations over losing tax revenue from the former coal-fired power plants.  Xcel wants zero emission electricity by 2050 without saying publicly how that will happen.  California billionaire coal-fired power plant investor turned environmentalist Tom Steyer assisted Xcel's decision to move toward taxpayer-subsidized renewable energy, which is the backbone of the clean energy economy.  Colorado officials never questioned Mr. Steyer's intentions or asked if solar and wind farms can replace reliable, abundant, affordable, scalable, and flexible coal-fired generating capacity.  Currently, renewables only make energy and electricity more expensive for rate-payers.

The Green New Deal Comes to New York.  [Scroll down]  Bill de Blasio claimed that the city would switch completely to 'renewables' in only 5 years.  That would be a spectacular achievement since neither solar nor wind energy work all that well in New York.  New York ranks 47 out of 50 states in average sunlight hours at only 3.79.  It's windier than it is sunnier, but still only comes in at 28 out of 50 with an average annual windspeed of 0.05 miles per hours [sic].  Turbines need winds of 10 miles an hour to start working and city winds are not only erratic, when they blow, they come from different directions, making conventional wind energy setups all but useless.  The New York Times even noted that the city's turbines were for show, with the builder of the city's first wind turbine building installation admitting that they barely did anything.

The Solar Energy Racket.  If solar energy were not propped up by various government policies and subsidies, no utility would buy it.  Not only does solar not work at night, but it does not work if it is cloudy or if a cloud passes in front of the sun.  Utility-scale solar requires a large solar farm consisting of photovoltaic panels.  For $100 million, one can buy a solar farm capable of generating about 80 megawatts of electric power when the sun is squarely shining on the panels.  Depending on the geographical location and the climate, the average power generated will be about 18 megawatts, more during the day and nothing at night.  More in summer and less in winter.  If the power can be sold for $50 a megawatt-hour, about the cost of wholesale electricity generated by natural gas, the annual revenue earned by the plant would be $7.8 million.  But why would anyone want to pay $50 per megawatt-hour for electricity that does not work at night or when the weather is bad?  Better to buy it from a natural gas plant that one can count on.

8 Times Barack Obama Abused His Power To Appease His Base.  [#7] Obama's failed "green energy" loans:  Obama was so committed to creating a new "green economy" that he earmarked $80 billion for clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits as part of his economic stimulus for green energy companies in a highly politicized process benefiting companies that supported him.  We all know how that turned out.  At least fifty Obama-backed clean energy companies went bankrupt or found themselves in major financial trouble.  The most well-known example is Solyndra, which received more than a half-billion dollar loan despite the fact the Department of Energy (DOE) knew they were on the verge of bankruptcy.  Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden were personally involved in the decision-making process to determine who got loans.

Another socialist boom and bust in solar in Victoria.  Behold, the Victorian Govt are proving yet again that Soviet-style electricity management can crush lives, hopes and wallets.  The free market is never as cruel and destructive as one run on "good intentions" or the desire to win virtue-signaling fashion parades. [...] Making money in Australia increasingly means being a better lobbyist for government masters, not being a better producer of things Australians need or want.

Solar's Dirty Secret.  To be clear, local, sustainable, and renewable energy economies are a good thing, but we are deceiving ourselves if we think solar panels will fix our nation's underlying issue of rampant consumerism.  A study conducted by Environmental Progress in 2017 raises serious questions about the claim that solar power is "renewable." [...] How about the deconstruction of the solar fields in 25-30 years; surely the installation company will take care of that?  Since 2016, seven leading solar investment companies have gone bankrupt, leaving the local tax-payers, communities, and municipalities to pick up the mess.

The Green New Deal Will Hit the Poor With Higher Energy Costs.  The Green New Deal's goal is to move America to zero carbon emissions in 10 years.  "That's a goal you could only imagine possible if you have no idea how energy is produced," James Meigs, former editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, says in my latest video.  "Renewable is so inconsistent," he adds.  "You can't just put in wind turbines and solar panels.  You have to build all this infrastructure to connect them with energy consumers."  Because wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, "renewable" energy requires many more transmission lines, and bigger batteries.  Unfortunately, says Meigs:  "You have to mine materials for batteries.  Those mines are environmentally hazardous.  Disposing of batteries is hazardous."  "Batteries are a lousy way to store energy," adds physicist Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.  Also, the ingredients of green energy, like battery packs, are far from green.

Wind Turbines and Solar Panels Suspected of Killing Hundreds of Cows in France.  In recent years, cattle farmers in France's Brittany region have lost hundreds of cows to deaths that veterinarians simply cannot explain.  After running various tests on their land, some now claim that the solar panels and wind turbines in the area are releasing too much electricity into the ground, which is slowly killing their animals. [...] According to local farmer Patrick Le Nechet, his cattle just started losing weight a few years back and many of them ultimately died.  The strange thing was that the animals didn't seem to be suffering from any diseases and the veterinarians couldn't explain the cause of death.  After conducting his own investigation, Le Nechet concluded that the mysterious deaths started occurring around the time that a photovoltaic installation appeared in the area.

Battery Foolishness in Florida.  The largest electric utility in Florida is proposing building the world's largest battery to smooth the output of solar energy installations.  Wind and solar energy are erratic.  Output depends on when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.  If only electricity could be economically stored, wind and solar would be a lot more practical, or at least, less impracticable.  With storage, when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, electricity could be stored for use when the wind or solar was temporarily dead in the water.  There are two methods of storing electricity that are not entirely inadequate: pumped storage and lithium batteries. [...] Batteries are great for computers, cellphones and portable drills.  They are even semi-practical for automobiles like Tesla's products.  But batteries are desperately expensive for smoothing out wind or solar energy.

"Clean" Energy? What's That?  Shills for wind- and solar-derived energy refer to such sources as "green" or "clean."  But are they really?  In what sense?  And compared to what?  This video by the Clear Energy Alliance makes the case that wind and solar energy are not notably cleaner than fossil fuels, pollution from which has declined rapidly.  Actually, the video is understated.  It could have been more hard-hitting, I think, with a sharper focus on the (African and Chinese) mining and (Chinese) manufacturing that go into producing wind turbines and solar panels.  [Video clip]

Wind & solar are always ruinously expensive.  South Africa faces energy calamity on two fronts.  First is the disaster of Eskom.  Second, and potentially worse, is the disaster of our REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers' Procurement Programme) and our lunatic IRP 2018 (Integrated Resource Plan).  The IRP is the mandatory plan laid down by the Department of Energy for our electricity supply until 2030.  What it calls the "least cost" option is in fact the most expensive possible option, a mix of wind, solar and imported gas.  If implemented, it would shut down the South African economy.  A very similar plan was actually implemented in South Australia and shows us what to expect in the real world.  Driven by green ideology, South Australia shut down coal stations, which had been providing cheap, reliable electricity, and built a lot of wind turbines and some solar power.  Australia, unlike us, has an abundance of cheap gas.  The result was soaring electricity prices to final customers and two total state black-outs.  At one point in July 2016, the price of electricity reached $14/kWh.

AOC Wants To Install Solar Panels On LaGuardia Airport As Part of Green Plan — Before She Eliminates All Air Travel.  AOC might want to hop on the internet and do a little research about the amount of sunlight LaGuardia gets in an average year.  It ain't much. [...] There are only 96 days a year that have clear skies.  The rest of the time, the cloud cover is anywhere from 40 [to] 100%.

What Would It Cost America to 'Go Solar'?  Renewable energy is getting cheaper every year, but it is a long way from competing with natural gas, coal, or even nuclear power, if nuclear power weren't drowning in lawsuits and regulatory obstructions.  With both wind and solar energy, the cost not only of the solar panels and wind turbines has to be accounted for, but also of inverters, grid upgrades, and storage assets necessary to balance out the intermittent power.  Taking all variables into account, what might it cost for the entire U.S. to get 100 percent of its energy from solar energy?

Democratic Presidential Candidates Perfect Orwell's Language Manipulation.  Solar and wind now constitute some 3% of energy production in the U.S. To go from 3% to 60% — the percentage not covered by nuclear and hydro — while at the same time meeting rising energy demands, projected to grow by 40% by 2050, would be a colossal undertaking.  It would entail paving the entire state of Arizona in solar panels and constructing a wall of windmills from West Texas to North Dakota.  That construction would entail environmental damage far in excess of anything that continued reliance on fossil fuels might do.  It would also kill off entire industries, for which millions of workers have been trained.

Giant solar has Virginia in uproar.  What happens when — in the name of combating climate change — gigantic, industrial-sized renewable energy projects are thrust upon unsuspecting rural communities whose residents soon find out that these unsightly monstrosities destroy vegetation and wildlife, pollute rivers, streams and groundwater, and lead to higher electricity prices for families and businesses, as well as lower property values for nearby residents?

Largest California County Bans Mega Solar Farms.  If climate change is the dire threat the Left portrays it to be, then the largest county in ultra-left-wing California is definitely not setting the example:  Officials from San Bernardino County just killed the construction of a mega solar farm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California's 'green energy' central planners get their hands slapped by San Bernardino County.  Deserts are always favorite dumping grounds for leftists in their pricey "green" schemes, as any resident of Palm Springs, Calif. — fighting headaches under the constant whirring humming sound of wind turbines can tell you — but nowhere was the urge greater to dump on the desert bigger than against the large, sparsely populated San Bernardino County, where state planners decided that a million acres in that county, to be devoted to glassy solar panel farms, would be great for California fulfilling its "green" energy goals.  Much to their surprise, the County, by a 4-1 vote, said no.

The Trouble With Solar.  The Democrats' Green New Socialism proposes blanketing the U.S. with solar panels and wind turbines so as to replace all reliable forms of power generation with unreliable, intermittent sources.  Everyone knows that solar panels don't produce electricity at night, but there is another problem:  they don't produce electricity when it snows, either.

The Green New Deal : The Antithesis of Green.  Supporters are particularly vague about how they would find the hundreds of billions — or even trillions — of dollars needed to attempt such a plan.  Nevertheless, there is one unassailable fact about the Green New Deal:  It is not green.  Indeed, the entire notion of an all-renewable-energy system is the antithesis of environmental protection and scenic conservation.  The backers of the Green New Deal — along with their allies at big environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and others that tout all-renewable schemes — refuse to acknowledge the simple truth that deploying renewable energy at the scale required to fuel the U.S. economy would require covering state-sized territories with nothing but wind turbines and solar panels.  It would also require stringing tens of thousands of miles of new high-voltage transmission lines.  Promoters of all-renewable schemes inhabit a make-believe world where there's endless amounts of vacant land — territory that's just waiting to be covered with energy infrastructure.  The truth is exactly the opposite.

New York State and Renewables.  Governor Cuomo's energy plan for New York includes investment in wind and solar power.  New York has poor wind potential compared to Midwestern states.  New York solar potential is about 30% less than in sunny Southwestern locations.  As a consequence, green energy in New York will be even more overpriced than it is in favorable locations.  In every state, wind and solar are absolutely and totally useless.  In New York, they are even more useless.  Wind and solar installations are built only because there are huge subsidies covering 70% of the cost.  Neither are wind and solar cost-effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions.

Green New Deal:  A Crazy, Expensive Mess.  Producing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources is a practical impossibility in the near future.  Scientists doubt it would be achievable by 2050, let alone 2029, the deadline Democrats would set.  Such a massive overhaul in power generation would require the closure and replacement of about 83 percent of U.S. electricity generation, including all coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants.  While nuclear energy does not release carbon dioxide, it is not renewable and would not be allowed under the Green New Deal.  Today, renewable electricity — mainly wind, solar, and hydroelectric — provides only 17 percent of American electricity.

Another report reluctantly admits that 'green' energy is a disastrous flop.  Amid hundreds of graphs, charts and tables in the latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) released last week by the International Energy Agency, there is one fundamental piece of information that you have to work out for yourself: the percentage of total global primary energy demand provided by wind and solar.  The answer is 1.1 percent.  The policy mountains have laboured and brought forth not just a mouse, but — as the report reluctantly acknowledges — an enormously disruptive mouse.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) has in recent years become an increasingly schizophrenic organization.  As both a source of energy information and a shill for the UN's climate-focused sustainable development agenda, it has to talk up the transition to a low-carbon future while simultaneously reporting that it's not happening.  But it will!

California mandates solar panels for homes built in 2020 and later.  California lawmakers on Wednesday officially approved a measure that mandates all homes built in the Golden State in 2020 and beyond be solar-powered.  The new standards were approved earlier this year and voted on unanimously by the California Building Standards Commission, the Orange County Register reported.  Officials heralded the move as a "historical undertaking" that "will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country."

Renewably Useless:  Dynamite Needed.  Having written an entire book about wind and solar power I consider myself an expert.  My conclusion is that wind and solar are totally useless for generating utility scale power fed into the electric grid.  They are totally useless because they have to be subsidized, approximately 70% for utility scale installations, and 90% for residential rooftop solar installations.  In other words their economic value is approximately 10% to 30% of their cost.  The subsidy needed to support wind or solar is paid by taxpayers and utility customers.  The right thing to do is to plow under or dynamite the wind and solar installations.  But, wind and solar are still being built, because it is in the financial interest of important people.  The public and the media are fooled into thinking that wind and solar are useful, due to pervasive propaganda and faulty analysis.

Green Energy is the Perfect Scam.  [Scroll down]  In some parts of the country rooftop solar is fashionable.  Homeowners who install rooftop solar often save money because the reduction in cost of electricity from the utility is greater than he cost of the solar electricity.  These homeowners brag to their friends about how clever they are, and the purveyors of rooftop solar place advertisements claiming that rooftop solar is cheaper than buying electricity from the electric company.  This is part of the scam.  Rooftop solar is profitable because it is heavily subsidized and because the electric utility is forced, by the governmental authorities, to provide a connection to back up the solar without compensating remuneration.  The real cost of rooftop solar electricity, exclusive of subsidies, is around 30-cents per kilowatt hour and the real benefit is around two cents per kilowatt hour from fuel saved in the utility's backup plants.

Is Renewable Energy a Fraud?  Can it be that wind and solar energy is a complete fraud?  In the book "Dumb Energy," Norman Rogers makes a powerful and convincing case.  His main point is that there must be backup generating plants because the delivery of electricity from wind or solar is erratic, depending on the surging or weakening of wind and sunlight.  The backup plants supply kilowatt hours when the flow of green electricity falters. [...] If you have to have a backup plant, why not eliminate the wind or solar and just use the backup plant?

When government plays games with energy subsidies, taxpayers lose.  It is by the forced goodwill of electricity customers in Georgia that federal taxpayers aren't yet paying for another Solyndra — of nuclear proportions.  For those who've forgotten the Solyndra fiasco, let me refresh your memories.  Solyndra was a solar-panel maker in California.  The U.S. Department of Energy gave the company $535 million in loan guarantees as part of the Obama administration's stimulus package.  It was a gamble that didn't pay off.  Solyndra went belly up in 2011, and taxpayers were out the $535 million.

'Green' folly.  Anyone who has ever looked out their windows knows that wind and solar only deliver about half the time each day, on good days.  Therefore it's not enough for wind and solar to produce 300,000 megawatts of electricity for consumption during half a day.  They must produce more than 600,000 megawatts each day so the renewables can store what is not consumed.  The first cost multiplier for renewables is that storage capable of handling more than 300,000 megawatts does not yet exist.  The second cost multiplier is to achieve 100-percent replacement of fossil fuels by increasing wind and solar generation to more than 600,000 MW.  This is to store enough energy for several bad days when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow (or blows too hard).

Solar Panel Waste:  Solar Energy Not So Green After All.  Discarded solar panels are ending up in landfills, instead of being recycled, where toxic solar panel waste is leaking into the ground and water.  Solar photovoltaic panels, whose operating life is 20 to 30 years, lose productivity over time.  The International Renewable Energy Agency estimated that there were about 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste in the world at the end of 2016 and that the figure could reach 78 million metric tons by 2050.  Solar panels contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel.

Primary energy chart
There Has Never Been An Energy Transition.  It is widely believed, I think, that we are in the midst of an energy transition from fossil fuels to "green" energy sources.  But, for better or worse — I think it's just fine — that isn't the case.  At Watts Up With That?  David Middleton offers charts that indicate no such transition is in progress.  This one shows worldwide energy consumption in million tons oil equivalent.  As you can see, the contributions of "green" energy sources (wind and solar) continue to be trivial.  [Chart]  I would add that this chart actually overstates the contributions of wind and solar.  Those sources are used almost entirely because of government subsidies and mandates.  In many cases, they are more trouble than they are worth to operators of the grid, who in the end have to rely on reliable energy sources in any event.

Solar Power Too Cheap to Meter?  Another Green Dream.  Buy $1 million worth of solar panels and, over a 30-year operating period, they will produce about 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).  Never mind what one is paid for those kWh, whether directly or indirectly through tax and regulatory jiggering, or legal mandates, that's the quantity of energy one gets.  Period.  By comparison, $1 million worth of a modern wind turbine will produce 50 million kWh over the same 30 years.  That basic fact explains why wind today contributes about 600% more to the grid than does solar; wind power is a lot cheaper.  Alternatively, purchase $1 million worth of a shale rig and, over those same 30 years, that capital will produce enough natural gas to generate 400 million kWh.  The 400 is not a typo.  That same $1 million of hardware producing natural gas yields 10 and 20-fold more 'product' (kWh) than either wind or solar respectively.

10 Ways Big Government Harms You.  [#10] Big government rewards failure and punishes success.  When the Obama administration came into power, one of its stated goals was to promote green energy.  To that end, it began a program of subsidizing various green energy businesses with taxpayer dollars.  One of those companies was Solyndra, a company whose business model revolved around the production of specialized solar power panels.  The Solyndra venture collapsed costing taxpayers nearly $500 million in lost tax money.  As Solyndra headed in to bankruptcy, the federal government then sought to reward its investors by giving them tax breaks to use when Solyndra emerged from bankruptcy.  The government was first investing in failure and then rewarding that failure.

Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid.  Wind and solar farms are glutting networks more frequently, prompting a market signal for coal plants to shut off.

The Ridiculous Myth Of Powering The Nation With Renewable Energy.  Technocrats should back up a few steps and look at the foolishness of their plans:  To power America with 100% renewable enerty they propose 500,000 wind turbines, 18 billion square feet of solar panels, 75 million residential rooftop systems, 50,000 wind and solar farms.  The projected cost is a minimum of $15.2 Trillion.  However, we are already fully powered with enough oil, natural gas and coal resources to last another 200 years.

The $2.5 trillion reason we can't rely on batteries to clean up the grid.  Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice — but they are far too expensive to play a major role.

Wind and Solar Energy:  Good for Nothing.  [Scroll down]  Some real-world examples will further illustrate the point.  Texas has a huge wind generation system with a capacity of 17,000 megawatts.  On August 31, 2016 at noon, output from the wind system fell below 1% of capacity.  The Texas wind system frequently has swings of thousands of megawatts within a few hours.  It often produces at less than 5% of capacity.  On September 1, 2017, between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., California experienced a record demand of a bit more than 50,000 megawatts.  By 6 P.M., two thirds of solar generation was lost.  By 8 P.M., all solar generation was lost, but demand was still 46,000 megawatts.  On August 2, 2017, the normally reliable California summer sunshine was interrupted by tropical monsoon weather in Southern California.  Solar generation declined by half, and fossil fuel generation had to be mobilized to replace the lost solar.

Power costs in other countries
Retail Electricity Prices for sample countries.  Clip and save.

Is the Solar Panel Dictate a Scam?  As we were enjoying our trip to the former Communist country — Russia — the news broke that the communist country I live in had issued a new rule that all new homes built in California starting in 2020 had to be powered by solar panels as part of the initial construction.  It was stated by the California Energy Commission (CEC) that the homeowners would experience an actual savings over the life of the panels.  After reading multiple reports from the lame press that just regurgitated the cheery analysis from the commission, I decided to investigate the matter upon my return home.

All-renewable energy is a prescription for disaster.  Last year, an all-star group of scientists thoroughly debunked the work of Mark Jacobson, the Stanford engineering professor who, for years, has been claiming the US can run solely on renewables.  In 2016, Sanders adopted Jacobson's entire renewable scheme and made it his energy platform.  In a paper last June in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists — including Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Dan Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, former EPA Science Advisory Board chairman Granger Morgan and Jane Long of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — concluded that Jacobson's all-renewable scheme used "invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions."  Those errors "render it unreliable as a guide about the likely cost, technical reliability, or feasibility of a 100-percent wind, solar and hydroelectric power system."

Wind and Solar Require Massive Subsidies.  It is difficult to fully itemize the subsidies provided for wind and solar energy.  Many subsidies are hidden in the tax code or are an indirect consequence of the privileged treatment given these sources of electricity.  A fundamental difference between wind and solar and traditional energy sources is that wind and solar are intermittent and erratic.  The weather affects both wind and cloud cover.  The sun sets every night, turning off solar generation, often just when demand peaks.  In winter, solar generation drops — dramatically in areas with heavy winter cloud cover.  Wind and solar are dumb electricity.

Tesla to close a dozen solar facilities in nine states: documents.  Electric car maker Tesla Inc's move last week to cut 9 percent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees.

Dumb Energy.  The core characteristic of wind and solar is that they are erratic sources of electricity.  The supply is randomly intermittent. [...] The wind and solar promoters, in order to accommodate their dumb energy, demand that the electric grid be re-engineered to become a "smart" grid.  Perhaps the idea is that if the grid is smart enough, the dumb energy will be canceled by the smart grid.  That's actually what the smart grid people have in mind.  The smart grid is supposed to be agile enough to fill in the gaps when the wind or solar is playing hooky.

Epic Renewables Fail as Solar Crashes and Wind Refuses to Blow.  Don't laugh too hard but this has been a terrible week for the renewable energy dream.  Across the world solar energy share prices have crashed. [...] Solar stocks have fallen across the board by double digits.  It's uncertain when they will recover.  It hasn't been a good week for wind energy either.  In Britain, the industry has become a national joke because for seven days its wind turbines stood still and produced no electricity.

Celebrity chef Adam Harvey arrested for poisoning seven-story maple tree blocking his solar panels.  A celebrity chef with a warped sense of going green poisoned a neighbor's giant silver maple tree because it blocked sunlight from the solar panels on his Windsor Terrace home, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office says.  Adam Harvey, 33, was arrested in May after neighbors spotted him drilling 11 holes into the trunk of the seven-story tree and filling it with herbicide, prosecutors say.  The former "Top Chef" contestant, who owns the Gowanus restaurant Bar Salumi, was arraigned on May 15 with two misdemeanors charges: criminal mischief and criminal trespass.  A judge also issued an order of protection against the foliage fiend, barring him from going near the tree's owner.

Three Climate Change Questions Answered.  A claimed nearly unanimous scientific consensus on fear of climate change has caused a push to substantially reduce or even eliminate the use of fossil fuel in favor of solar and wind.  But three crucial questions are:  1) is the scientific community really united?,  2) can solar and wind take over any time soon to provide the required vital energy for the maintenance of modern civilization in today's world of 7 billion people?,  and 3) has CO2 caused any harm yet?  The answer to all three questions is no.

"Green" Energy, an Environmental Disaster.  One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment.  Land-based wind turbines are bad enough, but offshore installations are a fiasco waiting to happen.

Tom Steyer Allegedly Using Convicted Felons For His Renewable Energy Initiative.  An organization backed by environmentalist Tom Steyer is allegedly paying convicted felons to gather signatures for a ballot initiative in Arizona — a crime in the state.  Steyer, an environmentalist billionaire who has spearheaded numerous climate change initiatives across the country, is behind a push to increase Arizona's renewable energy portfolio.  The California activist, through his national NextGen America organization, has completely funded Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona — a group that is campaigning to force utilities to obtain 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2030.  Such a sweeping mandate requires an amendment to the Arizona Constitution, meaning supporters have to collect 225,963 valid voters' signatures by July to make the 2018 ballot.

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?  Over the last year, the media have published story after story after story about the declining price of solar panels and wind turbines.  People who read these stories are understandably left with the impression that the more solar and wind energy we produce, the lower electricity prices will become.  And yet that's not what's happening.  In fact, it's the opposite.

German Solar Industry Crashes And Burns.  The reality is that Germany's green revolution is far from being a model for the world.

Solar Advocates Openly Celebrate Crony Capitalism.  The California Energy Commission just voted unanimously to require new homes to be constructed with solar panels.  Amazingly, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade organization, openly bragged about manipulating the government to force new homes to be equipped with solar panels. [...] Crony capitalism is an unfortunate feature of life, but the shamelessness with which the solar industry acts is truly a sight to behold.

California's Self-Inflicted Housing Disaster Couldn't Get Worse — Or Could It?  California is a virtual one-party state, and suffers for it.  A case in point:  At the final forum for gubernatorial candidates before the June 5 state primary, lavish promises were made by Democratic candidates to build "millions" of new homes to end the state's housing crisis.  But the fact is, California's far-left politicians created the problem, and don't have a clue about how to solve it.  As the headlines above show, the same politicians that vow to build "millions" of new homes to keep state citizens from leaving will now require solar panels on new houses.  They claim that'll add just $9,500 per house, but of course that's way low.  Making homes less affordable is no way to end a housing shortage.

California Bureaucrats Will Soon Require Solar Panels on New Homes:  But Is It Safe?  The California Energy Commission, a group of unelected bureaucrats, is poised to approve new changes to the state building code.  Among these changes is a requirement that all new housing be equipped with rooftop solar panels in an attempt to cut down on fossil-fuel usage and greenhouse gases, which many scientists believe contribute to climate change.  Expected to be approved today [5/10/2018], the change to the building code would take effect in 2020.  Current estimates are that the required solar panels will add an additional cost of $8,000-$12,000 per house.  California would be the first state to make such a requirement, although it is also being discussed in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.

Michigan Initiative Would Restrict Energy Choice.  A citizens' ballot campaign in Michigan aims to force the state to get 30 percent of its electricity from select renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power by 2030.  Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan (CEHM) introduced its "30 by 30" plan in mid-February.  CEHM must collect at least 252,523 valid signatures by August 12 to get on the November ballot.  The ballot initiative is backed by California-based financier and leftist activist Tom Steyer, who has made millions of dollars on coal investments since 1999.  A similar constitutional amendment backed by anti-fossil fuel activists that would have raised Michigan's renewable power mandate to 25 percent by 2025 was rejected in a 62 percent to 38 percent vote in 2012.

California becomes first state to mandate solar panels on new homes.  California has become the first state in the nation to mandate solar panels for all new homes, in a move to cut greenhouse gas emissions that critics say will end up raising home prices in the already expensive market.  In a unanimous 5-0 vote Wednesday [5/9/2018], the California Energy Commission approved the policy.  The regulation will require all homes and apartments built after 2020 to have solar panels, adding an average of roughly $10,000 to construction costs for a single-family home.

California, Land Of The Mandatory Solar Panels.  Thinking of building or purchasing a newly constructed home in California?  Even assuming you can somehow afford to own one in one of the most brutal real estate markets in the country, get ready for the cost to go up further.  The state government is preparing to pass a new law which will mandate that every new house, condo or other building up to three stories high must have solar panels installed and comply with a "net-zero energy" profile.  (This means that they have to produce enough of their own solar power to offset all electricity off the grid and natural gas consumed over the course of a year.)  Even more remarkably, they want everyone to be in compliance in under two years.  What this will do to the California real estate market, particularly for aspiring, low-income homeowners remains a mystery.

California to require solar panels on most new homes.  There's no question that solar power is entering the mainstream, but California is about to give it a giant boost.  The state's Energy Commission is expected to approve new energy standards that would require solar panels on the roofs of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings from 2020 onward.  There will be exemptions for homes that either can't fit solar panels or would be blocked by taller buildings or trees, but you'll otherwise have to go green if your property is brand new.

The tower of power falls short -produces only 30% of capacity.  If we look at the operational Concentrated Solar Power stations of capacity above even only 50 MW in the entire world, this list includes 34 stations, 31 of them are parabolic trough, a much more consolidated and reliable concentrated solar power technology, 1 is Fresnel reflector, and only 2 of them are solar tower.  The 2 power stations are both in the United States, the 377 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and the 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.  As actual electricity production of these plants is available from the United States Energy Information Administration, we may certainly check if the numbers by NREL are right.  As a comparison, we also consider the data of a more reliable concentrated solar power parabolic trough plant similarly recently built, the 250 MW Genesis, that has no thermal energy storage.  For the 377 MW Ivanpah, the planned electricity production was 1,079,232 MWh per year, corresponding to a capacity factor of 32.68%, with minimal support by burning natural gas.

Here are 1,366 well sourced examples of Barack Obama's lies, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc..  [#25] In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs.  However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt.  It was later revealed that the company's shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama's campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.  It was also revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra's financial troubles.  For example, according to the company's security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production.  In 2010, Obama visited the Solyndra factory and cited it as a role model for his "stimulus" program, saying "It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."

Green solar farm is turning an Essex County watershed brown.  Gary McCauley of Essex County knows construction and he knows the Muddy Gut Creek watershed where he's spent most of his 63 years.  Never for a minute did he believe anyone, or any company would be allowed to build in such a way that an untold number of tons of muddy sediment would blast through the ditches, the sleepy creek and into the Rappahannock River, all part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Court Sees if Church Solar Panels Break Electricity Monopoly.  North Carolina's highest court is taking up a case that could force new competition on the state's electricity monopolies.  The state Supreme Court on Tuesday [4/17/2018] will consider the Utilities Commission's decision to fine clean-energy advocacy group NC WARN for putting solar panels on a Greensboro church's rooftop and then charging it below-market rates for power.  The commission told NC WARN that it was producing electricity illegally and fined the group $60,000.  The group said it was acting privately and appealed to the high court.  If the group prevails, it could put new pressure on Duke Energy's monopoly.

Solar panels could be a source of GenX and other perflourinated contaminants.  A scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Friday [2/16/2018] that certain perfluorinated compounds are used in the production of solar panels.  In response to a request from the North State Journal, EPA physical scientist Dr. Mark J. Strynar provided 39 records from the SciFinder database used by the EPA to identify applications of PFAS (perfluorinated alkylated substances) with solar panels.

Solar energy bill killed in legislative surprise.  The South Carolina House has taken a surprise step and killed a solar energy bill that passed a key vote last week.  The bill removing a cap on the amount of solar energy in the state failed to pass Tuesday after opponents had it ruled a property tax increase.

Solar farms receive more cash from green subsidies than selling the energy they produce.  Britain's biggest solar farms receive more cash from green subsidies than from selling the electricity they produce, figures reveal.  Energy producers were encouraged to start solar farms with generous handouts funded by a 'green levy' on taxpayers' bills.  But many of them now make the majority of their cash from the subsidy — instead of the electricity they produce.

Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy.  It increasingly appears that insisting on 100 percent renewable sources — and disdaining others that don't produce greenhouse gases, such as nuclear power and fossil-fuel plants with carbon-capture technology — is wastefully expensive and needlessly difficult.  In the latest piece of evidence, a study published in Energy & Environmental Science determined that solar and wind energy alone could reliably meet about 80 percent of recent US annual electricity demand, but massive investments in energy storage and transmission would be needed to avoid major blackouts.  Pushing to meet 100 percent of demand with these resources would require building a huge number of additional wind and solar farms — or expanding electricity storage to an extent that would be prohibitively expensive at current prices.  Or some of both.

Why Solar and Wind Are Not the Future.  Wind farms were a familiar sight for me as they were an integral part of the landscape near my hometown in southern India.  The general assumption was that these windmills would generate a significant amount of electricity to aid the energy sector that was struggling to meet soaring electricity demand.  However, the wind farms turned out to be a burden, not a boon.  They generated unreliable and expensive electricity that was available only during the windy months of the year.  This is true with wind farms worldwide, which are infamous for killing hundreds of thousands of birds every year.  Much like wind, solar, too, has many limitations.  It harnesses light energy only during the day, subject to weather conditions and cloud cover.  Solar and wind both need battery backup, and despite the falling costs of installation, the technology is far from competing with conventional energy sources.  Today, solar and wind together constitute only 0.8 percent of global energy.  That is an insignificant percentage, given the energy demands of the industrialized world.

Remember when Obama picked the 'winners' and 'losers'?  Obama continually rewarded unsustainable solar and wind companies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies.  A certain small class of hucksters running unsustainable companies such as Solyndra made out like bandits and taxpayers were left on the hook for $500 million.  When the bills were sorted out after the company went bust, the Obama hucksters got paid first, despite mismanaging the company, and taxpayers were left holding the bag.

Farmington council votes against proceeding with solar project.  The Farmington City Council unanimously has voted against moving forward with installing a solar array near the Bluffview Power Plant.  "I really want to go on the record and say I'm not against solar," Councilor Linda Rodgers said during a meeting Tuesday evening [2/27/2018].  "The thing I can't wrap my head around is that it really does not make economic sense."  The councilors said they believe solar will have a place in Farmington's power generation assets, but they do not think the utility should pay twice the amount for solar power that it pays to purchase other power from the market.

How Environmentalists Keep Heating Bills High.  Home heating and electric bills would be much cheaper still for poor families without the so-called renewable-energy standards pushed by greens and liberal politicians at the state and local levels.  The Manhattan Institute has found that states with these wind and solar mandates have had much larger hikes in utility costs than states without them.  New York, which is revving up its green energy policies, charges its residents 40% more for electric power than the national average.

Inconvenient energy fact of the day.  In 2016, solar and wind provided just 0.8% of the total world's energy (Total Primary Energy Demand (TPED)), even after trillions of dollars in taxpayer-extracted subsidies, and will reach only a 3.6% share of energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2017 forecast.  The world's energy future of tomorrow, even almost a quarter century from now in 2040, will look very much like it does today, with fossil fuels supplying the large majority of our energy (81% today vs. 75% in 2040) and renewables playing a relatively minor role as energy sources.

Nations with more renewables have more expensive electricity.  [Scroll down]  Evidently, something else has changed.  Something seismic that wiped out all the bids below $50/MWh.  Perhaps it has something to do with the 2,106 turbines in 79 wind farms that on random windy days might make 4,325MW that didn't exist in Australia in 1999 when electricity was cheap and our total national wind power was 2.3 megawatts?  Another clue might be the 1.8 million new solar PV installations, which theoretically generate 7 gigawatts of electricity at noon on cloudless days if all the panels have been cleaned.  Back in 2007, we had 14MW.  But of course, cause and effect are devilishly difficult.  The one thing we know for sure is that even though sunlight and moving air is free, there is no country on Earth with lots of solar and wind power and cheap electricity.

Grid-Scale Storage of Renewable Energy:  The Impossible Dream.  The utopian ambition for variable renewable energy is to convert it into uniform firm capacity using energy storage.  Here we present an analysis of actual UK wind and solar generation for the whole of 2016 at 30 minute resolution and calculate the grid-scale storage requirement.  In order to deliver 4.6 GW uniform and firm RE supply throughout the year, from 26 GW of installed capacity, requires 1.8 TWh of storage.  We show that this is both thermodynamically and economically implausible to implement with current technology.

How Much Should Taxpayers Invest in Elon Musk?  Few people realize that [Elon] Musk played an important part in the creation of PayPal.  More familiar is Musk's role as the CEO of Tesla, an innovative and increasingly successful auto manufacturer that produces stylish electric cars.  He also helped found SolarCity, one of the leading companies in the United States that manufactures solar panels. [...] Like all celebrated inventors/entrepreneurs, however, Musk has had his share of failures and detractors, and more importantly his successes have always come at a price.  Increasingly, that price is borne by taxpayers, in the form of costly subsidies, tax breaks, and government contracts.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk's companies have received, or will receive, government subsidies and tax breaks totaling $4.9 billion!  It is thus reasonable to ask:  is Elon Musk worthy of such a giant investment of taxpayer dollars?

Green Power is Part Time Power.  24/7 electricity users such as hospitals, trains, factories, refineries, fuel and water pumps, cash registers, infrastructure and mines cannot operate on part-time electricity.  Moreover, every part-time power producer (using sun, wind, batteries, hydro, gas or coal) consumes money full-time for operations, standby, maintenance and replacement.  Each also has to fund its own specialised generators, transmission lines, access roads and workforce.  Electricity becomes both unreliable and expensive, and consumers suffer.  Using taxes, subsidies, dictates and mandates to replace a full-time power producer like coal with up to five part-time power producers only makes sense in the part-time minds that inhabit Greentopia.

Misleading Costs for Wind and Solar.  Recently the media has reported that wind and solar were competitive with coal and natural gas for generating electricity.  The Wall Street Journal, for example, published an article with a headline, Economic impact of wind farms is changing the political dynamics of renewable energy.  These media reports could lead people to believe that wind and solar were competitive with coal-fired and natural gas power plants, which is not the case.  Electricity generated by coal-fired power and natural gas combined cycle power plants remain the lowest cost methods for generating electricity, especially when the unreliability of wind and solar are taken into consideration.

Three N.C. counties call for end to solar tax incentives after rapid spread of sun-soaking energy panels.  At least three eastern North Carolina counties want to end local property tax breaks for solar farms that could stunt the industry's rapid expansion in the region.  Last month, Currituck County passed a resolution — and was joined by Pasquotank and Chowan counties last week — calling on state lawmakers to end the 80 percent tax discount on solar projects.  Rows of sun-soaking silicon panels sit on 2,200 Currituck County acres valued at $210 million, according to the county's resolution.  The solar discount means Currituck receives $210,600 in property taxes instead of more than $1 million.  Pasquotank County is losing more than $420,000 in annual revenue from 508 acres of solar farms, its resolution said.

Puerto Rico Might Ditch Oil to Build New Electric Grid Using Renewable Energies.  With the majority of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million citizens still without power following Hurricane Maria, the commonwealth's government is floating the idea of starting from scratch as it rebuilds — ditching oil dependency and moving toward renewable energies.

The Editor says...
Brilliant idea, because everybody knows windmills and solar panels are impervious to tropical weather.

'I Say:  We Let the Planet Die'.  [Scroll down]  Besides billionaire Al Gore and his carbon credits scam, there are many others who've profited greatly from the green crisis.  Think those turbine windmills are a good thing?  Ask those whose land has been razed to erect these essentially useless bird-killing pinwheels that cost one million dollars each; doesn't matter if they will ever produce enough energy because the government will pay the cost for operating them.  Oops, I mean the taxpayers... Solar panels in cold climates?  Who cares?  One can get tax credits.  Remember Solyndra solar went belly up but somehow only the taxpayers lost money.

Solar Panel Fraud.  Taxpayer-supplied subsidies aren't the only hidden cost faced by those seeking to capture energy from sunlight.  There's no sun shining during nighttime or when clouds and storms arrive leading to little or no gathering of energy.  Partisans for solar power generation have even admitted that constantly redirecting the angle that solar collectors should be stationed is needed if peak efficiency is to be gained, a costly procedure needing constant maintenance.  And the solar power promoters don't like to be reminded that clearing away the snow after a winter storm might be necessary.  Then there are costs associated with storage and transfer of energy acquired during peak hours of sunshine.  And don't forget that manufacturing and installing solar panels plus connecting them electrically and cleaning them regularly isn't inexpensive.  The nation is being inundated with telephone salesmen seeking commitments to acquire solar power capability for single homes.  It's marvelously inexpensive they tell you while not mentioning the huge subsidies being the reason — which means you and your neighbors are really paying for it via taxation.

Hidden consequences of intermittent electricity production.  The high variability of both sun and wind leads to periods of massive overproduction as well as renewable power shortages.  To compensate this, ideally, both storage and backup power should be able to deliver at any moment nearly the full load of the grid.  However, storage at the scale required for a hypothesized 100% renewable system is not feasible with current technologies.  Battery storage is totally insufficient and will need a substantial technological breakthrough. [...] If the outcome of these studies is that the required huge storage systems are unfeasible and that at the same time fossil and nuclear options are rejected, the only solution is to adapt the activity of the society to the availability of electricity and to restrict power availability to part of the population/activities during periods of darkness or absence of wind.  If badly planned, we risk entering a new era where daily life could depend again on the variability of the weather, as it was centuries ago.

7 things you didn't know about where solar energy is headed.  One of the big drawbacks to solar is its intermittency, since solar panels generate electricity only when the sun is shining.  There are exceptions, such as big solar thermal plants.  But those are utility-scale projects the size of small towns.  Typically, smaller solar cells on a single-family home, for example, cannot generate energy when the sun goes down.  Much of the money being spent on research is aimed at solving those fundamental problems with solar electricity, with companies all over the world pushing new technologies to make solar more reliable and cheaper.

The Solar Energy Fraud.  Solar energy is not always a fraud.  If you live off the electric grid, and you have a reasonable amount of sunshine, solar power, backed up by batteries, can be a good option for getting a modest amount of electricity.  It will not be cheap electricity.  Solar is good for powering equipment in remote locations.  It is excellent for powering spacecraft.  It is good for direct heating of swimming pools.  Passive solar in the form of buildings designed to utilize sunshine for warmth and light can save energy.  But, do not think that it is advisable to put solar electricity panels on your roof.  Do not think that it is a good idea for your local utility to build large solar generating farms.  Political influence has created subsidies and mandates that prop up the solar industry.  The money is extracted from taxpayers and utility customers.  The solar industry positions itself as doing a public service by preventing climate change.  Even if you believe the climate change theories, the solar industry is a negligible force against climate change.

Solar [and] Wind Industries [are] Dying as Subsidies Dry Up.  Slowly, deliciously, like a leech starved of blood, the renewable energy industry is withering away and dying.  It can only survive through government enforced subsidies or bribe-incentives.  Once those dry up, so does its trade. [...] The jobs aren't productive ones, the businesses are an ugly manifestation of crony capitalism, and the investors should have realized that in finance there's no such thing as a one way bet.  And in any case the victims of the renewable energy industry's ongoing collapse will be far outnumbered by the victors.  Renewables are, and always have been, a scam perpetrated by the few against the many.

As Zimbabwe's homes go solar, its businesses lag behind.  Old Mutual Zimbabwe Ltd, the country's biggest insurance and property firm, now plans to install up to 20 megawatts of rooftop solar panels on all its commercial buildings over the next two years to help ease a countrywide power crisis that has begun to drag profits down, company officials said.  As state power utility ZESA Holdings struggles to generate enough electricity to meet demand, power outages have hurt businesses in recent years, according to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

Wind and Solar Energy Are Dead Ends.  [I]n terms of generational capacity, wind and solar have grown by leaps and bounds in the last three decades (wind by 24.3% per year since 1990, solar by 46.2% per year since 1990).  However, there are two questions worth asking:  (i) are renewable energies making a difference, and (ii) are they sustainable?  To answer the first question:  No, wind and solar energy have not made a dent in global energy consumption, despite their rapid growth.  In fact, after thirty years of beefy government subsidies, wind power still meets just 0.46% of earth's total energy demands, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).  The data include not only electrical energy, but also energy consumed via liquid fuels for transportation, heating, cooking, etc.  Solar generates even less energy.  Even combined, the figures are minuscule:  wind and solar energy together contribute less than 1% of Earth's energy output.

Study:  Solar Panels a Looming Toxic Crisis.  The solar-energy industry has been touted for years as the environmentally safe alternative.  After all, solar panels merely absorb the sun's energy and transfer it to consumers.  No oily pipelines, no obstructions to the nation's waterways.  But it appears all is not well for fans of the industry.  Discarded solar panels, piling up around the world, are detrimental to the environment, according to a new study by Environmental Progress.

Solar Energy's Dirty Little Secret.  A new study by Environmental Progress warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat.  The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants.  Discarded solar panels, which contain dangerous elements such as lead, chromium, and cadmium, are piling up around the world, and there's been little done to mitigate their potential danger to the environment.

Are we headed for a solar waste crisis?  Last November, Japan's Environment Ministry issued a stark warning:  the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.  Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels.  Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.

Large Solar Performance Reduction Due to Dust.  Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has the potential to diminish solar energy production by direct and indirect radiative forcing as well as by being deposited on solar panel surfaces, thereby reducing solar energy transmittance to photovoltaics. [...] Reductions due to dust and anthropogenic PM are comparable in northern India, whereas over eastern China, anthropogenic PM dominates.  On the basis of current solar generation capacity, PM is responsible for ~1 and ~11 GW of solar power reduction in India and China, respectively, underscoring the large role that PM plays in reducing solar power generation output.

Toxic Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power.  $71 billion (in 2007 dollars) [was spent] to safely and permanently dispose of the entire inventory of 109,300 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel.  That would be $84 billion in 2017 USD.  According to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy June 2017, from 1965-2016, US nuclear generating stations produced 26,386 TWh of electricity (26.4 trillion kWh).  $84 billion divided by 26.4 trillion kWh is $0.0032/kWh... 1/3 of one penny per kWh to dispose of the entire inventory of high-level nuclear waste.  If solar panels and the rest of the toxic waste associated with solar installations could be compacted in such a manner that they could be disposed of in deep boreholes, the cost would be greater than $1.00/kWh (300 × $0.0032 = $0.96 plus the cost of compacting the panels, etc.).  So... Why would anyone in their right mind prefer solar over nuclear power?

Solar Power Stops Working Well When It's Hot Outside.  Don't expect recent heat waves hitting the southwest to make solar panels produce more energy, according to an industry representative.  High temperatures decrease a photovoltaic solar cell's output by between 10 and 25 percent, Stuart Fox, a vice president at the green energy company CivicSolar, told The San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday.  Research indicates that a solar panel's power output drops by 1.1 percent for every 1.8 degree rise in temperature above 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and solar panels can get much hotter than that.  "If you take a glass solar shingle and lay it on the roof, there's no air going behind it, so it might get a lot hotter — it might get to 140 or 160 degrees Fahrenheit," Fox told The Chronicle.

Trump's Interior Secretary Calls Obama-Backed Solar Project A 'Sphere Of Death' For Birds.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he's not against any one form of energy, but still took the time during a recent speech to highlight how green energy from solar panels and wind turbines comes with an environmental cost.  "You know wind chops up around 650- or 750,000 birds a year," Zinke said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.  "Wind comes at a cost.  If you're a fisherman, offshore wind isn't particularly enamored with because it prevents you from fishing which is an important part of our economy."

The Appalling Delusion of 100 Percent Renewables, Exposed.  he idea that the U.S. economy can be run solely with renewable energy — a claim that leftist politicians, environmentalists, and climate activists have endlessly promoted — has always been a fool's errand.  And on Monday, the National Academy of Sciences published a blockbuster paper by an all-star group of American scientists that says exactly that.  The paper, by Chris Clack, formerly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado Boulder, and 20 other top scientists, appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  It decimates the work of Mark Jacobson, the Stanford engineering professor whose wildly exaggerated claims about the economic and technical viability of a 100 percent renewable-energy system has made him a celebrity (he appeared on David Letterman's show in 2013) and the hero of Sierra Clubbers, Bernie Sanders, and Hollywood movie stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio.

Renewable energy cost and reliability claims exposed and debunked.  A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) from NOAA's Earth System Laboratory, Boulder Colorado exposes and debunks the contrived claims of a recent renewable energy study which falsely alleged that low cost and reliable 100% renewable energy electric grids are possible.  The new paper concludes that the prior study is based upon significant modeling inadequacies, is "poorly executed" and contains "numerous shortcomings" and "errors" making it "unreliable as a guide about the likely cost, technical reliability, or feasibility of a 100% wind, solar and hydroelectric power system."

Buyer beware on solar panel scams.  Americans for Limited Government Foundation just released a report titled, "Shedding Light on Solar Electricity," which examined reported problems with the solar industry across the nation.  The report concluded that, "Consumers have a right to know the facts before they decide to have solar panels installed on their homes.  Too many times, unscrupulous solar industry employees have omitted these facts or, intentionally or unintentionally, misled potential customers."  As the report's author, I was surprised by the scams and problems that customers all across the nation have had to deal with after agreeing to have solar panels installed.  For example, some consumers have been ripped off by contractors who collected deposits on solar panels but never installed them.  A number of solar customers have not received the rebates they were due because they were stolen by the contractor.  Many customers have not seen the savings on their utility bills that they were promised, while others who have signed solar leases have experienced problems with selling or refinancing their homes.  Those who signed a lease for solar panels and then tried to get a reverse mortgage have learned it is not possible.

Shedding Light on Solar Electricity.  In recent years, many people have been victimized by unscrupulous solar companies and employees.  For example, customers have been falsely promised government rebates, savings on their electric bills, improved home values, and that solar panels would not cause problems with selling their home or refinancing it.  The lack of complete and correct information has cost many customers money and caused a lot of frustration.  When homeowners are contemplating having solar panels installed on their homes, they need to consider a nearly-dizzying list of factors: the technology, the costs — both upfront and ongoing — the risks, the incentives, the condition and location of their homes, their neighborhood rules, their energy consumption, their finances, the length of time they plan to keep their home, the zoning laws, the climate, the placement of the system, the quality and stability of the installation company, the necessary permits, the warranties, as well as potential savings and other rewards.

Subsidy-driven solar industry a bubble waiting to burst.  A recent report issued by Americans for Limited Government Foundation chronicled on-going consumer complaints and problems across America due to shady sales and marketing practices that run rampant throughout the highly subsidized solar panel industry.  A Duncanville, Texas, man spent $18,000 on solar panels for his home and was shocked to discover that he only saved $177 on his electricity bill over the course of a full year, not exactly the savings that were promised.

Angry Duncanville man saves $177 on $18,000 solar investment.  Unfortunately, tensions between solar companies and customers have become a thing.  Last year, members of both political parties in Congress complained to federal regulators about deceptive sales tactics in the industry.  Customers become entangled in hurtful leasing contracts.  In response to such powerful criticism, the industry's association has embarked on a major offensive to clean up its act before federal regulators do.

"Fast Moving Clouds": The Latest Excuse for a Government Funded Solar Bankruptcy.  What do you say when the government demands to know what happened to all the public money they lent to your failed solar business?

SolarWorld says it's insolvent; fate of Hillsboro factory unclear.  SolarWorld AG, the German parent of a major solar factory in Hillsboro, said Wednesday that it cannot cover its debts and will file for insolvency.  It's unclear what will happen to the company's Oregon operation, which taxpayers have supported with tax breaks worth tens of millions of dollars.  SolarWorld Americas employs 800 on its 103-acre campus in Washington County, and is a big customer for a number of suppliers in the region.

Europe's Biggest Solar Company Goes Up In Smoke.  Germany's SolarWorld, once Europe's biggest solar power equipment group, said on Wednesday [5/10/2017] it would file for insolvency, overwhelmed by Chinese rivals who had long been a thorn in the side of founder and CEO Frank Asbeck, once known as "the Sun King".  A renewed wave of cheap Chinese exports, caused by reduced ambitions in China to expand solar power generation, was too much to bear for the group, which made its last net profit in 2014.

Facing the Realities of Renewable Energy.  Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert light directly into electricity.  Sunlight causes electrons in a semiconductor junction to make a quantum leap from one energy state to a higher one.  Most systems convert about 15 percent of the solar energy into electrical energy, with higher efficiency rates coming at much higher costs.  Given the varying sun angles, clouds, and the darkness of night, PV arrays produce less than 20 percent of their full-sunlight capacity.  PV arrays can be valuable in sunny locales where grid power is not available, such as isolated African villages, and for highway warning signs and remote cell towers.  At present, the cost of electricity from PV is far in excess of the wholesale cost of electricity from conventional sources, and the grid-PV industry cannot survive without massive subsidies.

Congress Asked To Eliminate $270 Million A Year In Solar Subsidies.  Conservative groups wrote a letter to Congress Tuesday asking lawmakers on the appropriations committee to eliminate a solar subsidy program worth $270 million.  Conservatives want Congress to pull funding from the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, citing recent investigations that found the program provided subsidies for rooftop solar power.  The letter calls SunShot the "ground zero of the solar subsidy machine," arguing that it gives out millions of dollars in subsidies through net metering programs.  Such programs force utilities to buy the electricity from rooftop solar panels at up to six times the market price, effectively forcing non-solar residents to pay more to maintain the grid.

Batteries: Another green scam.  The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but would be absurdly inefficient and expensive. [...] Both wind and solar are unpredictable, unreliable, intermittent, and weather-dependent energy sources.  They require large collection areas with a cobweb of access roads and transmission lines.  Their output can change suddenly and cannot be managed easily to meet demand fluctuations.  They need flexible backup power able to swing in quickly to maintain stability and supply.  Gas provides the easiest back-up for green energy, but gas exploration is banned in many areas of NSW, SAust and the whole of gas-rich Victoria.  Canny residents of the green states are now investing in diesel generators.

Solar Panels Increased Emissions of a Gas 17,200 Times More Potent Than CO2.  Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is a key chemical agent used to manufacture photovoltaic cells for solar panels, suggesting government subsidies and tax credits for solar panels may be a driving factor behind the 1,057 percent in NF3 over the last 25 years.  In comparison, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions only rose by about 5 percent during the same time period.  NF3 emissions have rapidly increased in Asia as well due to its rapidly growing solar panel market, and researchers think that many nations are under-reporting their NF3 emissions by roughly a factor of 4.5.  NF3 emissions are 17,200 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100 year time period.

In New York, Wind And Solar Get Double Their Value In Subsidies.  New York state is paying 11 large wind and solar power projects two times more in subsidies than the projects actually generate in electricity. [...] State officials are handing out the equivalent of $24.24 per megawatt-hour over the next 20 years to the 11 projects.  Wind turbines can get an additional $23 per megawatt-hour in federal tax credits.  The electricity generated by these 11 projects, however, will only sell for an average of $16.25 per megawatt-hour, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

Duke Energy says solar power will cost N.C. customers $1 billion too much.  Federal law requires electric utilities to buy the power generated by qualified renewable-energy projects including solar.  Utilities pay prices equal to the "avoided" costs of not building traditional power plants, such as the natural gas-fired units Duke is building in the Carolinas.  Because those costs change over time, the North Carolina Utilities Commission resets them every two years.  In filings this week, Duke said its actual avoided costs have dropped — largely because of falling fuel prices for natural gas — to $35 per megawatt-hour of energy.  But it's paying solar developers $55 to $85 under long-term contracts based on avoided costs the commission previously set.

The comeback of coal.  America was built on coal.  Fossil fuels, following the demise of windmills and the like as the sources of inefficient production of electricity, provided the spark that ignited American industry and made it the industrial leader of the world, and kept it the leader for more than a century and a half.  "America," said Winston Churchill on the eve of World War II, "is a mighty boiler, and once alight there is no limit on what it can produce."  Coal fired that boiler.  Despite an eight-year assault on coal by fanatics who dream of an America cut down to size, coal is still responsible for almost a third of America's electricity.  Wind and solar power, despite enormous subsidies of more than $100 billion over the last decade, still produce less than 5 percent of America's energy.

Solar Inconvenient Truth:  Ivanpah Plant a Big Fossil Fuel User.  The BrightSource Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility, which uses 320,000 mirrors to create thermal energy, still qualifies under state rules as an alternative energy source, despite using about 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, according to a report by the Press Telegram.  The California Air Resources Board's most recent analysis reportedly found that during Ivanpah's second year of operation, carbon emissions from gas, used to focus Ivanpah's mirrors at night, jumped by 48.4 percent, to 68,676 metric tons.  The joint venture between BrightSource Energy, NRG, Google and Bechtel was approved by the Obama administration as its biggest alternative-energy project on public lands.  The project also received $1.6 billion in taxpayer loan guarantees, and $600 million in federal tax credits, to reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year.

The "Wind and Solar Will Save Us" Delusion.  The "Wind and Solar Will Save Us" story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons.  Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies.  This short list will not include fossil fuels.  Some would exclude nuclear, as well.  Without these energy types, we find ourselves with a short list of types of energy — what BP calls Hydroelectric, Geobiomass (geothermal, wood, wood waste, and other miscellaneous types; also liquid fuels from plants), Wind, and Solar.  Unfortunately, a transition to such a short list of fuels can't really work.

Green Energy is a Charter For Crooks And Liars.  The Scam Must End Now.  When is the rest of the Western world going to catch up with Donald Trump and point out that the green emperor is wearing no clothes?  I ask as a concerned UK taxpayer absolutely sick to death of the vast sums of money that continue to be funnelled into the pockets of crooks, liars, spivs, chancers, con-artists and fantasists in the name of solving the non-existent problem of "climate change."

Currituck temporarily bans solar farms while working on problems posed by existing projects.  Currituck County officials have imposed a two-month moratorium on building solar farms over concerns raised about the largest array in the eastern United States already under way here.  Residents have complained to county commissioners about a 2,000-acre site under construction in Moyock that will be filled with the mirrored-glass panels.  Fears have arisen over safety if a hurricane or tornado began blowing broken glass from the panels around.

Obama Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars.  Obama came into office like a starry-eyed dreamer.  He promised a vast network of high-speed rail, a "smart" electric grid, a million electric cars on the roads, a "clean energy economy" creating millions of new green jobs.  And he spent lavishly to realize this dream. [...] Obama has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing windmills and solar plants as part of his vision of a "clean energy" future.  But despite his repeated claims about a huge increase in renewable energy production, renewables today make up just 11% of the nation's total energy production, according to the Energy Information Administration.  In mid-1983, the share of energy production comprised of renewables was... 11%.

100 trees felled for solar project in office park.  A company that manages an office park on Garret Mountain plans to build a large array of solar panel canopies over its parking lots that will generate enough energy to power two buildings on the site.  To make way for the canopies, the company recently cut down more than 100 trees in the grassy medians between rows of parking spaces on the property, near Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park.  Putting a solar array on commercial property is part of a larger trend in New Jersey, one that is greatly encouraged by environmental groups wherever there is room to harness the sun's energy.  But the environmental irony in this case is hard to miss.

President Obama's Final Green Spending Spree.  President Obama's administration appears to be pushing out a final hundred million dollars in grants to foreign green projects, ahead of the January 20th handover to the new Trump administration.

OPIC and Renew Power Ventures Sign Commitment for 100 Megawatt Solar Farm in India.  The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, signed a commitment with ReNew of approximately $74 million for a 100 MW solar project in the Indian state of Telangana.  Announced during the 22nd session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22), this project will diversify the country's power generation mix with a clean source of renewable power and help the country reduce GHG emissions.

It's Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism.  The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.  SolarCity, a solar installation company set to be purchased by Tesla Motors Inc., is one of the seven companies named in the initial investigation.  Already grossly subsidized, Musk's SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars.

Hillary Clinton's big ideas for tanking the US economy.  [#3] Subsidize 500 million solar panels.  We tried these green-energy handouts under President Obama, and they failed.  Remember Solyndra?  That firm received some $500 million of taxpayer dollars and then went belly up.  The Institute for Energy Research estimates a price tag of $200 billion for these solar panels.  That's more than it cost to put a man on the moon during the Apollo project.  Let the free market pick the next great energy source, which may be clean-burning natural gas.

An examination of Future Energy Scenarios - Cost of Supply.  Despite having installed more than 38GW of renewable energy generating capacity in the last decade, we have reached a capacity crisis.  There is no hard evidence that this push for renewables has been an effective way to reduce CO2 emissions, and the cost has certainly been very large.  [...] Although we hear that the cost of renewable energy is coming down and, in some cases, can reach parity with conventional sources, this is misleading since it relates purely to the cost of generation and takes no account of necessary additional costs, particularly transmission and backup.  The scenarios envisaged by National Grid necessarily inflate the cost of electricity, in part because the gas generating plant needed for backup (with the impending closure of coal-fired stations, the sole use of fossil fuel in the system) have to operate at very low efficiency.

Green Overload.  The governor wants to make New York a "national leader" by having renewables provide 50 percent of the state's electricity by 2030 — a goal also known as "50 by 30" — while keeping unprofitable nuclear plants running. [...] The 50 by 30 mandate will require the expansion of solar- and wind-generated power production on a massive and unprecedented scale — without providing needed improvements to an already strained electric transmission system.  The PSC also failed to consider the added conventional generating capacity needed to back up renewables when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing.

Clouds gather in rooftop solar's biggest U.S. market.  California for years has required utilities to purchase excess rooftop solar power, paying homeowners in credits that lower their utility bills.  But this so-called "net-metering" mandate capped the number of people who qualified for the most attractive incentive.

Banks Question Cost of Chile's Renewable Energy Revolution.  The renewable energy companies that are promising the cheapest electricity in Chile's history may have overreached themselves as banks and investors balk at the risks. [...] The early signs of trouble are already there.  Four of the five companies that won contracts at an earlier auction in 2015 won't be ready to supply the electricity next year as pledged, despite having won contracts at an average price of $79.30 a megawatt-hour, compared with the average $47.50 a megawatt-hour at this year's auction.  Solarpack has transferred its contract to supply 100 gigawatt-hours to First Solar Inc. and will not build the two solar plants it had planned.  Ibereolica SL won a 195 gigawatt-hours contract, but will not be ready until April 2017, four months later than expected.

Rooftop Solar Companies Struggling to Stay Afloat.  According to a report by The New York Times, many people who have installed solar panels on their homes in the hopes of saving money on their electricity bills while protecting the environment are not experiencing the savings they were promised when they signed up, and many have yet to receive an adequate explanation from solar power companies that reveals why the savings have not materialized.  The Times story focusses on the deteriorating relationship between Fort Worth, Texas-based solar panel installer Global Efficient Energy (GEE) and its customers.  "I am surprised and pleased the Times has addressed this issue," said Marita Noon, executive director of the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy.  "I addressed it in my report Solar Power in the U.S., and I can assure you GEE is not the only company with unhappy customers.

Solar Generated Less Than 1% of U.S. Electricity in First Half of 2016.  Solar energy accounted for less than one percent of the total electricity generated in the U.S. during the first six months of 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest Monthly Energy Review.  Table 7.2a of the report shows that the U.S. generated a total of 1,951,350 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity from January through June of this year.  But solar-generated electricity made up only a small fraction of the total.

How Intermittent Renewables Are Harming the Grid.  [Scroll down]  In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today.  There are too many costs outside building the devices themselves.  It is these secondary costs that are problematic.  Also, the presence of intermittent electricity disrupts competitive prices, leading to electricity prices that are far too low for other electricity providers, including those providing electricity using nuclear or natural gas.  The tiny contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to low prices.

This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year.  A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke against the blue desert sky.  Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle:  "Streamers."  And the image-conscious owners of the 390-megawatt plant say they are trying everything they can think of to stop the slaughter.

Senators Demand Treasury Report on Investigation of Solar Companies.  The Obama administration gave Solyndra more than $535 million in federal loan guarantees as part of the administration's green-energy initiatives, but the company declared bankruptcy in September 2011.  Solyndra was not the only green-energy company to collapse after receiving federal tax credits, subsidies, or loan guarantees.  In 2012, Abound Solar declared bankruptcy after receiving more than $400 million in federal loan guarantees.  Abound Solar had knowingly sold underperforming solar panels for years, and when it closed its doors, it left behind piles of toxic, defective solar panels that were later covered in concrete and buried.  Spanish green-energy giant Abengoa, which has received more than $2 billion in federal and state taxpayer support, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in late March.  In April, SunEdison — one of the most government-subsidized companies in the United States and the self-proclaimed "largest green energy company" — filed for bankruptcy.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating its financial dealings.

House GOP to Energy Department: Where are the green jobs?  The 2009 stimulus package gave $15 billion to the DOE's 1705 loan program.  However, the program suffered from three major bankruptcies[:]  The first major bankruptcy was Solyndra which got a $535 million loan guarantee and filed for bankruptcy in August 2011.  It was especially controversial since the company had substantial political connections.  Solyndra investor and billionaire George Kaiser — an Obama supporter — as well as other Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to President Obama's election campaign.  Next, Beacon Power declared Bankruptcy in October 2011 after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee along with another $29 million from the federal government and the state of Pennsylvania.  Abound Solar declared bankruptcy last year after drawing down on $70 million of a $400 million loan guarantee.  A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation later revealed that Abound was selling underperforming solar panels.

Can Solar Power Survive Without Government Subsidies?  Sunworks CEO Jim Nelson is not getting caught up in the political and environmental debate over clean energy versus fossil fuels, but rather focusing on the economics of solar energy.  "I don't see solar as a clean energy play and something that we ought to worry about as far as culture or what's in vogue or a cool president or whatever else.  It's really about economics.  If the economics of solar work, then it's a competitive business that ought to be paid attention to," Nelson told the FOX Business Network's Charles Payne.

Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources.  The LCOE-E framework allows for cost comparisons that are relevant for today's energy policymakers.  For example, when all known costs are accurately included in the LCOE calculations, we find that existing coal ($39.9), nuclear ($29.1), and hydroelectric resources ($35.4) are about one-third of the cost of new wind resources ($107.4) on average and one-fourth of the cost of new PV solar resources ($140.3).  By increasing the transparency of the costs associated with policies favoring new resources over existing conventional resources, we hope to inform policymakers with the best available data and raise the level of the electricity policy debate.

VA Drops Millions on Delayed Solar Power Projects.  The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities in recent years, despite many of the projects experiencing significant delays and some of the systems not becoming operational at all.  The VA has failed to effectively plan and manage these solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs, according to a report released by the agency's inspector general last week.  The watchdog conducted an audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013 that were still in progress as of May last year.  The investigation, which was completed in March, found that only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

Blinded By The Sun .  We are constantly being bombarded with feel-good stories about wind and solar power generation and, indeed, billions of dollars have been expended worldwide on these boondoggles.  This has produced little in the way of practical, base-load power, it has certainly spawned an endless supply of studies telling us how good renewables will be for the economy.  This alleged benefit is said to be over and above those technologies' CO2-curbing potential.  Trouble is, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) tells us that, in 2010, renewables made up only 20% of global electricity production, of which 16% was from hydroelectricity.  Wind power contributed 1.4% and solar less than 1%.

Germany Votes To Abandon Most Green Energy Subsidies .  Germany's legislature voted Friday [7/8/2016] to sharply cut back on subsidies and other financial incentives supporting green energy due to the strain wind and solar power placed on the country's electricity grid.  Germany's government plans to replace most of the subsidies for local green energy with a system of competitive auctions where the cheapest electricity wins.  The average German pays 39 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity due to intense fiscal support for green energy.  The average American only spends 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Low Energy.  [Scroll down]  In the late 70's, everyone new that in the future, cars would be electric and be charged by solar panels.  Every house would have a rooftop solar generator.  Fossil fuels would go away entirely.  The fact that none of this happened did not stop the dreamers from dusting off the solar fantasy again in the 2000's.  I'm not sure, but I think the last big solar panel plant in the US shut down last year.

Wind and Solar Power Simply Don't Work.  [Scroll down]  The problem we have in Australia is when we talk renewable energy we are talking wind and solar only — low value, expensive, unreliable, high capital cost, land hungry, intermittent energy.  According to the Department of Industry and Science wind currently generates 4.1 percent and solar 2 percent of Australia's electricity.  But even this is highly misleading because it is such low value power.  You could close it down tomorrow (which it regularly does by itself) and it would make no difference to supply.  If we talk about total energy, as opposed to just electricity, wind and solar represent 1 percent of Australia's energy consumption.  This despite billions of dollars of investment, subsidies, creative tariffs, mandates, and so on.

Despite Huge Investments, Renewable Energy Isn't Winning.  For hydrocarbon doomsayers, there's good news and bad news.  In 2015, there were record investments in renewable energy, and record capacity was added, much of it in emerging economies.  Yet despite the huge investment, the global share of fossil fuels is not shrinking very fast.  Renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal still account for a tiny share of energy production, and there are factors that may inhibit their growth in the next few years.  REN21, the international renewable energy association backed by the United Nations Environment Program, has summarized impressive developments in the sector in 2015.  Total investment in renewable power and fuels reached $285.9 billion, an all-time record, and renewable power capacity, including hydropower, increased by 148 gigawatts — another record — to 1.8 terawatts.  For the sixth consecutive year, investment in new renewable capacity was higher than in hydrocarbon-burning power plants.

NECN Investigates:  Solar Panel Dangers.  Firefighters may not rush into your burning home or business as quickly if there are solar panels on top.  "Any kind of delay can affect our ability to rescue people or our ability to extinguish the fire," said Chief Jeffrey Winward of the fire department in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Winward says crews may take longer to assess a scene before going in because he'd rather see a structure burn to the ground than put firefighters at risk of electrocution.  "It is enough to seriously injure or kill someone," he said.

Congress Demands Treasury Department Report on Solar Companies Investigation.  The Obama administration gave Solyndra a federal loan guarantee of more than $535 million as part of the administration's green-energy initiatives, but in September 2011 the company declared bankruptcy.  Solyndra was not the only green-energy company to collapse after receiving federal tax credits, subsidies, or loan guarantees.  In 2012, Abound Solar declared bankruptcy after receiving more than $400 million in federal loan guarantees.  Abound Solar had knowingly sold underperforming solar panels for years, and when it closed its doors, it left behind piles of toxic, defective solar panels that were later covered in concrete and buried.  Spanish green-energy giant Abengoa, which has received more than $2 billion in federal and state taxpayer support, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in late March.  In April, SunEdison — one of the most government-subsidized companies in the United States and the self-proclaimed "largest green energy company" — filed for bankruptcy.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating its financial dealings.

Wind and solar a waste of money for UK, Prof Sir David MacKay said in final interview.  Wind turbines and solar panels are a waste of money if Britain wants reliable low carbon electricity supplies through the winter, the late Professor Sir David MacKay said in his final interview. [...] He criticised the "appalling delusion" that renewable sources of power could simply be scaled up and paired with battery storage to provide all the UK's energy needs, citing the high costs and large areas of land that would be required.

The Dangers of Building Residential Solar Come to Light in Nevada.  You might think that all solar companies are essentially the same, installing solar systems on rooftops or open fields where there's an abundance of sunlight.  But the reality is that how solar companies do business varies widely across the industry, and knowing how a company is positioned and where the industry is headed can mean the difference between making a profitable investment and a losing one.  Recent news that Vivint Solar, the second largest residential solar company in the U.S., is pulling out of Nevada after just two weeks shows one of the risks solar companies face.

Germany Runs Up Against the Limits of Renewables.  At one point this month renewable energy sources briefly supplied close to 90 percent of the power on Germany's electric grid.  But that doesn't mean the world's fourth-largest economy is close to being run on zero-carbon electricity.  In fact, Germany is giving the rest of the world a lesson in just how much can go wrong when you try to reduce carbon emissions solely by installing lots of wind and solar.  After years of declines, Germany's carbon emissions rose slightly in 2015, largely because the country produces much more electricity than it needs.  That's happening because even if there are times when renewables can supply nearly all of the electricity on the grid, the variability of those sources forces Germany to keep other power plants running.

The Energy Return of Solar PV.  A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83.  If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime.  A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make electricity.  Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period.

ERoEI for Beginners.  The Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI or EROI) of any energy gathering system is a measure of that system's efficiency.  The concept was originally derived in ecology and has been transferred to analyse human industrial society.  In today's energy mix, hydroelectric power ± nuclear power have values greater than 50.  At the other end of the scale, solar PV and biofuels have values less than 5.

Lessons from technology development for energy and sustainability.  [Scroll down]  Solar at present without large-scale storage could only provide about 5% of the electricity needs averaged over a year and require city scale areas.  Only nuclear energy and fossil fuels are available now and only some form of carbon capture and sequestration might make any difference to carbon emissions by 2050 for megacities.  Once exceptions in the decarbonization project are made for megacities, the integrity of the debate on decarbonization is lost. [...] The present renewable energy sources cannot empower most of the world's large city population now, and will provide for a smaller fraction of the megacity population in 2050.  The initial schemes of large-scale projects such as Desertec have been abandoned by investors not convinced by the returns or the required decades of political stability needed to secure those returns.

Why Solar Energy Is Bad for the Environment.  Everyone knows that solar energy is unreliable and expensive.  The point that isn't made often enough (although Steve has written about it here on quite a few occasions) is that solar energy is also bad for the environment.  Which raises the question, what, then, is it good for?

No "Major Scandal" in Obama Administration?  Solar panel business Solyndra received more than half a billion dollars as part of the administration's green energy program, before going bankrupt.  Its executives took substantial bonuses before the layoffs began.  And, a Solyndra investor was also a major bundler for Obama, demonstrating a conflict of interest when the administration refused to turn over more documents as part of a Congressional investigation.  And yes, the [Washington] Post reported on its front page that the Obama administration had asked the company to "delay announcing it would lay off workers until after the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections that imperiled Democratic control of Congress."  But NPR ran an article last year victoriously announcing that "Now that the loan program is turning a profit, those critics are silent" — as if that had anything to do with the crony capitalism of the Solyndra scandal.

5 environmentalist ideas that have spectacularly backfired.  [#1]  Solar power:  Getting energy from the sun is one of the green lobby's favorite ideas, despite the fact that solar power isn't particularly cost-effective or efficient.  Now add another downside to the list:  bird killings.  Turns out a solar plant in the Mojave Desert that reflects concentrated sun rays with gigantic mirrors has become a virtual death ray for unlucky avian passers-over.  Workers at the plant reportedly call the birds "streamers" for the visible smoke that's produced when they vaporize above the plant.  Estimates for the death toll thus far range from 1,000 to 28,000.  The plant cost $2.2 billion to build and activists are now urging the plant's owner to halt construction on an even bigger solar fryer.

Ivanpah Solar Plant Catches Fire, But Taxpayers Get Burned.  When Ivanpah started operations in 2014, the Department of Energy hailed its "innovative power-tower technology" and credited $1.6 billion in federal subsidized loans — as well as hundreds of millions in tax credits — for making the 4,000-acre solar plant a reality.  It's been pretty much downhill for Ivanpah ever since.  The latest problem for the plant — which is owned by BrightSource Energy Inc., NRG Energy and Alphabet Inc.'s Google — came last week when it literally set itself on fire.

Obama-Backed Solar Plant Literally Incinerates Itself.  The world's largest solar energy plant known for incinerating birds just got a taste of its own medicine.  A fire at the plant Thursday morning [5/19/2016], which may have been caused by "misaligned" mirrors used to reflect sunlight at boiler towers, broke out in the facility's interior — literally scorching parts of the plant.  NRG Energy, the company operating the Ivanpah solar plant in southern California, was forced to shut down one of its generating towers and is investigating if mirrors, or heliostats, failed and torched a boiling tower.  Now, the plant, which got $1.6 billion from the Obama administration, will only be able to generate electricity from one of its three towers.

Germany basically had to pay people to use electricity Sunday.  Germany hit a new milestone in renewable energy on Sunday [5/15/2016], generating so much power at one point that customers were essentially being paid to turn on their lights or charge their phones.  Quartz reports that around 1pm Sunday, about 87 percent of the power being used in Germany was coming from wind, solar, hydro, and biomass power plants.  In 2015, the average was 33 percent.  There was so much power being produced that the cost of electricity briefly dropped to -$149 per megawatt-hour, according to the Independent.

Economics Can't Support the New "Solar Economy".  [Scroll down]  Analysts will tell everyone that solar leasing is a bad deal for homeowners.  For those who are truly dedicated to greening their home with solar energy, the good move is to purchase the panels, not lease them.  The leasing model is a complicated scam by the solar corporations as a way to take minimal up-front risk and profit for years and years off of homeowners.  What the net metering pricing fights have revealed is that much of the solar leasing business model is unsustainable without central regulators setting artificially high prices for net metering buy-back.  When Nevada lowered their net metering prices from what's called the "retail rate" (the rate that customers buy from the power company) to the "wholesale rate" (the bulk rate for power generation), many solar leasing companies protested.  Some exited the market entirely.

The Nuclear Reaction.  In 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called for a reduction of 32 percent in the 2005 levels of carbon dioxide emissions. [...] The EPA guidelines were not written with global warming in mind.  Nuclear power is already the greatest source of clean electricity in the United States and could largely eliminate fossil fuels by 2030.  The guidelines seem designed to increase the use of solar and wind energy in the United States, though they will also increase the use of greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting natural gas.  But wind and solar energy do not provide completely clean electricity.  They are variable renewable energy (VRE) sources, both low in concentration and intermittent.  It takes resources to collect and concentrate them, and even more resources to make them available on demand.

Why EU renewable energy figures are misleading:
Europe requires 150% renewable energy to become fossil-free.  The EU has a target of 20% renewable energy in 2020. In 2014, 16% was reached and thus, it has been concluded that the EU is well on its way to achieve the target.  After all, thousands of wind turbines are being built in our countryside and millions of solar panels are being installed on our rooftops.  I assume that many readers of Energy Post are aware of the 16% level that we are supposed to have reached.  But I wonder whether they have ever tried to find out how this percentage was calculated?  I did — and it turned out to be far from straightforward.

Officials Vote for Mandatory Solar Panels on New Buildings in San Francisco.  This week, a new law mandating the installation of solar panels on new buildings was passed with a unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  The new bill, which goes into effect in January 2017, requires that all new buildings — commercial or residential — be fixed with solar panels if the building stands at 10 stories or less.  Builders are required to ensure that at least 15% of the roof on new structures be "solar ready," meaning they cannot be shaded or obstructed from sunlight.

What's the Point of a Solar Plane?  [Scroll down]  Any regular reader knows full well that I only write mockingly of both wind and solar and the people who promote such folly.  And that is exactly what this round-the-world (assuming they make it) trip is — folly.  Mr. Piccard and his 60 man (and woman and probably other unspecified genders) team can dream all they like of no fuel and no pollution until the methane-emitting cows come home, but the practical use of something like this is exactly ZERO.  So far the project has cost approximately $170 million.  $170 million to develop a mammoth aircraft which holds one person and that one person must be able to fly the thing and is relegated to a tiny cabin which is not pressurized, or heated or air conditioned.  There's some luxury accommodations for you.  And it's taken them 12 years just to get this far.

Crony Capitalism and the Spigot of Government Subsidies.  SolarCity got over $300 million in federal grants and tax incentives, in addition to state and local subsidies meant to create an artificial demand for solar energy.  In a funny twist, the company even moved in to old office space from Solyndra, the bankrupt crony solar panel company run by large donors to President Barack Obama's campaigns and subsidized by the infamous Department of Energy's 1705 loan program.

Renewables are useless: The Evidence is Overwhelming.  Al Gore has a problem.  He seems to want people to believe that only climate skeptics oppose renewables.  The truth is, a small but growing number of prominent greens, openly acknowledge that renewables in their current form are not a scalable replacement for fossil fuels.

Pelosi's Husband Invested in Solar Firm Weeks Before Lucrative Expansion.  House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's husband bought up to a quarter million dollars of stock in a now financially troubled green energy company just weeks before it announced a major 2014 acquisition that sent stock prices soaring, public records show.  SunEdison told regulators last week that it is eyeing bankruptcy under the weight of $11.7 million in debt.  But in late 2014, investors were bullish on the company, which manufactures and operates solar and wind power facilities.  Its 2014 purchase of wind energy company First Wind "further bolstered the reputation of the company," wrote one market-watcher at the time.  "Perhaps unsurprisingly, SunEdison's stock soared an astounding 29% on news of this acquisition alone."

Another Taxpayer-Funded Solar-Energy Company Fails.  The collapse of a Spanish-based multinational renewable energies company could cause election-year embarrassment not only to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic Party, but also to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi, through their ties to Goldman Sachs.  Announced Tuesday [5/12/2016], Seville-headquartered renewables multinational firm Abengoa plans to sell off four solar photovoltaic power plants in Spain for a collective value of $65.13 million, $57.26 million and a net cash flow of $13.9 million, helping the company meet its debt-restructuring targets set out in its feasibility plan.

Rooftop solar companies will only play if the game is stacked in their favor.  Even with the benefit of tax credits, low-interest loans, and cash grants that state and federal governments have bestowed on them, the solar industry is struggling.  We've seen Abengoa — which I've followed for years — file for bankruptcy.  Ivanpah, the world's biggest solar power tower project in the California desert, is threatened with closure due to underperformance.  Then there is SunEdison, the biggest renewable energy developer in the world.  It's on the verge of bankruptcy as its stock price plunged from more than $30 to below $.50 — a more than 90 percent drop in the past year.  All of these recent failures magnify the solar industry's black eye that first swelled up nearly five years ago with the Solyndra bankruptcy.  Worried about self-preservation, and acting in its own best interest — rather than that of consumers specifically, and America in general — industry groups have sprung up to defend the favored-status energy policies and attack anyone who disagrees with the incentive-payment business model.

Chart: Power Is A Lot More Expensive Under Obama.  [Scroll down]  "President Obama openly ran in 2008 on a platform of making electricity rates 'skyrocket' and bankrupting anyone who dared to build a coal plant in the United States," Travis Fisher, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  "Now, more than seven years into his presidency, it should come as no surprise that his efforts have taken a widespread toll in the form of higher electricity rates for nearly every state in the union."  Despite falling generation costs, electrical utilities are being forced by the government to pay for billions of dollars of government-mandated "improvements" and taxpayer support for new wind and solar power systems.

California Regulations Force Taxpayers to Support Ineffective Solar Plant.  Research claims that renewable energy is more cost effective than fossil fuels at producing electricity.  But at the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California, taxpayers are actually losing out on their money.  Ivanpah, the 377-megawatt, world's largest solar thermal plant located in the Mojave Desert, fell short of production in 2014 and 2015.  Managers attributed the shortfall to less sunny weather than expected, but the plant's problems extend far past weather forecasts.  Despite being owned by three private companies — Google, BrightSource Energy Inc. and NRG Energy — the plant received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy.  It is paid four to five times more per-megawatt hour than natural gas plants.

A Solar Power Plant vs.  A Natural Gas Power Plant: Capital Cost — Apples to Apples.  Here is a simple example that illustrates why current solar technology will be hard-pressed to replace existing carbon-fired power plants.  Let's suppose that a power company is planning to scrap a coal-fired power plant and wants to replace it with a new plant.  Furthermore, let's assume that the old plant to be scrapped is in Arizona.  The options for the new plant are natural gas and solar.  The company wants a simple, ball-park analysis of the front-end cost to build each of these options.

The Catch-22 of Energy Storage.  Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power.  Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable:  there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.  The problem is analysed in an important paper by Weißbach et al.  in terms of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI — the ratio of the energy produced over the life of a power plant to the energy that was required to build it.  It takes energy to make a power plant — to manufacture its components, mine the fuel, and so on.  The power plant needs to make at least this much energy to break even.  A break-even powerplant has an EROEI of 1.  But such a plant would pointless, as there is no energy surplus to do the useful things we use energy for.

The laughable idea that renewable energy is or ever will be 'least cost'.  [Scroll down]  It certainly can't be least-cost if you shutter working coal plants to start up replacement renewable plants.  As it is, electricity generation from new plants is more expensive than electricity from existing plants; that'll be worse when you replace an existing plant generating electricity from an efficient source like coal with ones relying on vastly inefficient sources.  It's definitely not least cost when you fully account for the realities of nondispatchable renewable energy.  Those would include their well-known inefficiencies and flat-out inability to work when either the sun isn't shining enough or the wind isn't blowing.  Nature, economics, simple math, and physics all work against nondispatchable renewable energy sources with respect to whether they can ever be cost-competitive with traditional sources.

We Cannot Afford "Free" Wind and Solar Energy.  While driving the mostly empty and flat 1,000 miles from Houston to Colorado Springs recently, I noticed something I hadn't seen much just a few years ago — lots of wind farms dotting the landscape, but none anywhere near even small population centers.  And another funny thing, though:  Invariably, many of the turbines weren't moving and one of the largest appeared to have about 100 turbines, yet I counted just three in action.  How can this be?  Having paid for the land, the turbines, and those long transmission lines don't providers want a maximum of the machines going?  Nope.  Because, you see, wind farms — and solar farms for the same reasons — don't make their money by generating electricity.  They do it by generating government subsidies.

Wind and solar have destroyed the ability of the market to signal price.  Before the election, high electricity prices made the Big Six energy companies everyone's favourite whipping boys.  A report by the competition watchdog exonerated them.  Government-driven social, environmental and network costs were the main drivers of rising electricity bills, the Competition and Markets Authority found.  Now the Big Six have put themselves squarely back in the frame.  A 125-page report by the electricity industry lobby group, Energy UK, supports phasing out cheap coal power and demands more subsidies for wind and solar.

Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn't Work.  As every ten-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, "It's the thought that counts."  That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.  The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. [...] Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who's who of those that don't need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

Why This Governor Opposes a Bipartisan Bill to Subsidize Solar Energy.  Maine Gov. Paul LePage is fighting a bipartisan proposal designed to boost solar power development in the state by a factor of 12, arguing that it would benefit only the wealthy.  At a business expo Thursday [3/24/2016] in central Maine, LePage, a Republican, warned that the solar power bill would increase electricity costs to 22 cents per kilowatt hour.

Obama-Backed Solar Plant Could Be Shut Down For Not Producing Enough Energy.  California regulators may force a massive solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert to shut down after years of under-producing electricity — not to mention the plant was blinding pilots flying over the area and incinerating birds.  The Ivanpah solar plant could be shut down if state regulators don't give it more time to meet electricity production promises it made as part of its power purchase agreements with utilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Ivanpah, which got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, only produced a fraction of the power state regulators expected it would.  The plant only generated 45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data.

SolarCity Corp. Backed Itself Into a Corner With MyPower Loan.  There's growing evidence that loans for residential solar installations will eventually be the main source of financing, changing the lease dominated industry we see today. [...] SolarCity could see this transition coming and in late 2014 it introduced a loan product called MyPower.  Like a solar lease, it tied the customer's payment to a solar system's energy production, but unlike a lease, the homeowner owned the system once the loan was paid off.  But last week the company shut down MyPower after the product failed to take off.

Solar City stock, already down more than 60% this year, continues to dive.  SolarCity Corp.'s stock has lost more than 60% of its value since the start of the year, and shares continued to dive Thursday [2/11/2016], two days after the Northern California solar company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results.  Shares of the San Mateo firm, the nation's largest solar panel installer, closed Thursday at $16.67, down $1.96, or nearly 11%.  The company's stock plunged 30% in after-hours trading Tuesday, after its financial results were released, to its lowest point since 2013, Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said.

5 Reasons Why We Shouldn't Keep Subsidizing Wind and Solar Energy.  Proponents of wind and solar energy subsides argue that they are necessary for any number of reasons, such as business certainty, to stimulate the economy, to preserve jobs, to combat global warming, to compete internationally, and the like.  But in the long run, subsidies actually hurt the very industries they're supposed to help by disincentivizing innovation and making U.S. companies less competitive at home and abroad.  The real irony, if not tragedy, is that a free market is far more likely to yield the growth and innovation that subsidy supporters claim to want.  Each year, when Congress tries to extend, re-extend, or retroactively extend targeted tax credits for renewable energy, Congress hurts long-term innovation and growth.

Mega-solar company slashing jobs despite gov't benefits.  The solar industry seemed to be looking at a bright future in 2016 as Congress renewed an endangered tax break for another five years.  Yet, in a troubling sign for a business continuously infused with such government benefits, America's largest solar contractor may be facing its worst year on record.  SolarCity, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, is now contending with mass layoffs, plummeting stock and mounting debt.  "This is what happens when you have a government that artificially props up a sector with subsidies so it can generate more production than they otherwise would," said energy analyst Nick Loris, a research fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation.

SolarCity Is Slashing 550 Jobs.  Solar panel installer SolarCity said it would cut 550 jobs in Nevada, two weeks after the state's utilities commission approved changes that would reduce credits customers receive for selling excess solar power to the grid.

SolarCity's Silver Spoon.  If you own a business — maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance agency — you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your competition, and advertising. [...] If, however, you are a politically favored business — say solar — your story is different.  Your growth is dependent on government generosity.

Did Media Misquote NC Anti-Solar Residents To Make Them Look Stupid?  Numerous left-wing media outlets have repeatedly misquoted citizens of Woodland, N.C., after the city government voted to reject a proposed solar farm.  An article in the Huffington Post claimed local resident Bobby Mann said the proposed solar farm would "stop plants from growing and suck up all the energy from the sun," during his testimony to the Woodland Town Council, citing an article in the Roanoke-Chowan Herald-News.  However, the Herald-News only directly quotes Bobby Mann as saying "You're killing your town, [a]ll the young people are going to move out."  Other media outlets repeated the misquote.

Hillary Clinton's billionaire fundraiser host got sweet deal in Solyndra collapse.  Hillary Clinton's claim that she is not beholden to her wealthy donors will come under renewed scrutiny Friday [12/11/2015] when the Democratic front-runner raises fresh cash for her presidential bid at the home of George Kaiser, a billionaire whose firm was the biggest investor in the troubled Solyndra stimulus project — and who managed to walk away with a lucrative profit at the expense of taxpayers.  Mrs. Clinton will make a stop at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, home of Mr. Kaiser on Friday afternoon, just days after the former secretary of state rolled out policy proposals aimed at stopping powerful corporations from taking advantage of American taxpayers.

Federal Fumbles 2015.  [Scroll down to page 92]  In 2013 American families gave more than $5 billion to the solar industry through a combination of direct expenditures, tax credits, and federally funded research and development.  The investment only added 4,750 megawatts of solar energy to American energy generation in 2013.  Or put a different way, the taxpayers paid a little more than $1 million dollars for each megawatt added.  This may sound like a high amount of additional generation.  But if a megawatt of solar power can power about 164 homes, the federal subsidy breaks down to about $6,418 per home now powered by solar.

Inconvenient timing: On eve of Paris Climate Conference, Spain's Abengoa Solar goes bankrupt.  All the fancy people are about to hop on jets and fly to the Paris Climate Conference so they can express how much they don't like things like, uh, jet fuel.  And one of the things we're going to hear is how we need to be more like Europeans when it comes to green energy. [...] Abengoa, one of Spain's wealthiest companies, has solar plants all around the world.  Yeah, why can't we be more like them?  Except today, this is the number one news item in Spain:  Abengoa is bankrupt.

Report: Solar Industry Heading Toward a Financial Bubble.  Myriad government schemes designed to promote or require the use of solar energy threaten to create a financial bubble similar to the one that befell the housing sector in 2007-08, concludes a new report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA).  The TPA report, titled From Washington to Wall Street: How Government Policies Are Skewing Solar Investments, describes the housing bubble of the 2000s as follows:  "[G]overnment-imposed rules that incentivized banks to securitize mortgages that in a free market would have been undesirable (low quality and high risk), along with the government purchases of those mortgages, burned the house down."  TPA sees a similar pattern emerging in government promotion of solar power through subsidies, mandates, and other programs.  "Much like the government-created housing bubble, ... handouts at the federal and state level are creating a solar bubble that taxpayers are propping up, and it will be the taxpayers and investors who take the hit when the industry comes crashing down," the report states.

The Cynicism of the Clean Power Plan.  If you want to irritate promoters of the Clean Power Plan, just state the obvious:  It's going to increase electricity prices, and that will be bad for the poor and the middle class. [...] Eurostat data from Spain, which has also been on a renewable-energy binge, tells a similar story.  Between 2007 and 2014, residential electric rates in Spain jumped by 70 percent.  Over that same time period, wind capacity increased by about 50 percent and solar capacity grew about seven-fold.  Spanish households are now paying some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, about $0.27 per kilowatt-hour, a rate that is more than twice the U.S. average.

On eve of Paris climate summit, Britain pulls the plug on renewables.  With breathtaking abruptness, the British government has in recent months slashed its support for solar power and other renewable forms of energy, leaving a once-promising industry with grim prospects and throwing into doubt the country's commitment to clean power.  The moves have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies.  Britain has long been in the vanguard of efforts to combat global warming.

Energy consumption chart
The Greatest Energy Chart Ever.  The original energy crisis goes back to the Jimmy Carter administration.  There was a shortage of gasoline, which the Carter administration made worse by fixing oil prices.  [...] [F]or thirty-eight years, our government has been predicting the demise of fossil fuel energy and subsidizing, to varying degrees but amounting cumulatively to many billions of dollars, solar and wind energy.  What has the result been?  This chart tells the story.  It plots global energy consumption from 1965 to the present; you can see the contributions of solar and wind power as a virtually straight line, approximating zero, across the bottom of the graph.

Taxpayer-backed solar plant [is] actually a carbon polluter.  Located in Southern California's Mojave Desert, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System benefited from a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee, and a $539 million Treasury Department stimulus grant to help pay off the loan.  Yet it is producing carbon emissions at nearly twice the amount that compels power plants and companies to participate in the state's cap-and-trade program.  That's because the plant relies on natural gas as a supplementary fuel.

Solar batteries — are they really green?  Some businesses are being sold battery systems to store energy, but not necessarily from solar or other renewable resources.  In many cases, such installations are designed purely to profit from storing grid energy at night, then selling power back to the grid during the day when electricity prices are higher.  But even if coupled with some rooftop solar, this won't reduce pollution and may, in fact, increase harmful emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy?  Is "green" energy, particularly wind and solar energy, the solution to our climate and energy problems?  Or should we be relying on things like natural gas, nuclear energy, and even coal for our energy needs and environmental obligations?  [Video clip]

Why I'm Still Not a Member of the Solar Energy Industries Association.  As recently as a decade ago, a good part of the solar industry was following a healthy free-market path.  Solarex in Maryland turned a profit under the direction of Harvey Forest.  But around 2006, the federal government began heavily subsidizing solar installations.  From that grew net metering laws and other state and utility subsidies for what otherwise was uneconomic energy.  By 2010 or so, I could have almost 90% of my solar home system paid for with free subsidy money.  But of course the money is not free.  It is taken from the pockets of ratepayers and taxpayers to subsidize on-grid solar home systems, which are really feel-good installations of the more affluent.

When Enron, NYT Declared Solar 'Competitive" with Fossil Fuels (1994).  This post reproduces a front-page story in the New York Times business section that excitedly reported a breakthrough with solar energy as represented by a heady energy company named Enron.  Formed in the mid-1980s, Enron had just entered into the solar business and was destined to revitalize — if not save — the U.S. wind industry just a few years later.  Good press, for a half century now, has created an Enron-like illusion of the coming competitiveness and profitability of solar and wind energies for on-grid electricity.  Basic energy physics explains why the sun's (dilute) flow cannot compete against the sun's stored (dense) energy embedded in natural gas, coal, and oil.

Massive Solar Power Plant Emits 46,000 Tons of CO2.  President Obama once praised it as a shining example of America's clean energy future.  "With projects like this one," he said at the site of a solar plant just before construction started, "we're putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy."  And his Department of Energy showered $1.6 billion in loan guarantees, as well as $600 million in tax credits.  The plant is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, a behemoth that uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors spread out over more than five square miles of the Mojave Desert.

Do Utilities Own the Sun?  A group of customers cut their electric bills via solar power panels on their rooftops.  Those solar power panels generate excess power during the day, and the customers then get credited for that power when they draw electricity at night.  But the state's biggest utility, Rocky Mountain Power, says, not so fast.  It effectively is saying those solar-loving customers are leeching off the electric grid by not paying for their use of the electric grid's fixed costs, like the wires and poles that deliver electricity to their lightbulbs.

Report: Solar Industry Heading Toward a Financial Bubble.  Myriad government schemes designed to promote or require the use of solar energy threaten to create a financial bubble similar to the one that befell the housing sector in 2007-08, concludes a new report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). [...] "Much like the government-created housing bubble, ... handouts at the federal and state level are creating a solar bubble that taxpayers are propping up, and it will be the taxpayers and investors who take the hit when the industry comes crashing down," the report states.

Reality Check: Solar Is Not The Cheapest Form Of Energy.  A recent article breathlessly noted "And the Cheapest Electricity in America is...Solar!" [... But] the plant discussed in the story, First Solar's Playa Solar 2 project, which is located in Nevada, produces solar power cheaply.  Given the location and size of the plant (100 MW in Nevada), this should be just about optimal for achieving low-cost power from solar panels.  Which implies that other locations will be more expensive; [...]

Could the U.S. Meet Its Electricity Needs With Solar Energy?  At Watts Up With That?, Tom Tamarkin and Barrie Lawson have authored one of the more entertaining scientific articles I have read in a long time.  They actually undertake to do the math: what would it require to replace existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants with solar energy as current plants are phased out over the next several decades? [...] One could tinker with assumptions forever, but the bottom line is blindingly obvious:  for the United States to actually try to transition to solar power as its sole or principal source of electricity is in practice impossible.  Moreover, the attempt, if made, would be an economic and environmental catastrophe.  It isn't going to happen.

Uncle Sam's Solar Racket — A Cesspool Of Waste And Corruption.  The Department of Energy's Inspector General revealed last week that the legendary solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra — a poster baby of the Obama stimulus — lied to the feds to get a $535 million loan guarantee before going bust in 2011.  Solyndra is a cautionary tale, but the Obama Administration is still throwing caution to the sun.  The IG report, which follows a four-year investigation by the IG and FBI, describes how Solyndra engaged in a "pattern of false and misleading assertions," including inflating the value of corporate contracts and sales, to win a giant loan guarantee in 2009.

Not all energy is created equal.  [Scroll down]  Those "renewable energy tax credits" are mainly two:  the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).  Like the oil-export ban, the wind PTC is an archaic policy that has no place in today's modern reality of energy abundance.  Passed by Congress in 1992, the PTC pays the wind industry for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated over a ten-year period.  No other mature energy source — natural gas, oil, or coal — can claim a similar carve out based on how much product they sell.  The subsidy is so lavish that wind developers can sometimes sell their electricity at a loss and still profit.  The New York Times has described this as wind's "cannibal behavior" on the power grid.

Obama pledges $120M toward solar power, clean energy.  The Obama administration announced Wednesday morning a series of efforts worth more than $120 million aimed at boosting solar and other clean energy sources.  The initiatives focus on the Department of Energy, where the bulk of the funding will go to programs to develop solar power technology and get it into homes, businesses and other facilities.

The Big Sunshiny Lie.  The important thing to know about solar and wind power, and other so-called "renewable" sources of energy, is that they aren't necessary.  Au the contraire, their dominance of the energy mix would be a disaster for the republic.  Solar and wind create trifling amounts of power at a multiple of the cost of power made available by fossil fuels.  Increased reliance on pricy power from wind and solar would drive up the overall cost of energy, which in turn would drive up the cost of everything.  Everything!  Not just individual power bills, which would be bad enough.  It takes energy to produce, transport, and market all the goods Americans take for granted.  Even our service economy is a heavy user of energy.  Wind and solar power are also unreliable.  The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow.  This isn't going to change.

The President's Clean Energy Farce.  Green energy investments are a guaranteed flop, the kind of failure only a shady Broadway producer could envision.  This current green energy production really got underway when the economic "stimulus" set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically connected energy projects, according to the Heritage Foundation.  Since the halcyon days of the stimulus, 1,900 investigations have been opened to probe stimulus fraud and about 600 convictions have been secured by prosecutors.  What is more, about 10 percent of the Obama-backed green companies have gone bankrupt or out of business.  But Obama does not let the facts get in the way of a good, green story.

Solyndra misled government to get $535M solar project loan: report.  Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who took more than $500 million from President Obama's stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials to secure the loan, the Energy Department's inspector general said in a report released Wednesday [8/26/2015].  But the Obama administration goofed too, and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of "political pressure" from top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report, which took four years to complete.

Obama: $12 billion new federal loan guarantees for renewables.  The Obama administration has just announced $12 billion in new Federal loan guarantees for renewables businesses. [...] Federal renewable loan guarantee schemes have attracted significant criticism in the past, for example when Solyndra went spectacularly bust in 2012, a bankruptcy which cost US taxpayers $535 million in lost federal loan guarantees.

The Clean Power Plan Will Collide With The Incredibly Weird Physics Of The Electric Grid.  The idiosyncratic physics of electricity will ultimately doom the aspirational goals of the new 1,560 page Clean Power Plan, more than will an army of lobbyists, lawsuits and laborious studies.  It is an inconvenient truth that electricity is profoundly different from every other energy source society uses; it is, in fact, weird.  In energy equivalent terms, the nation's electric utilities deliver five oil supertankers every day.  This feat is performed on a network where operational dynamics and disasters can happen at near lightspeed.  And here is the critical singular fact:  Over 99 percent of all electricity has to be generated at the same instant that it is consumed.  Try doing that with wheat, steel, or oil.  Thus the problem:  The Clean Power Plan (CPP), as by now everyone knows, sets a course to radically increase the use of wind and solar power everywhere in America.  And, cost aside (which it never is in the real world), it should go without saying that neither wind nor solar are available all the time.

India is now home to the world's first airport that runs entirely on solar power.  The facility is now reportedly "absolutely power neutral" – meaning it creates just as much energy as it consumes.  That's a pretty impressive feat when you consider that Cochin International is one of the biggest airports in India, with over 1,500,000 square feet of terminal space alone.  To generate enough juice to run the facility, the airport had to build its own 12 MWp solar power plant onsite, which is comprised of more than 46,000 solar panels splayed across 45 acres of land.  This array is expected to produce somewhere around "50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity each day" – which, on a good day, is just over what the airport consumes during its normal operational functions.

The Editor says...
The location of the airport is 10.1550° N, 76.3910° E, which is just ten degrees north of the equator.  That's where a solar power project has the best chance of success.  In the United States, the same project would be a boondoggle.  The article above says the project is supposed to produce 50,000 "units" of electricity per day.  What units?  Are we too dumb to understand terms like kilowatt-hours?

Shareholders Sue Solar Firm Backed by Billions in U.S. Funds.  A renewable energy company that has received billions in U.S. taxpayer support despite federal investigations and former employees' allegations of illegal business practices is in dire financial straits as shareholders allege securities fraud and investors drive down its stock price.  The Spanish firm Abengoa is facing a federal lawsuit from shareholders who say that the company misled investors about its financial plans.  It has faced numerous lawsuits in the past two years from contractors who say they were stiffed out of millions of dollars in payments.

The Sun in Obama's Eye.  The solar industry is jubilant over President Obama's Clean Power Plan, released in its final form on Monday, August 3.  The same day, however, some other news reminded the public of what happens when government policy mandates and incentivizes a favored energy source:  Taxpayer dollars are gobbled up and investors lose out.

Bill Gates: Cost of switching to renewables is "beyond astronomical".  [Bill] Gates expressed his views in an interview given to the Financial Times yesterday [6/25/2015], saying that the cost of using current renewables such as solar panels and windfarms to produce all or most power would be "beyond astronomical".  At present very little power comes from renewables:  in the UK just 5.2 percent, the majority of which is dubiously-green biofuel burning [...] and even so, energy bills have surged and will surge further as a result.

Obama unveils solar panel plan for low-income homes.  The Obama administration is unveiling a project Tuesday designed to make it easier for residents of low- and moderate-income housing and renters to obtain solar panels for energy production. [...] Part of the administration's climate change strategy, the plan calls for tripling solar energy systems in federally subsidized housing by the year 2020, and making it easier for homeowners to borrow money for solar panels.  No federal cost estimates have been provided.

The Editor says...
This is not a good time to go into debt unless you can't avoid it.  And besides that, Barack H. Obama isn't doing you any favors by making it easier for you to go into debt, to purchase a product that you don't really want, and end up with a power supply system you (probably) aren't capable of managing and maintaining on your own.  For one thing, where are you going to put all the giant batteries and the inverter(s)?  How much is an electrician going to charge for the installation of the hardware you'll need to switch from the inverter back to the utility power?

GAO hits Obama administration on renewable energy projects: audit.  Lawmakers on Wednesday [6/24/2015] demanded accountability from the Bureau of Land Management following an investigation that found the government routinely fails to secure proper bonding from wind and solar project developers, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.  The Government Accountability Office report — which gives more fuel to critics who say President Obama will push "green" power at all costs — also said that the administration has kept shoddy records, may have shredded bond documents and blatantly treats renewable power differently than it treats fossil fuel projects.

Chinese-owned NH solar project costs ratepayers $1.22M.  New Hampshire utility ratepayers will pay a Taiwanese company $1.22 million to build the state's largest solar installation so that a small town can save about $500,000 in power costs over the life of the project.  Taiwan's Walsin Lihwa, parent company of Borrego Solar, will use Chinese-made solar panels in the 3.5-acre project, which is supposed to be finished in July.  It will supply power to several municipal buildings in the area but only some of the time:  the town of Peterborough (population: 6,284) gets only 197 sunny days per year.

Environmentalists Fight Huge Solar Plant On Behalf of 100 Sheep.  The Natural Resources Defense Council said it had "significant concerns" about the project.  So what are we talking about here?  A new CO2-spewing coal plant?  Something that runs on "extraordinarily dirty" oil from the Canadian tar sands?  Nope.  These environmentalist groups are celebrating the likely demise of a solar power plant slated to be built in the Mojave Desert.  Bechtel Corp. says its 350 megawatt Soda Mountain Solar Project would generate enough power to light 170,000 homes in California, and the site chosen is ideal because of its "excellent solar resources, its location in an existing utility corridor and due to the low density of sensitive plant and animal species."

How Much Battery Storage Does a Solar PV System Need?  Even with these rough numbers it's hard to see how anyone living any distance from the Equator is going to be able to justify the cost of installing enough batteries to go off-grid with a domestic rooftop solar PV installation.

Feds pour $32 million more into beleaguered solar industry.  This latest funding is dedicated to training a workforce of solar technicians, developing new technology and implementing a database to share performance data, the DOE announced in a press release last week.  The training goal is 75,000 workers by 2020 and an undisclosed amount of "other professionals" in other fields such as real estate, finance, insurance and fire and safety.  What the release didn't say was that the Obama Administration has spent $150 billion on green initiatives between 2009 and 2014, yet the industry cannot survive without government giveaways, a Brookings Institution study found.

Blue map
Bees and wind turbines.  The drastic increase in the number of wind farms in the United States began between 2004 and 2005, and has blossomed to cover vast sections of the country today, as seen on the blue map below.  Interesting to note is the time frame of drastic increases of the number of wind farms from 2004 to 2005.  This time frame becomes very important, because it is also the exact time when massive disappearances of honey bees began to be reported, beginning in 2005, with drastic increases in the years to follow.  The next map shows the states where the most losses of honeybees have occurred.  The orange [map] below is also an interesting map, because if you didn't know better, you would believe it is another wind farm map.  Although the southeast area of the United States, such as Florida does not have large numbers of operating wind farms, the honeybee disappearances in that area are attributed to weather events.

Orange map

California PUC concludes that Solar & Wind costs are extravagant.  The Sierra Club is upset because the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) built a sophisticated and unbiased computer model to analyze the cost-effectiveness of new solar policy proposals.  But despite all the Sierra Club's political clout, the computer model determined [...] that none of the solar policy proposals are cost effective.  After years of paying about a $200 premium to buy any and all excess electrical power streaming from home and commercial building rooftop solar panels, California is supposed to be moving to "market-based solutions" for energy production.

Germany's Green-Power Program Crushes the Poor.  [Scroll down]  However, what Friedman, Obama, and other admirers of the German green-energy strategy fail to say is that it has come at the expense of sky-high electricity rates.  According to EU data, Germany's average residential electricity rate is 29.8 cents per kilowatt hour.  This is approximately double the 14.2 cents and 15.9 cents per kWh paid by residents of Germany's neighbors Poland and France, respectively, and almost two and a half times the U.S. average of 12 cents per kWh.  Germany's industrial electricity rate of 16 cents per kWh is also much higher than France's 9.6 cents or Poland's 8.3 cents.

Power grid
Transmission planning: wind and solar.  On the grid power does not flow downhill, take the shortest path or move from areas of high to low pressure.  The grid cannot be well understood as a highway system or a set of pipelines.  Energy simultaneously takes every possible interconnected path from source to destination.  For the most part in normal operating ranges the flows between a generation addition and a new load are unaffected by the flows that are already on the lines.  Energy flows on every possible interconnected path based on the inverse ratio of that path's impedance (resistance).

Why SolarCity's university solar projects cost Oregon taxpayers $12 million.  The massive solar array glinting on a sun-baked hillside behind the Oregon Institute of Technology's Klamath Falls campus isn't made of precious metals.  But for what it cost Oregon taxpayers, it might as well have been.  The developer, SolarCity Corp., reported to the state that the Oregon Tech array was worth $10.3 million.  That's extraordinarily expensive compared to other projects — either in Oregon or nationally.  And for every dollar, Oregon taxpayers are covering half the cost through business energy tax credits given to SolarCity and its investors.

California Solar Farm Killed 3,500 Birds.  Ivanpah is a $2.2 billion dollar solar energy projected aimed at powering up to 140,000 homes for twice the electrical cost.  It also killed 3,500 birds in the first year of its operation.

Third-Party Solar Sales: Free Market Not.  If an industry requires government coercion to sell its product, it is not a free-market industry.  This is the case with third-party sales of roof-top solar-generated electricity where the building is otherwise on the utility grid.

Renewable and Sustainable Crony Capitalism.  Renewable power has serious problems, apart from costing too much.  Wind doesn't work if there is no wind and solar doesn't work at night.  The proprietors of solar and wind expect the electrical grids to accept and pay for all the power they can provide, whenever they provide it.  If a cloud drifts in front of the sun, and the power output suddenly stops, the grid is expected to handle the problem and make up the missing power on a moment's notice.  This is just the opposite of the way that the operators of the electrical grids usually deal with power plants.

Obama-backed green energy failures leave taxpayers with $2.2 billion tab.  Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday [4/27/2015] that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.  Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit.

Solar Power Lobbyists Seek to Subvert Florida Tea Party.  The solar power lobby is not supporting system-wide deregulation.  It is merely seeking its own carve-out within the utility monopoly system.  Once it gets its carve-out, solar lobbyists will surely fight tooth-and-nail against any other energy sources or providers getting the same special benefits.  This has been the case in California, for example, where the solar power industry has fought against allowing the wind power industry to obtain tax breaks similar to those enjoyed by solar businesses.

Solar Power Propaganda vs. the Real World.  When a former "senior communications official at the White House" writes a blog post for U.S. News and World Report, you should be able to trust it.  But when the author states that the Keystone pipeline would create only 19 weeks of temporary jobs, everything else he says must be suspect — including the claim that our "energy infrastructure will be 100 percent solar by 2030."  Both a union representative and one from TransCanada — the company behind the Keystone pipeline — affirmed that the 19-week timeframe was total fantasy.

When solar panels become a headache.  Some would-be [home] buyers balk when they learn that they'll need to qualify on credit to take over your solar lease payments for the next 15 to 17 years.  Others say they like the house but won't sign a contract unless you buy out the remaining lease payment stream — $15,000 or $20,000 or more — because they're worried that the solar equipment will become obsolete or won't save as much on electricity bills as advertised.  Issues like these are popping up increasingly in California and other states and are interfering in sales and closings, according to real estate industry experts.

Renewable Energy: The Most Expensive Policy Disaster in Modern British History.  Highly subsidised wind and solar capacity flooding the market with near random amounts of zero marginal cost electricity wrecks the economics of conventional power stations.  It is therefore impossible to integrate large amounts of intermittent renewables into a private sector system and still expect it to function as such.

Green Cronyism Hasn't Gone Anywhere.  Back in the good old days of the Obama stimulus, green energy companies were looking for a boost direct from the federal government, in the form of straight-up financial subsidies to promote "green-collar jobs."  Fast forward to 2015, and the terrain has changed some.  We've seen that the stimulus was a bust.  There was the Solyndra mess.  Candidates less willing to hand out federal cash to green energy companies were overwhelmingly elected in 2014.  But one type of green energy has a new plan to get you to stimulate its producers:  Solar.

Surprised solar customers find themselves with liens.  Jeff Leeds says installing SolarCity's panels on the roof of his home in the Northern California city of El Granada was the sorriest day of his life.  Agreeing to the company's 20-year lease was like partnering with the devil, he claims.  He says he has endured skyrocketing electric bills, installation of an inferior system and contract violations because SolarCity refuses to clean the panels or to provide a payment for his system's poor performance.  The latest surprise:  a notice from his bank telling him that SolarCity had placed a lien on his home, and that his equity line of credit application could not proceed until the lien was removed.

Even With Subsidies, Green Energy's Future Is Dim.  It's a lot easier to throw money at wind and solar projects than it is to get energy out of them.  That, at least, is the conclusion one could draw from the Energy Information Administration's latest Annual Energy Outlook, released this week.

Environmentalism and Envy.  In 1856, Nongqawuse, a teenager of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa, prophesied that if the tribe killed their cattle and destroyed their crops the British would be swept away.  The tribe did this and most of them starved to death.  Now we have prophets demanding that we destroy our fossil fuel infrastructure and replace it with windmills and solar power stations.  If we actually did this, the economic consequences would be very costly.  Solar and wind power, on a national scale, would cost 5 or 10 times more than our current sources of power and be less reliable.  This easily discovered fact is rarely discussed by environmental romantics, much less by the crony capitalists of the alternative energy industry, basking in a flood of subsidies and mandates.

Behold, The Racket.  It was reportedly Eric Hoffer who offered the famous, entertaining political assessment that "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."  Hoffer's observation has been borne out on a consistent basis, and examples proving it are legion.  The most recent comes courtesy of a Tea Party leader from the Atlanta suburbs named Debbie Dooley, who is now traveling the South shilling for solar energy as part of the Sierra Club-funded Green Tea Coalition.  Dooley has set up shop in Louisiana of late, attempting to save the doomed state tax credits for solar energy that a recent study calculates is costing Louisiana taxpayers a net $63 million per year — making those tax breaks a certified goner amid a budget deficit of some $1.6 billion thanks in large part to depressed prices of oil and gas.

Pres. Obama announces solar program to employ veterans.  Standing next to an array of solar panels at Hill Air Force Base, President Barack Obama announced Friday [4/3/2015] the base will participate in a new program aimed at employing veterans in the solar energy industry.  The Solar Ready Vets is part of the administration's overall goal of employing 75,000 people around the country in the solar energy industry by 2020. HAFB will join four other military installations already participating in a pilot program.

Obama Announces Plan to Train 75,000 Solar Workers.  The White House has announced a goal to train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans.  "These are good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class," President Barack Obama said on Friday [4/3/2015] at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.  The plan will expand on the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative's Solar Instructor Training Network currently running at more than 400 community colleges.

Solar buffs seek favors in power plan.  [Scroll down]  The problem lurks no deeper than the first sentence:  "It shall be the policy of the state to encourage and promote ... " Stop. Right. There.  Nothing that follows matters.  Once it becomes the state's constitutional obligation to "encourage and promote" anything, goodies must flow.  As Tampa's Larry Thornberry wrote for tThe American Spectator, "Any grant writer who couldn't drive subsidies through this language should probably consider legitimate work.  "Any legislator who couldn't liberate tax dollars for a connected friend on the basis of this language is either inept or too honest for the room."

A Test Of Nevada's Solar Tower Project Torched Over A Hundred Birds.  In what's turning into a public relations headache for the solar industry, news has emerged that a recent test of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada resulted in some 130 birds catching fire, when they flew into an area of highly concentrated solar energy.  As KCET's Rewire is reporting, the incident happened last month, but the news is only emerging now.

Nevada Solar Plant Not For The Birds.  If as many birds being burned by solar power farms built in the U.S. were to wash up on our beaches soaked in crude oil from a leaking offshore well, the outrage would be deafening.  But as with the wind turbines that now cover acre upon acre of former "pristine" countryside, what amount to avian Cuisinarts slicing and dicing everything that flies, including endangered species, only the crickets are chirping.

Three counties hope to salvage $88M solar project by borrowing more money, officials say.  Three counties have a solution to salvage an $88-million-dollar solar project that went bust:  borrow more millions to pump into the project and hope it will eventually turn a profit and ease the pain to taxpayers, officials said.  Some officials view the solution as damage control.  Others are calling it a repeat of a mistake, one they will fight to avoid.

Ontario's Green Energy Subsidies — some of what we know.  We know industrial wind energy developers were given lucrative 20-year contracts and paid to produce electricity guaranteeing 13.5[¢]/kWh no matter the time of day power was generated.  We know that industrial wind energy developers were given 20-year contracts that included a cost of living benefit up to 20%.  We know industrial solar under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program paid contracted parties, e.g., IKEA, the Township of Markham, etc., over 70 cents/kWh for generation, while those same companies/municipalities purchased power for their use at the same rate as the rest of us.  We ordinary customers pick up the tab for the difference.  We know that the Office of the Auditor General (AG) on two different occasions clearly noted the Ontario government failed to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for just about everything associated with the Ministry of Energy's portfolio.  We know "smart meters" cost us about $2 billion but failed to produce any meaningful benefit other than allowing local distribution companies to bill us on a time-of-use basis.  We know energy costs have doubled since 2003.

Political, Scientific Chicanery Underlies Global Warming Alarmism.  In her December 28 CNN article, "How Germany Banishes Climate Myths," German environment minister Barbara Hendricks argues that the climate policies enabled by her country and the EU as a whole have been an economic success.  This is nothing more than East German-style disinformation.  The reality is that Germany's so-called "Solar Valley" has become a mothballed industrial rust belt.  Nearly all solar energy manufacturers have closed their doors. [...] Hendricks' CNN article is just another example of the use of fraudulent PR spin to promote a desired political message while ignoring the realities of science and economics.

Wind & Solar are 16x more expensive than gas.  The diagrams below show the cost and capacity factors of the major European renewable energy power sources: onshore and offshore wind farms and large scale photovoltaic solar generation.  They are compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional gas fired electricity generation.

Despite $39B in Annual Gov't. Subsidies, Solar Produced 0.5% of Electricity in US.  Despite receiving an estimated $39 billion in annual government subsidies over the past five years, the solar energy industry accounted for just one half of one percent (0.5%) of all the electricity generated in the U.S. during the first 10 months of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).  Between January and October of last year, the U.S. produced a total of 3,431,473 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.  But only 15,973 million kWh were generated by solar thermal or photovoltaic (PV) solar modules that use semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity, according to EIA's latest Monthly Energy Review.

No rival for the lightning bug.  By 2012, 20 different agencies allocated money to 345 solar energy initiatives, supporting more than 1,500 projects.  State and local governments joined in the parade, with subsidies and tax breaks to finance the latest big thing. [...] Federal, state and local programs have been established to install solar-powered water heaters and rooftop solar panels, in turn intended to encourage production of solar electricity.  In fact, a growing number of these subsidized solar projects are expensive boondoggles.  Solyndra is the most infamous of these.  The California solar cell company went bankrupt not long after it received a $535 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan.  More than a thousand workers lost their jobs and taxpayers were out a half-billion dollars.

Taxpayers in 3 counties could be on the hook for millions after solar project fizzles.  The concept behind the massive solar project sounded simple enough:  borrow $88 million to install panels on public buildings in Morris, Somerset and Sussex counties and then sell excess electricity, using the revenues to pay off the debt.  The concept was called the "Morris model," held up nationally as an example of how to produce renewable energy through public-private partnerships.  It was the second project of its kind and the previous one was hailed as a success.  But now, nearly four years later, taxpayers could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars the counties owe bondholders, after work ground to a halt amidst cost overruns and lawsuits.

Congressmen Put Heat on 'Deceptive' Rooftop Solar Leases.  A different sort of green energy issue has sparked bipartisan action on Capitol Hill as lawmakers move to address allegations of deceptive practices in sales of rooftop solar panels.  Earlier this month, 12 Republican members of the House of Representatives wrote to the Federal Trade Commission, warning that leasing solar panels from a third party may be a harmful investment for homeowners.

All megawatts are not equal.  [D]iffering types of generating resources bring diverse sets of costs and benefits to the power system so that they cannot be compared solely based on a cost per Megawatt (MW) produced basis.  As this post will conclude, it matters very much when energy is generated, where the energy comes from and how well it works to support the system.  For large scale bulk projects, the average cost of solar and wind will need to be significantly below the average cost of conventional generation well before wind and solar can begin to approach general competitiveness on a cost basis.

Huge solar plant lags in early production.  The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn't producing as much energy as planned.

'Green' Lobby Pushes to Extend Lucrative Tax Breaks.  As the lame-duck Congress limps to the finish line, billions of dollars in dubious federal energy subsidies remain in limbo.  The perennial procrastination has solar- and wind-power lobbyists scrambling for renewal of their industries' expiring tax credits.

Where's the Xunlight? A Real-Life Parable For the Obama Years.  The recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation filing of the Toledo, Ohio-based solar-panel manufacturer Xunlight Corp. has attracted barely any national attention.  Maybe it's gotten to the point — after Solyndra, Evergreen, Abound, and Satcon — that the failure of another government-backed alternative energy company is a dog-bites man story.  It'd be newsworthy if any of them actually ever succeeded.

Renewable Energy: So Useless That Even Greenie Google Gave up on it.  Some people call it "renewable energy" but I prefer to call it "alternative energy" because that's what it really is:  an alternative to energy that actually works (eg nuclear and anything made from wonderful, energy-rich fossil fuel.)  Now a pair of top boffins from uber-green Google's research department have reached the same conclusion. [...] In a nutshell, renewable energy is rubbish because so much equipment is needed to make it work — steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage — that it very likely uses up more energy than it actually produces.  Yet our political class remains committed to the fantasy that the emperor's green clothes are perfectly magnificent.

Lower Oil Prices Slow Fracking, but Kill Solar.  Environmentalists should be ecstatic. The Saudis are doing for them what they have tried and tried and tried to do for themselves, but could not:  Stop fracking.  But their green smiles are quickly turning into frowns as more and more enviros recognize the same lower oil prices that hurt fracking are killing their most treasured darlings:  Solar and wind power.

Chutzpah and Soviet agriculture: An update on the Ivanpah solar power monstrosity.  The Ivanpah solar plant has produced about one-quarter the energy promised.  Now the owners of the project have applied for a half-billion-dollar grant to pay off a large portion of its original federally guaranteed loan.

MN wind and solar mandate would mean costly grid upgrade.  [Scroll down]  A search of the 178-page report shows the authors never mention ratepayers, leaving unanswered whether spending nearly $400 million to upgrade the grid would be a good investment for Minnesota consumers and employers.  "It doesn't say it would be cost effective to upgrade the system to accommodate 40 percent renewables.  It doesn't say it would be a good idea," said Bill Glahn, an independent energy analyst for Piedmont Consulting and a former Pawlenty administration energy official.  "It just said that given enough time and money, it's technically feasible.  I could have told you that."

World's largest solar plant applying for federal grant to pay off federal loan.  After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan. [...] The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan.

The Editor says...
It will be interesting to see where the left-wing anti-capitalist troublemakers stand on this issue.  Many of those who who tout solar panels as a "clean" energy source are the same people who rail against "Wall Street" — by which they mean successful and profitable businesses with plenty of available cash, of which Google is a prime example.  Where are the "corporate social responsibility" people now?

Tampa Solar Panels Fail to Meet Promises.  Rooftop solar panels installed at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa, Florida are producing less than half their promised power, county records reveal.  Rather than lowering electricity costs, as promised, the poor-performing solar panels are causing a dramatic increase in electricity costs.

Ron Klain and Solyndra.  Ron Klain is a sharp-elbowed Democratic political operative with no medical expertise.  Tapping him as "Ebola czar" may not be the president's best move when, as it is, no one can believe a word the Obama administration says.  And that's not just because Mr. Klain is yet another lobbyist recruited despite Mr. Obama's vow that his administration would shun lobbyists.  Klain was also a central player in the president's Solyndra fraud, which soaked taxpayers for over half a billion dollars for the benefit of Obama cronies.

Law Would Mandate Solar Panels on All S.F. Building Rooftops.  A new resolution to be introduced next week in San Francisco would require the owners of most new apartment buildings in the city to install solar panels or gardens on the buildings' rooftops.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, city Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will introduce the Solar Vision 2020 resolution next week, a resolution that would apply to both commercial and residential buildings.

Obama misleads students about climate and energy.  The International Renewable Energy Agency reports that worldwide investment in renewables (not counting large hydropower) amounted to an incredible $214 billion in 2013 alone!  IRENA insists that these expenditures need to more than double by 2030, to achieve the impossible goal of restricting average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.  However, results to date show that those investments have brought few benefits, and much harm.  European studies have found that expensive, unreliable wind and solar power kills two to four jobs for each "renewable" energy job this heavily subsidized industry creates.

Hagan Passed North Carolina Law that Aided Family's Solar Company.  Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) fought for the passage of legislation in both the state General Assembly and the United States Congress that has financially benefitted her relatives.  As a member of North Carolina's General Assembly in 2007, Hagan helped pass legislation that required all investor-owned utilities in the state to utilize renewable energy resources for 12.5 percent of their energy needs.  Hagan used her work to pass the law as proof of commitment to renewable energy such as solar panels

How State Solar Policies Hurt America's Poor.  State renewable-energy policies, such as those encouraging solar use, are creating a kind of "energy inequality", one that benefits wealthier Americans at the expense of the poor.  While solar power itself may be a good thing, government-sponsored sweetheart deals for the solar industry — like "net-metering," for example — are increasing energy costs for low-income households across America.  In seeking to encourage solar usage, 44 states have enacted net-metering policies, which allow customers with solar panels to sell the power they generate back to their electric utility providers.  The hope is that net-metering will encourage more customers to use solar panels to reduce their overall utility costs.  It sounds simple — but there is more to these innocuously-named mandates than meets the eye.  Those most likely to benefit from net-metering are high-income homeowners able to afford expensive solar panels.  Meanwhile, low-income Americans are absorbing the costs.

Hagan's Husband Used Stimulus Money To Hire His Own Company.  Sen. Kay Hagan's husband and son created a solar energy contracting company in August 2010, and then, using $250,644 in federal stimulus grant funds, her husband hired that same company to install solar panels at a building he owns.  Public records show that Green State Power was formed seven weeks before JDC Manufacturing — a company owned in part by Greensboro attorney Charles "Chip" Hagan III, Sen. Hagan's husband — received the stimulus grant for the solar project at a 300,000-square-foot facility in Reidsville, N.C.

How Green Is Europe?  "Germany produces half of energy with solar."  That was the recent headline on a German website of news in English, and it would have duly impressed anybody whose understanding of energy matters extends to just such headlines.  But the headline, totally wrong, was also a perfect example of why it is so important to deconstruct the reports about green Europe.

Solar and wind power costs are huge compared to natural gas fired generation.  Ed Hoskins has done an analysis of cost ratios, and no matter what your viewpoint of economics might be, the numbers here don't lie.  Without being propped up by subsidies, solar and wind aren't even in the race as their competitiveness leaves them at the starting line while cheap natural gas (aided by fracking) runs laps around the race course.

Earth-Friendly Energy is Anything But.  Environmentalists worship solar energy and wind power as Earth-friendly answers to their ecological prayers.  Tortoises, bats, butterflies, and bald eagles beg to differ.  Perhaps because solar panels and industrial wind farms lack emissions, they seem "clean."  Despite their pristine appearance, however, these "green" electricity sources hammer Mother Nature — often fatally.

Lawmaker slams state for SolarCity subsidy, citing federal probe.  A Republican Assemblyman from Dutchess County is criticizing the Cuomo administration's $750 million subsidy for a new solar panel factory in Buffalo, citing a two-year-old federal probe into whether SolarCity and other residential solar installers inflated the cost of their work so they would receive bigger federal subsidies than they deserved.

A Government-subsidized Desert Death Ray.  The Ivanpah solar generating plant is located in California about 50 miles from Las Vegas near the California-Nevada border.  173,000 mirrors are used to concentrate the sun on 3 boiler-towers where water is turned into steam to drive turbines and generate electricity.  The mirrors track the sun and concentrate sunlight so that the intensity of light falling on the boiler-towers is about 500 times stronger than sunlight — a death ray.  If a person were to be illuminated by this death ray, 3rd degree burns would follow within a few seconds.  Insects that wander into the kill zone are quickly vaporized.  Birds are severely burned or killed depending on how long they are in the kill zone.

Why Renewable Energy is Hopeless.  Wind and solar power are industries that are destined to remain in their infancy, if not forever, then certainly for the indefinite future.

EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles.  The European Union is considering pulling the plug on high-wattage hair dryers, lawn mowers and electric kettles in a follow up to its controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners.  The power of hairdryers could be reduced by as much as 30 percent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favoured by hairdressers and consumers for speedy blow-dries. [...] Current EU legislation covers televisions, washing machines, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners but not most smaller electrical appliances.

The Editor says...
Dear European friends:  If you don't have enough electricity to go around, the solution is to generate more of it, which in your case means abandoning your attachment to solar panels and windmills.

Emerging Solar Plants Scorch Birds in Mid-Air.  Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

How to cut emissions, and how not to.  The world's efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions began with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, were formalized in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and have since mutated into the hundreds of "XX percent of renewables by 20YY" targets adopted by groups of countries, individual countries and regional jurisdictions.  They have spawned, among other things, innumerable bureaucracies, countless climate conferences, forests of wind turbines, patchwork quilts of solar panels and a billion-dollar-a-day climate change industry.  And they haven't worked [at all].

Horrifying bird slaughter at solar power plant.  A solar power plant partly owned by Google is incinerating one flying bird every 2 minutes, igniting the poor creatures as they fly past the concentrated beams of light from focused mirror arrays.  The phony scare over CO2 purportedly causing global warming has motivated investment in this lethal scheme that is damaging the ecosystem around the Bright Source Energy plant at Ivanpah, on the California-Nevada border.

Florida Solar Panels Producing Less than Half of Promised Power.  In 2010, federal and Hillsborough County officials announced the project to place solar panels on the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Government officials said the solar panels, costing $1.2 million, would pay for themselves in electricity cost savings.  Officials claimed the panels would provide at least 40 percent of the building's electricity needs and save more than $60,000 per year in electricity costs.  Hillsborough County maintains a website where people can view the real-time solar energy produced by the panels, as well as an ongoing tally of the panels' lifetime electricity production.  According to the website, the solar panels are producing less than half their promised electricity and are reducing the courthouse's electricity bill by only $27,000 per year.  WFTS News in Tampa obtained copies of the courthouse's electricity bills and confirmed the savings are no more than about $2,000 per month.  WFTS also confirmed the panels are reducing electricity bills by only 15 to 18 percent, rather than the promised 40 percent.

Intermittent Renewables and Electricity Markets.  Renewable energy advocates regularly ignore the intermittency of solar and wind energy in their analyses.  As discussed in a previous article, this is a very serious omission because the mechanisms required to compensate for intermittency can increase the cost of solar and wind energy many-fold, especially at higher penetration levels.  The fact that wind energy still requires generous subsidies after having reached grid-parity with conventional power is a very direct real-world example of the added costs of intermittency even at low penetration levels.

Most solar panels are facing the wrong direction, say scientists.  Thousands of people have spent vast sums of money installing eco-friendly solar panels but most will have probably had them fitted facing the wrong way, according to energy experts.  The solar power industry is being urged to reconsider its approach to installing panels after one of the UK's leading experts, Professor Ralph Gottshalg of Loughborough University says too many solar panels are facing in the wrong direction.

Things Obama Just Won't Do.  When first in office, Obama offered his "economic stimulus" plan.  Hundreds of billions of dollars would be funneled into "shovel ready" projects after first being taxed away from the American people. [...] His program didn't stimulate the economy.  Large parts of the money were spent on Obama's pals and pet issues.  Remember Solyndra, which had over $500 million in federally guaranteed loans supposedly going to "invest" in alternatives to global warming?  It didn't stimulate anything.  It just filled the pockets of some of the president's pals before the company went bankrupt.  Obama wanted an issue, not a solution.  He got it.

Wind Industry Attacks California Solar Subsidies.  The California Wind Energy Association and other renewable energy groups criticized a new law extending special tax breaks to the California solar power industry.  Wind power, biomass, and geothermal power groups say the special benefits for solar power tilt the playing field against other renewable power options.  Senate Bill 871, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 20, extends until 2025 an exemption for solar power systems from state property taxes.  The existing exemption was not scheduled to expire until 2017, but the legislature rushed the new exemption into law at the end of the session with almost no advance notice or opportunity for debate.

Five Fatal Flaws of Solar Energy.  Firstly, sunshine at any spot is always intermittent and often unreliable.  Solar panels can deliver significant energy only from 9am to 3pm — a maximum of 25% of each day.  Solar can often help supply the hot afternoon demand for air conditioning, but demand for electricity generally peaks at about 6:30pm, when production from solar is usually zero.  Secondly, to be a standalone energy supplier, PV solar needs batteries to cover those times when solar is not producing — about 75% of the time under ideal cloudless skies.  To charge the batteries for continuous power, while also supplying usable power, a solar plant can deliver a theoretical maximum of only 25% of its daytime capacity.

Solar panel company pocketing govt subsidy cash intended for homeowners.  The idea behind this was that if homeowners wanted to save some money on their energy bill by using solar power, they could receive a 30% subsidy to help cover the costs.  Sounds pretty sweet, eh?  Well, when the government is giving away taxpayer cash, plenty of people will line up to get it... and it's not always those who were intended to benefit.

Solar-panel maker shuts down.  A Toledo solar-panel manufacturer has shut down and dozens of employees are out of work.  Xunlight Corp., a flexible solar-panel manufacturer that uses technology developed at the University of Toledo and is based on Nebraska Avenue, closed its doors June 30 to "resolve some matters," CEO John Buckey said.  Mr. Buckey declined to elaborate on the cause of the shutdown, but a letter provided to The Blade that appears to have been sent by Mr. Buckey to employees on July 2 said the company is closing and makes no reference to any potential reopening.

Solar (and Wind): Green for the Air, Filthy for the Grid.  Barclays Investment Bank Research recently downgraded the entire U.S. electric utility sector because they believe that "a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo" for energy generation in America.  The electrons generated by residential PV solar systems are "green," but the electric current they send to the utility grid is referred to in the industry as "filthy," since it is inherently variable, intermittent, and unreliable.

As Veterans Waited For Treatment, VA Hospitals Spent $420 Million On Solar Panels.  If you thought the fiasco engulfing Veterans Affairs (VA) couldn't get any worse, you were wrong.  It seems that VA hospitals spent around $420 million dollars on solar panels and windmills, while veterans languished on appointment waiting lists.  Some have died as a result.

BLM's Nevada Cattle Stance Linked to Solar Plans.  Environmental mitigation necessary for a planned solar power project may have motivated the federal Bureau of Land Management's decision to launch a military-style armed enforcement action against a Nevada cattle rancher, government documents reveal.  According to the documents, BLM determined continued cattle grazing would interfere with the bureau's plans to use the land as an environmental mitigation area for desert tortoise disruption caused by the solar facility.

Renewable Electricity: a Technological Rip-Off, and an Environmental Loser.  In California, electricity sales were $35 billion in 2012.  The average retail price of electricity in California is around 14 cents per kilowatt-hour.  This compares to about 8 cents in states that have not found the renewable energy religion.  The differential gives the California renewable energy mafia about $15 billion a year with which to reward its friends and supporters.  That's just for the electricity sector.

Energy CEO says Obama is destroying low-cost energy with EPA.  Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray says he is scared to death for this country, for poor people, those who live on fixed incomes and for people who are retiring.  Murray says Obama is illegally using the EPA and the Clean Air Act to take over the US Electric Power Grid and in the process he's destroying low-cost energy.  Murray points out that coal is only 4 cents per kilowatt-hour and Obama wants to replace it with renewable energy sources, wind and solar, that cost 22 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Why Solar Power is Permanently Inefficient.  The solar collecting area on the roof of a house may be enough to heat or perhaps cool a house, but residential heating is only about 13 percent of US energy consumption.  And the payback time, verified more recently by Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, and others, does not equal the expected life of solar residential heating systems.

The accepted killing and maiming of animals in the name of Green energy.  Liberals love solar and wind energy as long as the solar panels, which need considerable acreage to install and plenty of sun year around, are installed on someone else's property.  But no progressive would agree to have the ugly, unsightly, and noisy wind mills installed in their own back yards because they would be destroying their vineyards' and horse-riding pastures' "view shed."  Aside from frying birds that happen to wonder in the heat flux of the solar panels, or are attracted by the reflecting panels that look like water, or chopped by the rotating blades of the turbines, wind mills are damaging to animal and human health.

Energy Sources, Costs and Global Warming.  Last month the Wall Street Journal (8/18/12) published a breakdown of federal subsidies for electric power production, citing the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the Institute for Energy Research as sources.  Here is the comparison of subsidy costs per megawatt hour:

  Fuel Type              $ Subsidy per megawatt hour
  Oil and Gas            $0.64
  Coal                    0.64
  Hydropower              0.82
  Nuclear                 3.14
  Wind                   56.29
  Solar                 775.64
Solar and wind are horrendously more expensive, but they are the fuels favored by the Obama administration.  The fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) are by far the most economic.

Study: Renewable Energy Poses Security Risk.  Intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power pose a serious energy security risk and threaten to undermine the reliability of energy generation in the UK, according to a new report. [...] Last December, wind and solar power generation almost came to a complete halt for a week.  Germany's 23,000 wind turbines were largely still, while photovoltaic failed to generate enough energy due to lack of sunlight.  The result was that for a week, the country's remaining conventional power plants had to take on the burden of providing all the country's energy supplies.  The report's author, Philipp Mueller, said:  "Open energy markets are a much better way to ensure energy security than intermittent generation systems like wind and solar.

California's New Solar Plant Burning Up Taxpayer Money, Land, and Wildlife.  The Ivanpah capital cost is $2.2 billion for 392 megawatts (MW) of gross generation capacity (potential power output per hour).  (That 392 MW is a number not comparable to 392 MW of, say, gas-fired capacity, because of a sharply lower "capacity factor," discussed below.)  Accordingly, the nominal capital cost per kilowatt (kW, one one-thousandth of a MW) of capacity for Ivanpah is about $5600, a figure that ignores some costs that are important but hidden.  In comparison, the Energy Information Administration publishes estimates of the capacity costs per kW for coal, combined-cycle natural gas, nuclear, and on-shore wind capacity:  respectively about $2700, $885, $4800, and $2075.  For solar thermal plants in general, the EIA estimate is about $4750.

Obama donor gained nearly $1 billion in tax credits in Solyndra bankruptcy.  Most people who follow the news are aware that President Obama invested $527 million in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California-based solar panel manufacturing company.  What is much less well-known is that the federal government was legally required to cut its losses of tax dollars just months into the project, and that only an illegal loan modification made to benefit an Obama fundraiser led to taxpayers losing more than $500 million.  "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra," Obama declared in May 2010, but even then, the company was burning through more than $10 million a month and headed towards bankruptcy.

End to solar farm blight as subsidy scheme to be scrapped.  Subsidies that have driven the spread of large solar farms across Britain are to be scrapped under plans to stop the panels blighting the countryside.  Energy companies that build solar farms currently qualify for generous consumer-funded subsidies through the so-called 'Renewable Obligation' (RO) scheme, and had expected to keep doing so until 2017.  But the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced on Tuesday that it planned to shut the RO to new large solar farms two years early, from April next year.

Obama adds solar panels to White House, pressing his support for green energy.  Citing security and other concerns, the White House won't say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost.

White House Solar Project Doesn't Stand Up to Light of Day.  Topping off a week of energy and "climate change" initiatives, the Obama administration announced on May 9 that solar panels have been installed on the roof of the White House.  It's part of "a project that President Barack Obama hopes will send a signal that renewable energy is feasible and environmentally shrewd," reported the Associated Press.  "Solar panels at the White House, I think, are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a White House video.  "I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our clean energy future."  The administration claims that the solar panels will generate 6.3 kilowatts of power — but only when the sun is shining, and then only when it is shining at the correct angle.  According to the Daily Caller, this "only happens between 6 and 7 hours of the day."  That means the panels will produce about 44 kilowatt hours of electricity per day.

The Editor takes it a step further...
In the Washington / Baltimore area, the retail price of electricity is 12.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, which means the White House is saving $5.68 per day on electricity.  The White House won't say how much this project cost, claiming it's a security issue.  That is obviously a lie.  The secrecy surrounding the cost of the White House system has nothing to do with security:  The total cost must be really embarrassing, because solar panels won't last forever, and this system can never pay for itself.

German Solar Stutters Once Subsidies Dry Up.  As part of its energiewende, Germany guaranteed solar energy producers long-term above-market rates for their energy contributions.  It worked like gangbusters, transforming Germany into the world's leader in solar energy, but the subsidies necessary to keep the boom going came with heavy costs.  Recently, Berlin has walked back its over-generous feed-in tariffs, as the subsidies are called.  Now, as Reuters reports, new solar installations are plummeting.

Solar panels return to the W.H.  The installation of 6.3 kilowatts' worth of solar capacity fulfills a promise the administration first made in 2010, and complements a host of government and corporate energy initiatives that Obama will unveil in a speech at a Wal-Mart store in Mountain View, California.  Among other things, Obama will finalize several new energy efficiency standards, get hundreds of businesses and organizations to promise to deploy almost a gigawatt of clean energy, and train more workers for the nation's burgeoning solar workforce.  The corporate commitments come from companies like Apple, Google and Yahoo.

NM college spends $5 million on solar array to save $200,000 in utility bills.  Santa Fe Community College has just unveiled a solar array that, it says, will save the college at least $200,000 a year on its utility bills.  But the array, funded by taxpayers in a 2010 bond election, will cost $5 million.  You don't have to be a math major at the college to figure out it would take 25 years of $200,000 cost savings per year to reach the $5 million mark for the project to just break even. 

It Isn't Just the Bundy Ranch.  The Bundy Ranch incident, which threatened to escalate into a shooting war, collapsed when reports surfaced that the ulterior motive behind the attempted BLM takeover was an deal set up by Harry Reid to place solar panels on the land; something from which we can expect he stood to profit handsomely, and very likely under the table.  It appears likely that the reports were correct, or else the standoff would have escalated.  Confronted with the truth, the BLM backed down, but promised that this wasn't the end.  It appears that this may be correct because various western state governments are now convening to take control of the "federal" lands.

Judge Jeanine Links Nevada Land Grab to Solar Energy Plant.  This week, United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continued trashing ordinary Americans over land grabs.  And you need to be concerned because the land grabs haven't ended.  And who knows?  Will your land be next?

Greens Are Reds.  The greens are, in short, against almost all forms of electric power, except those that are prohibitively expensive.  They are against oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro, which together account about 90 percent of our electric power production.  They want wind and solar energy, which produce about 3 percent of our electricity and aren't even green.  We'd have to pave over entire states and vast stretches of desert with solar panels to produce enough electricity to power our $18 trillion economy.

Some Lessons from Cliven Bundy.  Removing Cliven Bundy's cattle and killing them was not about "the public good."  It wasn't even really about "protecting the turtles."  Instead, it was about clearing off land so that Chinese land developers in league with Harry Reid's son Rory could use the land as a remediation site connected with a solar power panel farm they wanted to build further north as part of a $5 billion development deal.  In other words, it was about using public land so that the Reid family and foreign developers could make a pile of money — which makes the Senator's complaints about Bundy "profiting off of public lands" just a bit hypocritical.

Oklahoma will charge homeowners who generate their own power.  Under the terms of a recently passed bill, expected to be signed by Governor Mary Fallin, homeowners who install their own private solar or wind turbine energy resources and sell some of the juice back to energy companies will be paying a fee for the privilege.

Death by solar farms: 71 species of birds killed, 'entire food chains' disrupted.  A new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds that solar facilities in California are acting like "mega traps" that kill and injure birds.  As a result, "entire food chains" are being disrupted.  USFWS's National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory studied three solar farms in Southern California:  Desert Sunlight, Genesis Solar and Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS).  Two-hundred and thirty-three different birds from 71 species were found over the course of a two-year study.

Reviving The Constitution Part 3: Federal "Property".  Rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle made use of open land claimed by the federal government.  Neither of those things is much out of the ordinary.  Western ranchers have long pastured their animals on "open range."  More, as the feds claim 84% of the land in the state of Nevada, there aren't many options for such a rancher.  But in this case, there were covetous eyes on that pasturage:  a group of Chinese investors who sought to turn it into a solar energy farm.  For them to get their way, Bundy and his cattle had to go.

Solar companies take govt. to court.  Generally, when we hear stories about the federal government ripping off the businessman, we tend to think of tales of tax increases or burdensome regulations.  But a different type of story crosses our desk this weekend, as a solar power consortium — who already received a quarter billion in grants and tax incentives — takes Uncle Sam to the courthouse because they feel they should have gotten millions more.

Report: That new $1.6 billion loan-guaranteed solar farm is basically a "mega-trap" for flying wildlife.  I would merely like to reiterate, once again, that mass bird deaths via solar farm (and don't even get me started on wind farms) might very well be a equitable price to pay if this solar farm was otherwise worth its salt.  Honestly, I could easily forgive the birds deaths if it were serving as a competitive and cost-effective alternative form of energy.  The oil industry, for instance, ends up killing some wildlife in their production processes, too, and plain ol' tall buildings bring down plenty of birds every year — but the problem is that this Ivanpah solar farm is not serving as a competitive and cost-effective alternative form of energy.

Solar-Panel Robotics Startup Gets Government Grant.  A Silicon Valley startup using robots to install solar panels has secured a roughly $1 million grant from the Department of Energy.  Brittmore Group, based in San Jose, Calif., is focused on bringing more automation to the installation of large-scale solar power plants. [...] Robots are used to do the heavy lifting of solar panels, and can shuttle panels to their installation locations at a rate of 10 miles per hour.

A Tale of Two Cities.  The U.S. metro area with the lowest unemployment rate is a shale oil boomtown.  The one with the highest unemployment rate houses the world's largest solar plant.  Energy policy experts are pointing to that dichotomy as evidence that job creation potential in the energy industry lies primarily with fossil fuels, despite the administration's insistence on creating a "clean energy economy."  According to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Midland, Texas, has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in the country. [...] In contrast to the successes of those oil and gas boomtowns, Yuma, Ariz., is facing the highest unemployment rate of any U.S. metro area at a whopping 26.1 percent.  Yuma is the site of the Agua Caliente solar plant — the largest photovoltaic solar generation facility in the world.

Blinded by Green Energy.  Many who are blinded by green energy don't know about or simply ignore the heavy reliance on taxpayer subsidies and massive cronyism surrounding it.  But now, in addition to the fiscal impracticality of green energy, we have Bald Eagles being killed by ugly wind turbines and pilots being dangerously disorientated by giant solar plants — and as if the Ivanpah solar plant wasn't causing enough trouble, it's the very same plant that has been conveniently cooking birds before they fall to the ground.  Isn't it interesting how green energy (and those who amass their wealth from it) gets a free pass from any of its negative impacts, unlike the economy-growing affordable energy options?

Pilots complain of being blinded by glare over world's largest solar plant.  The largest solar-panel plant in the world, built near the Mojave desert, has been blamed for blinding pilots flying over the California facility.  The Ivanpah plant, in San Bernardino, uses 173,500 mirrors to reflect sunlight on to boilers, but despite its green credentials it has been criticized as a flying hazard.  Two anonymous complaints were made to the Federal Aviation Administration in August last year, complaining of a 'blinding glare' coming off the plant.

Katrina victims live out Hollywood eco-agenda.  I stopped by the Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly nine years after Hurricane Katrina.  I visited one particular spot — the area where in August 2005 a flood wall holding the waters of the Industrial Canal broke, setting off a calamity that continues to this day.  The destruction was total; the rebuilding is at best partial.  The first thing one notices today is that solar energy panels seem to outnumber people in this particular stretch of the Lower Ninth.

Washington State Senate Reexamines Solar Power Incentives.  The Washington Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee held a January 30 session to examine federal, state, and local incentives given to the solar power industry.  James M. Taylor [...] noted jobs created in the solar power industry by government subsidies or market share carve-outs are not jobs created at all.  Instead, he noted, they are merely jobs shifted away from the conventional power sector, where the workers would be producing more-affordable electricity that leaves more money in people's pockets to purchase goods and services across the entire economy and produce additional jobs there.

Pikes, Pickets, and Scams.  Whenever the proponents of green energy argue for more money for these failed projects, they assert that the life of every bird, bee, snail, and minnow is precious and that green energy will save what nasty fossil fuels endanger.  We've already seen how the strict rules about killing endangered birds are waived when it comes to avian pâté-making windmills, now it appears that the huge Ivanpah Solar plant interferes with both aviation and bird life, but who's complaining?

Solar Plants May Make Deserts Too Hot For Tortoises.  We've paid plenty of attention here at KCET to the problems caused for desert tortoises when their habitat is replaced with renewable energy facilities.  But now one scientist is saying that big solar facilities in the Mojave could seal the desert tortoise's fate in a way you might not expect.  According to Barry Sinervo, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Cruz, current solar projects in the California desert intended to slow global warming, including two approved just last week by the Interior Department, could actually make the desert too hot for tortoises to survive past the end of the century.

The Dark Side Of Solar Power.  One of the inconvenient truths that global warming fanatics and renewable energy purists try to ignore is that wind and solar energy are not so environmentally friendly.  At least, not if you care about wildlife and land preservation.  First, these energy sources are massive land hogs.  Ivanpah requires more than 5 square miles of mirrors to produce enough electricity to light 140,000 homes.  It would take roughly 3,600 Ivanpahs to supply all the country's electricity needs, with mirrors covering New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and a chunk of Massachusetts combined.  Wind power is hardly much better.  According to the Nature Conservancy, it takes 30 times the land for windmills to produce as much electricity as a nuclear power plant.  And their turbines amount to bird Cuisinarts.  To keep wind farms spinning, the Obama administration recently issued permits letting them kill protected bald and golden eagles for 30 years, provided they take some steps to mitigate the slaughter.

The Editor says...
If I had written that article, I would have mentioned, in very fine print, that Cuisinart® is a registered trademark of Cuisinart.

Extreme winter weather affecting some solar panels' energy output, maintenance, officials said.  For the countless solar panels that have cropped up on rooftops and fields across the region, winters like this one can reduce solar output when the panels become covered with snow or clouds filter the sunlight.  Overall, PSE&G's solar production has dropped this winter as the state has been hit hard by snowstorm after snowstorm, said Todd Hranicka, director of solar energy, although he had no specific figures.  "It's one of the challenges of solar," he said.  "If the sunlight is not hitting the solar panel, you're not generating energy."

The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project.  A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds.  U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday [2/13/2014] at an opening ceremony for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

World's largest solar plant scorching birds in Nevada desert.  A stretch of the Mojave Desert has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, but the milestone is being met with criticism from environmental groups concerned about the effect of solar energy on desert wildlife.  The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opened Thursday [2/13/2014] after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating tortoises to assessing the impact on plants.

Horror at the world's largest solar farm days after it opens.  Environmentalists have hit out at a giant new solar farm in the Mojave Desert as mounting evidence reveals birds flying through the extremely hot 'thermal flux' surrounding the towers are being scorched.  After years of regulatory tangles around the impact on desert wildlife, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday but environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singing [sic] birds.

Germany's Energy Goals Backfire.  Germany's radical initiative to subsidize renewable electricity generation has resulted in higher carbon dioxide emissions and the most expensive electricity in Europe, with the poor disproportionately bearing the burden.

Kansas Renewable Mandates Causing Skyrocketing Electricity Prices.  In 2009 the Kansas legislature passed legislation creating the mandates, which require Kansans to purchase 20 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2020.  Since 2009, U.S. electricity prices have risen merely 2.4 percent, from 9.89 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.13 cents per kilowatt hour (data through October 2013, the most recent month for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration published data when this paper went to press).  In Kansas, by contrast, electricity prices have risen 19.4 percent since 2009, from 8.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.64 cents per kilowatt hour.

Green Energy [is] Not Fit for the Grid.  Germany's wind and solar power generation came to a standstill in late 2013.  More than 23,000 wind turbines ran out of wind and most of the one million photovoltaic systems ran out of sunlight.  For a whole week, coal nuclear and gas-powered plants generated an estimated 95 percent of Germany's electricity.  Britain has 3,500 wind turbines, but during a period of extreme cold they produced just 1.8% of UK's electricity.  But, gluttons for punishment, politicians intend building more.

Solar Provides 0.2% of Electric Supply — Up From 0.02% Before Obama.  Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted in his State of the Union Address, accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.  That is up from the 0.02 percent of the total electricity supply that solar power sources provided in 2008, the last calendar year before Obama took office.

The Solar Swindle.  Solar electricity is growing, promoted, and most importantly, heavily subsidized.  The promoters of solar electricity claim that it is close to being competitive with conventional sources of electricity.  That is a fantasy.  Solar electricity is expensive and impractical.  If it weren't for government subsidies, some explicit and some disguised, the solar industry would collapse.

Electricity Prices Rise Dramatically Under Ohio Renewable Mandates.  Electricity prices in Ohio have risen approximately triple the national average since Ohio enacted renewable power mandates in 2008.  The sharp rise in electricity prices occurred despite promises during 2008 legislative hearings that renewable power mandates would have little or no impact on electricity prices.  In 2008 the Ohio legislature passed legislation creating the state's renewable power mandates.  Under the mandates, Ohioans must purchase 25 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2025.

Green Execution: Solar Power Project Killing Migratory Birds.  Next generation solar projects in California's Mojave Desert are creating next generation environmental destruction, scientists report, with solar panels luring migratory birds and then killing them with scorching heat.  The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports researchers found 34 dead birds at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project during the month of September.  Fifteen of the dead birds had their feathers melted by the solar project's reflecting mirrors.  Other carcasses showed similar signs of trauma from the project's solar panels.

Solar Panels Frying Birds Along Major Migration Path.  Some animal rights activists are wondering just how many birds green energy may unintentionally kill as more and more birds turn up dead at solar energy facilities throughout California.  A recent article by Vice author Lex Berko notes that dead birds are being found with "singed wings" around several California solar energy facilities.  It happens that many of California's solar plants are, the article claims, in the path of "the four major north-to-south trajectories for migratory birds" called "the Pacific Flyway."

US citizens pay for 'solar school' foolishness.  Solar systems are being installed at hundreds of schools across the United States.  Educators use solar panels to teach students about the "miracle" of energy sourced from the sun.  But a closer look at these projects shows poor economics and a big bill for citizens.  Earlier this month, the National Resources Defense Fund (NRDC) launched its "Solar Schools" campaign, an effort to raise $54,000 to help "three to five to-be-determined schools move forward with solar rooftop projects."  The NRDC wants to "help every school in the country go solar."  The campaign uses a cute video featuring kids talking about how we're "polluting the Earth with gas and coal" and how we can save the planet with solar.

Energy Dept. Seeks Company to Turn Sunshine Into Gasoline.  Although CO2 is considered a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to climate change, if the Energy Department (DOE) finds partners to capitalize on the research of one of its laboratories, someday cars might run on sunshine.  Technically, cars would run on the product of sunlight, CO2, and water using a "two-step solar thermochemical cycle" developed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico government lab.

Burned out: Obama's first land auction for solar goes bust.  So much for the White House dream of solar selling like hotcakes.  The first federal auction run by the Bureau of Land Management to sell chances to build solar power projects on public land went completely bust on Thursday [10/24/2013].  Nobody showed to bid.  "We did not have any bidders come to the sale, and we did not received any sealed bids on the sale," BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said, Denver Business Journal reported.

Abound Solar cleanup could cost $3.7 million.  Cleanup of the former production facility contaminated and abandoned by bankrupt Abound Solar Inc. is estimated to cost as much as $3.7 million, according to documents obtained by the Business Report.  As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease.

CA rooftop solar will cost other customers $1 billion per year.  Wealthy rooftop solar homeowners will shift $1.1 billion per year in extra costs onto other electric ratepayers by the year 2020, according to a new study just released by the California Public Utilities Commission.  Who benefits from net-metered solar rooftop systems is a contentious issue.  Sure to add controversy is the CPUC study finding that the median household income for customers with rooftop solar systems is $91,201 per year.

Abound Solar Cleanup Could Cost Nearly $4M.  The cleanup of bankrupt company Abound Solar Inc. will cost an estimated $3.7 million, according to Northern Colorado Business Report.

Global Warming Alarmism Wrecks European Economy.  Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most costly energy sources.  But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and solar power.  This is killing European economies.  Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of electricity in the U.S.  High electricity costs make it difficult for businesses to operate if they need a lot of electricity.

Obama donor gained nearly $1b in tax credits in Solyndra bankruptcy.  Most people who follow the news are aware that President Obama invested $527 million in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California-based solar panel manufacturing company.  What is much less well-known is that the federal government was legally required to cut its losses of tax dollars just months into the project, and that only an illegal loan modification made to benefit an Obama fundraiser led to taxpayers losing more than $500 million.  "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra," Obama declared in May 2010, but even then, the company was burning through more than $10 million a month and headed towards bankruptcy.

How Europe's Economy Is Being Devastated By Global Warming Orthodoxy.  Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most costly energy sources.  But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and solar power.  This is killing European economies.  Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of electricity in the U.S.

Time for Solar Energy and Wind Farm Supporters to Stop Living in the Stone Age.  We've done wind and solar already.  They don't work too well.  Solar is great if you're sending a satellite into space outside the atmosphere.  If you want to power a modern home, it doesn't work unless you raise the price of electricity so sharply that solar suddenly becomes competitive.  And that's the environmentalist tactic.

Obama's Middle-Class 'Mission Accomplished'.  Obama's idea of a "durable industry" seems to be solar companies like Solyndra and electric car suppliers like A123 Systems.  Both of these "durable" companies filed for bankruptcy after obtaining generous loans from the Obama administration.  Taxpayer money that would otherwise have been invested to create good jobs in the private sector was squandered so the president could pretend he was a green energy pioneer.  In reality, he has never been a pioneer at anything.  He is an old-fashioned radical who still harbors the adolescent fantasy of a Marxist utopia.

The constantly varying output power from wind and solar facilities puts a physical strain on Plan B.
Cycling Damages Power Plants.  Natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and coal-fired power plants are supposed to be started, ramped up to speed, and run under constant conditions until being shut down.  That's why they are called base load power plants — they provide a steady output of electricity.  They are not designed to be load following plants, where the power plant ramps up and down to follow the load, i.e., demand.  If they are forced to follow the load, which is the case when wind and solar are on the grid, the sudden changes in temperature damages parts in the boilers and turbines.

Dietz & Watson warehouse blaze: solar panels hampered firefighting, officials say.  More than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a burning warehouse in Burlington County proved too much of a hazard for firefighters, local officials said today.  "We may very well not be able to save buildings that have alternative energy," William Kramer, New Jersey's acting fire marshall, said after Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt refused to send his firefighters onto the roof of the 300,000-square foot Dietz & Watson facility, ablaze since Sunday afternoon.  Solar panels are particularly hazardous to firefighters for a number of reasons, according to Ken Willette, a division manager with the National Fire Protection Association.

California's Smoke Signals.  Like so many other emergencies in California, this one is government-made and a warning about its green political obsessions. [...] To hit the renewable mandate, utilities are building long transmission lines to deliver power from distant solar and wind projects to population centers.  Most large-scale solar plants in California are being built in dry, sunny desert and valley regions.  Wind farms are concentrated in the mountains.  Both are fire-prone.

White House installing solar panels on first family residence.  President Obama in 2009 directed federal agencies to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy, and in late 2010 pledged to put solar panels on the White House.

Climate Realism and Socialist Realism.  Not only does solar power, at the plant gate, cost 4-8 times as much as conventional power, but it is erratic and seasonal to say nothing of not working at night. [...] The Department of Energy is spinning a fantasy.  Most of the cost of solar power is in pedestrian things like steel and concrete.  Even if the cost of photovoltaic panels were zero, solar would not be remotely competitive.  If complete solar plants cost zero, it would still not be practicable due to the cost of backup plants, electricity storage and long power lines.

Billions Burned on Obama's Green Energy.  Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011.  It was just the bellwether; the first of many to come.  A year later Christine Lakatos and I profiled nearly 20 green-energy stimulus-funded companies that had gone bankrupt.  The next week, we highlighted the other bookend:  "companies/projects that received funding from various loan guarantee programs (LGP), grants, and tax incentives.  These are projects that are still functioning, but are facing difficulties."  One of those troubled companies was A123 Systems.  One week after our report, A123 filed for bankruptcy.  Nearly two months later, A123 was purchased by a large Chinese auto parts maker that has renamed the lithium-ion battery company B456.

Fleming Amendment Ends Another Taxpayer Bailout.  The Obama 2009 stimulus bill cost taxpayers about $830 billion, and much of it was wasted on growing government and administration giveaways, like a $3.25 billion loan program that put taxpayers on the hook for failed green energy projects.  A company could take a government loan and walk away from a project without paying taxpayers back, even if the company remained in business.

Louisiana Law Will Phase out Solar Tax Credit.  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation phasing out the state's tax credit for solar energy.  The credit will expire at the end of 2017. [...] The tax credit amounts to 50 percent of the first $25,000 of the cost of each system, and it may be applied to personal, corporate, or franchise taxes.

Minnesota Implements Solar Power Mandate.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the levelized costs for generating electricity from solar power will be more than double the costs for generating electricity from natural gas for at least the next several decades.  For every increment of solar power added to the Minnesota electricity mix, customers will see that portion of their electric bill more than double.

Spanish downturn a disaster for green energy.  "We have sued in the Spanish courts," said Miguel Angel Martinez-Aroca, president of Anpier, which groups Spanish solar energy producers.  The sector is "barely surviving after so many cuts", he said.  His association has launched a campaign to highlight the unknown victims of the new austerity regime:  people who put their savings into solar panels counting on the subsidies to make them profitable and, for example, to help finance their retirement.

The 'Great Renewables Scam' unravels.  Energy insiders have long known that the notion of 'renewable energy' is a romantic proposition — and an economic bust.  But it is amazing what the lure of guaranteed 'few strings attached' government subsidies can achieve.  Even the Big Oil companies bought into the renewables revolution, albeit mostly for PR reasons.  Like Shell, however, many quickly abandoned their fledgling renewable arms.  Post-2008, they knew, the subsidy regimes could not last.  Neither was the public buying into the new PR message.

Europe's Renewables Hype Implodes As German Solar Goes Belly Up.  Energy insiders have long known that the notion of viable 'renewable energy' was always a romantic proposition — and an economic bust.  But it is amazing what the lure of guaranteed 'few strings' attached government subsidies can achieve. [...] Now it was just a question of time before Europe's world leading pioneers of solar and wind power, Germany and the UK, decided they had had enough of the self-inflicted economic pain.  And all the signs are, as Germany's solar sector just went belly up and the UK is made aware of how much every wind job actually costs, that the slow implosion of the renewables revolution is under way.

SolarCity Sues Federal Government for More Subsidies.  The Obama administration's efforts to promote renewable energy took an unexpected turn in May when it was revealed a major recipient of Washington's largesse had turned on the hand that had been feeding it and sued the federal government, claiming it had not received all the money to which it was entitled.  In February, San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity quietly brought suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, saying the U.S. Treasury Department had retroactively changed the rules for a program that oversees taxpayer-funded grants to solar installation companies.

Prices soar in places that depend on green energy
Europe Wants "Backsies" on Green Energy Policies.  Wind and solar power come at a premium; setting quotas for energy produced from these sources is going to drive prices up.  This is what happens when you try and prop up technologies not ready to compete on their own merits.  You become less competitive with regions that haven't handicapped themselves.

Company dumps big Laughlin solar project, says market won't support it.  A Chinese-backed company is pulling the plug on a multibillion-dollar solar project near Laughlin after it was unable to find customers for the power that would have been generated there, a Clark County spokesman said Friday [6/14/2013].

Solar price rise to end power divide.  Australia's one million rooftop solar households could be forced to pay new fixed charges to help recover billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and make electricity prices fairer for all consumers.

Cost of German Solar Is Four Times Finnish Nuclear.  German solar panels installed between 2000 and 2011 will cumulatively supply about 400 terawatt-hours (TWh) to the grid by 2031.  Between 2000 and 2031 Germany's electricity ratepayers will pay about $130 billion for the solar PV generation from these panels installed between 2000 and 2011 in the form of 20-year feed-in tariff contracts, at an average cost of 32 cents a kWh.  Moreover, solar panels do not last as long as nuclear reactors and also give reduced output as they age.  After three decades a single nuclear plant with the same output of Olkiluoto would generate about as much electricity as all of the German panels installed in the last decade.

Don't fall for the solar panel flannel!.  This solar panel installation will pay for itself — when the owner is 154 years old.

SolarWorld Lays Off Oregon Workers, Bankruptcy May Follow.  Taxpayer-subsidized SolarWorld laid off 40 workers at its Hillsboro, Oregon plant earlier this year, marking nearly 300 workers laid off company-wide after state officials invited the company to apply for up to $100 million in subsidies and the company accepted at least $27 million in subsidies.

Renewable Energy: Bringing Blackouts Back to California?  The epidemic of power outages and "rolling blackouts" which nearly shut down California in the early 2000s may be returning.  Back then, the culprits were unscrupulous energy providers like Enron and a poorly-thought out process of deregulation.  This time, renewable energy would be to blame, as the state has pushed to increase the use of solar and wind energy without ensuring that there is enough traditional power generation to keep the grid stable on cloudy, windless days.

The Solar Panel Domino Effect.  Solar projects that have received help from the federal government could be affected by the bankruptcy of a mirror manufacturer that benefited from federal aid. [...] Flabeg is reported to have received millions of dollars in financial assistance from federal and sate governments.  Pennsylvania helped the mirror manufacturer build its plant near Pittsburgh with $9 million in grants and loans.  The Obama administration awarded Flabeg $10.2 million in tax credits, according to the [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette.

Ohio Utilities Panel Derails Expensive Solar Project.  Ohio state officials struck a severe blow to a plan to construct the largest solar-panel array east of the Rockies when the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio found utility American Electric Power "did not prove that the project is needed."  Developers proposed constructing the 49.9 megawatt Turning Point Solar project on 500 acres of land near Zanesville in southeastern Ohio.  American Electric Power (AEP) joined forces with Agile Energy in plans to deploy 225,000 solar panels on the site.  Developers estimated the project would cost $250 million.

U.S. and China waste billions on solar panel race.  What happens when China and the United States clash in a subsidy-fueled solar panel arms race?  The world gets a lot more solar panels than anyone wants to buy, manufacturers go bankrupt, and taxpayers get stuck with the tab.  Will the recent bankruptcy of subsidized Chinese solar giant Suntech Power cause the Obama administration to tone down its argument that we need to match China's solar policy?

Flabeg, solar energy company in Findlay, going bust.  A Findlay-based solar power firm that was awarded nearly $20 million in state and federal tax breaks and grants ceased production last week and cannot afford to pay $197,000 that terminated employees say is owed in severance packages. [...] Over the past several years, the solar industry has seen several high-profile bankruptcy cases.

Here's the Cold Hard Truth About Solar Energy.  This winter has provided a good example of how things can go wrong.  Solar has a major drawback in that all panels shut off at the same time.  That requires massive reliance on other sources of energy.  Despite its avowed decision to relinquish nuclear power, Germany must now import nuclear-generated power from neighboring countries and resort to coal, despite an earlier move to the contrary, in the face of the highest energy costs in Europe.  The government is even opening taboo fuel oil generators to make up the power slack.

Claim: Germany Spends $110 Billion to Delay Global Warming by 37 Hours.  Bjorn Lomborg claimed on John Stossel's television show last night that money isn't being spent well to combat "global warming":  "The Germans are spending about $110 billion on subsidies for these solar panels," said Lomborg.  "The net effect of all those investments will be to postpone global warming by 37 hours by the end of the century."

The Dream of a World Without Oil.  [Mark Z.] Jacobsen's article provides a thorough assessment of the future of WWS [wind, water and solar].  Unfortunately, rather than buttress his argument, his figures undermine the conclusion that we don't need fossil fuels.

Bosch abandons solar energy.  In a rare reversal of strategy from the manufacturing conglomerate, Bosch said on Friday [3/22/2013] it would end its photovoltaics, or solar panel production early next year and put parts of the business up for sale.  Unlisted Bosch, one of the world's largest maker of car parts, has lost 2.4 billion euros (2 billion pounds) since it created the solar energy unit in 2008 after it bought Aleo Solar and Ersol.

Bosch to abandon solar energy business.  German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable amid overcapacity and huge price pressure in the industry.

World's Largest Solar Company Files for Bankruptcy.  The world's largest solar panel maker, China's Suntech Power, put its Wuxi subsidiary into bankruptcy following poor sales and sanctions on the company, reports CNN Money.

Green Energy Has A Brownout Problem.  How do you keep the power on when the wind won't blow and the sun won't shine?  As California has discovered, it's a problem that's neither easy nor cheap to solve in the brave new world of renewables.

American Jobs, Chinese Profits.  The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is financing the purchase of solar panels from a manufacturer now owned by the Chinese that had previously attracted investments from prominent Democrats, the bank announced Wednesday [3/27/2013].  The deal comes amid criticism of the bank's support of foreign competition to American businesses and accusations of cronyism.  Ex-Im approved a loan to an Indian developer who wants to buy solar panels from MiaSolé, a California-based solar panel manufacturer.

Are global wind power resource estimates overstated?  Wind turbines extract kinetic energy from the mean flow and produce a plume of low velocity air downstream.  At the local scale it is well understood that wind turbines cannot be spaced too closely together or the power extracted per turbine will decrease driving up the amortized cost of electricity.  At the scale of typical commercial wind farms, which rarely have more than a few rows of turbines along the prevailing wind direction, turbines are typically spaced 5-10 rotor diameters apart, equivalent to a density of 2-10 MW of installed wind turbine capacity per square kilometer, or a peak power output of 2-10 W [per square meter] of land surface area.

The dirty side of clean solar energy:  While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem.  Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.  To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.

I hope you have a gas-powered generator as a backup.
Overly Overcast: Germany Weathers Darkest Winter in 43 Years.  The days may be getting longer, but there's still not a hint of springtime sunshine in Germany.  Weather data shows that this winter has been the gloomiest in 43 years.  If the sun doesn't start shining soon, it will be the darkest winter on record.

Renewable Energy Investment Goes Up in Smoke.  The Spanish Parliament approved a law on Thursday [2/14/2013] that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies, backtracking on its push for green power.  That measure, along with other recent laws including a tax on power generation that hit green energy investments especially hard, will virtually wipe out profits for photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind plants, sector lobbyists say.

California is "greening" itself toward a third world electrical grid.  Alas, California's ecotwits have forced most of the state's fossil fueled power plants into mothballs.  The ones that are still limping along will likely be shuttered by 2020 thanks to onerous and prohibitively expensive upgrades required under the Clean Air Act.  So what will happen on cloudy, windless days?

Bankrupt Abound Solar to Bury Unused Solar Panels in Cement.  Colorado-based Abound Solar has been ordered to remove and bury in cement thousands of leftover solar panels "deemed unsellable" by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  The company must also clean up other hazardous waste at a number of facilities statewide, according to the Northern Colorado Business Report (NCBR).  The cleanup is expected to cost at least $2.2 million.

Lomborg: Electricity prices for German households have increased 61% since 2000 — renewables blamed.  Real German electricity prices for households have increased 61% since 2000.  One quarter of household costs now stems directly from renewable energy.  Also, the increase is *not* because of increasing production costs (which have actually slightly declined since 1978).  The increase is due to dramatically increasing taxes, most noticeably from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG).  In 2013 the EEG will increase 50% to 6.28 euro-cent (5.28 cents plus 19% VAT).

Environmentalists suing the Interior Department over solar zones.  The Interior Department identified 'solar zones' across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, and prioritized designing a program to fast-track solar permits for their designated areas.  The entire purpose of this ostentatious bureaucratic exercise, of course, is to help the Obama administration beef up and showcase their super-duper green, environmentalist credentials... except that a lot of well-organized environmentalists are actually pretty ticked off about the whole thing.

Another Blow To Germany's Solar Industry.  Over the last two years, almost every single one of Germany's solar module and equipment manufacturers, most heavily subsidised by taxpayers, has closed in a wave of insolvencies not seen since East German industry collapsed in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Solar industry grapples with hazardous wastes.  While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem.

Barack H. Obama is intentionally strangling the American economy.
Solar development absorbing Calif. farmland.  There's a land rush of sorts going on across the nation's most productive farming region, but these buyers don't want to grow crops.

Mafia's new business enterprise: renewable energy.  Willie Sutton, a notorious thief from the 1930's, was once asked why he robbed banks.  "Because that's where the money is," he replied.  So where's the money today?  Government subsidies for renewable energy — massive subsidies with little oversight.  In Europe, this means easy pickings for organized crime.  And the Sicilian mafia is cleaning up.

Obama's dirty clean-energy deals.  Three of the country's biggest residential solar-panel installers — SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity  — have been subpoenaed by Treasury's Office of Inspector General for their financial records to determine if they had inflated the market value of their costs when they applied for federal reimbursement.  The firms have reportedly received more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits.  Officials in two of them, SolarCity and SunRun, have been among some of Mr. Obama's most generous campaign donors.

Harvard Needs Remedial Energy Math.  Wind and solar power cannot possibly meet the world's growing need for more electricity.

Solar Subsidy: Californians to be charged $1.3 billion for not using solar panels.  Regulations subsidizing the use of solar panels in California will cost customers who don't have them $1.3 billion annually, according a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.  California utility companies claim that rates will have to be raised on traditional customers to make up the shortfall.

Solar power adds to nonusers' costs.  Booming rooftop solar installations in California are bringing an unwelcome surprise to the homes and businesses that don't have the devices:  an extra $1.3 billion added to their annual bills, more than half of that for Pacific Gas & Electric customers.

Solar firms probed for possible 'misrepresentations' in getting public money.  Three of the country's most prolific installers of residential solar panels are under federal investigation to determine if they inflated the cost of their work to increase the payments they would receive from the government, according to government and industry officials familiar with the probe.  SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity have received subpoenas from the Treasury Department's office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits the firms tapped for performing work.

Navy builds solar power farm near Norfolk base.  The solar farm contains more than 8,600 panels, each bolted onto steel stilts in a marshy field called Monkey Bottom, just outside the fenceline of Norfolk Naval Station.  Together, they can generate up to 2.1 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 200 homes, said Michelle Perry, project manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.  That's only about 2 percent of the electricity required to run the Norfolk Navy base [...] The project cost $21 million and was part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package.

The Editor says...
News reports of this sort almost always say that a project can generate "up to" a certain amount of power, but that figure is at the peak of a daily cycle, on a clear day, and only if the panels are free of snow and dirt.  Reporters never seem to mention that solar panels experience lengthy power failures — every night!

So, how's your green energy stock doing?  RENIXX® World, the Renewable Energy Industrial Index of the world's top green energy companies, hit an all-time low below 146 on November 21, down more than 90 percent from the December 2007 peak.  The RENIXX index was established in 2006.  It's composed of the world's 30 largest renewable energy companies with more than 50 percent of revenues coming from wind, solar, biofuel, or geothermal energy, or the hydropower or fuel cell sector.

$14 Billion in Stimulus Spending Generates Just 1.2 Percent of Electricity.  Despite more than $14 billion in cash payments to solar, wind, and other renewable energy project developers since 2009, just 48 terawatt hours of additional annual electricity generation were expected to be added through funds authorized by the stimulus, according to documents released by the Department of Treasury.  The more than 45,000 projects brought online through 2012 would represent less than 1.2 percent of overall electricity generation, according to figures provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for 2011.

Solar power plants burden the counties that host them.  An economic consultant hired by [Inyo] county found that property tax revenue would be a fraction of the customary amount because portions of the plant qualifiy [sic] for a solar tax exclusion.  Fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions — and just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by county residents.  And construction workers are likely to spend their money across the nearby state line, in Nevada.

SolarWorld lays off up to 37 in Hillsboro, saying tariffs have yet to provide relief.  SolarWorld will lay off as many as 37 workers from its Hillsboro plant, company officials confirmed Wednesday [11/14/2012].  The factory, which makes solar cells and panels, is suffering from a market downturn that SolarWorld blames primarily on unfair competition from China.

Solar power, too, was gone with Sandy's wind.  The thousands of solar-powered New Jersey homeowners have spent the last week at the mercy of the power grid, just like everyone else.  "I've been asked that all week long," says Jeff Lega, whose home in Brick is covered in rooftop solar panels.  "'Why don't you have power?'"  Understanding the answer requires an understanding of how residential solar panels function.

Obama Fundraiser Is Winner in Solyndra Bankruptcy Ruling.  A major fundraiser for President Obama's reelection campaign appears to be the biggest winner from a ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, last week in favor of an exit plan for Solyndra LLC, the failed manufacturer of solar panels and the recipient of a $535 million government-guaranteed loan under the President Obama's economic stimulus plan, passed by Congress in 2009.  Losers include the American taxpayers [...]

Six Green Lies Threatening to Starve You.  Solar and wind are "clean" we're told, because they do not produce offensive byproducts like carbon dioxide.  However, in order to be considered a true alternative, a power generation method must be capable of meeting the needs served by the method it is replacing.  You would not replace a cold family's wood-burning stove with a sun-warmed rock just to reduce their smoke emissions.  Yet that is a model of the methodology behind the subsidization of highly inefficient green energy technologies and the arbitrary restriction of methods known to work.

Wind and solar: the ethical investments to avoid.  Renewable energy has turned sour for ethical investors, with wind and solar among the worst-performing stocks.

Abound Solar Under Investigation for Securities Fraud.  Abound Solar is now under investigation in two separate criminal cases, months after the Department of Energy loan recipient filed for bankruptcy.  Local officials are investigating whether Abound management committed securities fraud by failing to notify investors about engineering defects in the solar panels the company produced.  Some of the panels, according to Fox News, were not producing the energy they were designed to, in addition to other product flaws.

Taxpayer-backed solar firm under fire after bankruptcy, questions over defective panels.  Another solar company that received taxpayer support before going bankrupt is facing tough questions from Congress and a criminal investigation — following in the footsteps of solar-panel firm Solyndra.  The company facing scrutiny is Abound Solar, based in Longmont, Colo.  Colorado's Weld County has launched a securities fraud investigation following allegations that Abound may have misled investors and a bank before securing funds.

Emails suggest White House involvement in loan to bankrupt Abound Solar.  Just one day after President Barack Obama went on television saying that politics had nothing to do with the now bankrupt Abound Solar receiving a taxpayer-backed loan guarantee from the Energy Department, emails have surfaced that appear to contradict these claims.

German engineering giant pulls out of solar.  German engineering giant Siemens said on Monday [10/22/2012] it plans to pull out of solar energy where business expectations have not been met and is currently negotiating to sell its activities in this area.

Report: Taxpayer loss due to Solyndra may be as high as $849 million.  The cost to taxpayers for the failure of solar panel company Solyndra may be much higher than the $535 million dollar federal loan guarantee the company received.  After the company went bankrupt in last August, 2011, the Energy Department, which had given the original loan, okayed an unprecedented deal to attract more private investment to Solyndra.  One result of this deal is that it has allowed more than $350 million in tax write-offs to pass to those private creditors, one of which is owned by a major donor to President Obama.

Obama Administration Sets Aside Public Land Bigger Than Rocky Mountain National Park for Solar Development.  The Obama administration announced last week that it is setting aside 285,000 acres of public lands to be used for "commercial-scale solar development" — a total acreage amount that surpasses Rocky Mountain National Park, with 265,461 acres owned by the federal government.

The Solyndra Memorial Tax Break.  Perhaps you thought the Solyndra scandal amounted to a $535 million government loan that will never be repaid.  No such luck.  In the latest twist, Solyndra's investors could be rewarded for their failure, thanks to a tax benefit the Administration handed out in a bid to evade political accountability.

Green stimulus profiteer comes under IRS scrutiny.  Vice President Biden snickered during last week's debate at the suggestion there was waste, inefficiency or cronyism in the 2009 stimulus bill.  If he can stop cackling for long enough, Biden, the self-proclaimed "stimulus sheriff" should sit down with the IRS officials and the federal inspector general who are investigating a solar company owned by leading Obama donor and subsidy recipient Elon Musk.

Interior to fast-track solar projects on public lands.  The Obama administration finalized a program Friday to fast-track solar energy projects on public lands in six Western states.  The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.  The federal government will offer incentives for development, help facilitate access to existing or planned electric infrastructure and ease the permitting process in the 17 zones.

Do We Need Subsidies for Solar and Wind Power?  At a time of intense debate over the federal budget, government subsidies for wind and solar power are more contentious than ever.

IRS says 'tax avoidance' at heart of Solyndra bankruptcy plan.  The Internal Revenue Service urged a bankruptcy judge to reject solar panel maker Solyndra LLC's bankruptcy plan Wednesday, saying it amounts to little more than an avenue for owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes.  "The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this plan," attorneys for the IRS wrote in a bankruptcy pleading.  Arguing that the bankruptcy court ought not confirm a plan "whose principal purpose is tax avoidance," attorneys said in filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware that the tax breaks would be worth more money than funds set aside for creditors.

Solyndra, the sequel? Bankrupt solar firm, DOE facing scrutiny over panel problems.  House Republicans are pressing the Obama administration for more information about a solar-panel company that received a $400 million loan guarantee, then went bankrupt and is now the focus of a criminal investigation.  The committee pursuing documents on Colorado-based Abound Solar is the same that investigated the half-billion taxpayer loan to Solyndra, whose bankruptcy rocked the Obama administration.  Two more Department of Energy-backed companies have since filed for bankruptcy, with Abound Solar being the latest.

Biden, Dems enlisted by energy company to win billion-dollar loan deal, emails show.  The White House contends that all energy loan guarantees, including the more than $500 million given to now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, are awarded solely on the merits of the project, with no political influence from President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden or other administration officials.  But a series of emails from solar power giant BrightSource Energy Inc. show how the company applied political pressure and used behind-the-scenes cajoling to win a $1.6 billion loan guarantee in April 2011.

Sources, documents suggest government-subsidized Abound Solar was selling faulty product.  Abound Solar was given a $400 million loan guarantee by the Energy Department, and drew on about $70 million dollars of the guarantee before DOE cut them off in September 2011 — the same month the Solyndra scandal began. [...] Internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound show that the company was selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.

Bankrupt green loan loser Abound Solar now under investigation in Colorado.  If it's a day that ends in "y," it's a day of trouble for an Obama green loan recipient somewhere in America.  Like Mitt Romney said during the debate last week, the crony-in-chief doesn't just pick winners and losers, he picks the losers.

Navy's green plan for Pearl Harbor runway draws fire.  History buffs say the famous runway at Pearl Harbor's Ford Island is under attack once again — this time from the U.S. Navy itself, which may cover it with solar panels.  The unused runway in the center of the military base at Pearl Harbor is a good location for the solar project and is "critically important to achieving renewable energy mandates," says Navy spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan.  But American history aficionados say the site should be preserved as sacred ground.

SoloPower: Another Solyndra in Waiting?  The Department of Energy's loan guarantee program has already had two significant failures in the solar industry, the best known being Solyndra.  Now a third company, San Jose's SoloPower, seems to be following in Solyndra's footsteps and threatening to leave taxpayers on the hook for millions more.

Solar Eclipsed?  Germany's solar industry has led the way in Europe.  Until recently the country was the world leader in manufacturing solar cells.  Half of the world's total solar power generating capacity is installed in Germany.  But, according to Klaus Dieter Maubach, Technology Chairman at the country's power major EON, Germany's solar industry is in a death spiral.

Where Are the Solar Panels Mr. President?  On June 20, 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels, used to heat water, on the White House roof.  In 1986 under the Reagan administration those panels were taken down for a routine roof resurfacing and never returned.  However, in 2010, President Obama announced he was bringing solar panels back to the White House roof, which the administration said were slated for installation by the spring of 2011.

Lambasted Chinese solar panels placed on government building.  Government officials blame unfair competition from China for the collapse of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, but such concerns didn't stop the federal government from breaking stimulus program rules to use Chinese solar panels atop a federal building housing the offices of a senator, congressman and several agencies.  Even the contractor questioned whether Chinese-made panels could be used under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus program that mandated use of U.S.-made products.

Germany's new "renewable" energy policy.  It is amazing how biased the international media is when it comes to reporting on energy generation, specifically electricity.  In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it.  This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.

Taking Green Seriously.  The [Ontario] Auditor-General found that billions of dollars were committed to renewable energy without fully evaluating the impact, trade-offs, or alternatives through a comprehensive business-case analysis. [...] A seven billion dollar agreement was entered into with a Korean consortium, led by Samsung, that was sole-sourced and was neither subject to competitive tender nor the subject of a comprehensive and detailed economic analysis or business-case.

House passes 'No More Solyndras Act'.  On Friday the House of Representatives voted 245-161 to pass a bill that would phase out the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that allowed the now bankrupt solar company Solyndra to get a $535 million taxpayer funded loan guarantee.  Twenty-two Democrats voted for the bill, and only four Republicans voted against it.  "Solyndra is the most visible but far from the only example of Title 17 failures.  In fact, it is hard to point to a single loan guarantee success story under this program," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton said on the House floor Friday morning [9/14/2012] before the passage of the bill.

Taxpayer fights Solyndra for $535 million.  Many Americans were upset when solar-panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last September owing taxpayers more than $500 million, but retiree Robert Grady Jr. was different.  The more he read about the failed company, the more irritated he became.  Finally, weeks after the bankruptcy case began, Mr. Grady did something he'd never done before.  He filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  It turned out to be the biggest single claim in the case — $535 million — but it wasn't on behalf of himself.  Rather, Mr. Grady, 57, made the claim on behalf of U.S. taxpayers because he said he didn't trust Department of Energy lawyers to look out for taxpayers' interests.

Still More Corrupt Green Energy Boondogglery.  The $535 million of our money Obama laundered through the Solyndra debacle to pay off donor George Kaiser is only the tip of the iceberg.  Another example of how Hopey Change (formerly known as Chicago-style corruption) is applied to energy policy. [...] Why is Obama running for reelection instead of cooling his heels in an orange jumpsuit for the looting spree he calls an energy policy?  Because the "mainstream" media will see to it that stories like this are swept under the rug, and Republicans are afraid to make an issue of them.

Obama's Solyndra Stonewall Fails in Court.  A federal judge has rejected a bid by the Obama administration to reject part of a lawsuit seeking documents about more than $500 million in federal loans to the failed Solyndra solar panel firm.  In an order issued Friday [8/31/2012], U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras declined to remove the Department of Energy as a defendant in the case brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Red Carpet for Solyndra Figure at Democratic Convention.  The Obama campaign rolled out the red carpet this week for a former top Energy Department official who was at the center of the ill-fated government loan to Solyndra, a California solar panel firm that wound up in bankruptcy.  Steven J. Spinner joined other top fundraisers for a VIP tour of the Democratic National Convention floor in Charlotte Monday evening, posing and waving for a photographer while standing behind the podium.  When he saw ABC News cameras, however, he ran for the exit.

Report: Solyndra backers could get more tax breaks.  Bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra said Friday [9/7/2012] it could get $23 million in additional tax breaks, a development that angered Republicans who have said the firm got a federal loan guarantee as a political favor.  Reuters reported that a bankruptcy judge said on Friday that Solyndra's creditors could vote on the bankruptcy plan with the additional tax breaks.  A final decision would come Oct. 17 — just weeks before the Nov. 6 election.  Solyndra already had disclosed it could be eligible for $341 million-worth of tax breaks.

689 Reasons to Defeat Barack Obama.  [For example,]
457. "Cap and trade."
458. "Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."
459. The war on coal.
470. Ener1 received a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy.  It went bankrupt in January.
471. BrightSource received $1.6 billion in guarantees and turned it into a $177 million loss.
472. Beacon Power received $43 million in loan guarantees.  It's now bankrupt.
473. ECOtality received $126.2 million of taxpayers' money.  It posted $45 million in losses and will never be profitable.
474. Abound Solar received $400 million in loan guarantees to build photovoltaic-panel factories.  The company has filed for bankruptcy and laid off all 305 of its employees.

Airport controllers complain of solar panels' glare.  About 25 percent of a solar-panel array at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has been temporarily shut down after air-traffic controllers started complaining about glare, an airport official said.  Officials recently draped tarps over the troublesome panels, which are part of the 2,200-panel solar field installed on top of the airport parking garage this year.  It went online early this month.  The airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, contractors and a consultant are studying the glare problem, said Brian O'Neill, deputy airport manager.

Solyndra investors could reap tax windfall.  Two investment companies stand to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks under a bankruptcy exit plan for failed solar company Solyndra, government lawyers say.  Nearly a year to the day after the solar company filed for bankruptcy owing taxpayers more than $500 million, Solyndra is poised to restructure under a deal that government lawyers fear could provide a tax windfall to the investors.

Solyndra headquarters could sell at fraction of original price.  Taxpayers are about to take it on the chin again when it comes to solar-panel firm Solyndra, as the now-defunct company looks to sell off its glimmering headquarters for a fraction of the original price.  Bankruptcy court documents filed earlier this week show that Seagate Technology — which makes hard drives and other storage products — is offering to buy the Fremont, Calif., building for $90.3 million.  The original building cost was cited in earlier documents as roughly $300 million.

Obama uses green pork to push the swing states:
Nuclear's Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy.  Last week, Environmental Entrepreneurs, a trade group, announced that wind and solar projects around the country had created 34,409 new jobs around the country in the second quarter of 2012, with high concentrations in California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado.  GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately countered this by visiting Ohio's coal country, promising to protect the industry from the Obama Administration' "War on Coal."

Where Our $500 Million Went: Solyndra Glass Tubes Used as Modern Art.  One of the great mysteries of the 2011 Solyndra bankruptcy was:  What happened to all that money?  After the United States government "loaned" Solyndra $535 million, the money quickly vanished; the bankruptcy court later found that the company had essentially no cash on hand.  They had spent it all on equipment and inventory.  Surely, then, the inventory could be sold and liquidated, to recover some of the ill-spent cash — right?  Well, not really.

Obama's Federal Land Grab.  Whereas most of the pressure from environmental groups has been in preventing the development of Western lands, now these seemingly endless tracts are being regarded as a fertile field of dreams for environmentalists to carry on their experiments with wind and solar energy. [...] All these projects will suffer the intermittency problems that plague wind and solar generation everywhere.  This intermittency will create surges and voltage drops that destabilize a grid.  Some solar plants are now developing thermal storage that can carry them through a few hours of the night, but only this reduces their overall capacity by nearly one-half, so that instead of requiring 10 square miles of highly polished mirrors to generate 500 megawatts — the size of an average coal plant — it will take twenty.  These projects will also require hundreds of miles of transmission lines to bring them to population centers.  And the electricity they produce will be ridiculously expensive.

Obama "Green Energy" Scandals Widen as Lawmakers Probe Deeper.  The Obama administration and its Energy Department are under fire over controversial "green energy" schemes yet again, with Republican lawmakers alleging on August 15 that senior officials may have violated federal law by attempting to conceal records using private e-mail accounts.  Last week, the House Oversight Committee also requested more information from President Obama about his personal involvement in funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to politically connected companies such as Solyndra that later failed.

There is no California.  [Scroll down]  As gasoline prices soar, California chooses not to develop millions of barrels of untapped oil and even more natural gas off its shores and beneath its interior.  Home to bankrupt green companies like Solyndra, California has mandated that a third of all the energy provided by state utilities soon must come from renewable energy sources — largely wind and solar, which presently provide about 11 percent of its electricity and almost none of its transportation fuel.

Barack Obama — A Transparent Fraud.  For example, the $574 million dollar investment in the failed, solar panel company, Solyndra, is just the tip of the iceberg.  The White House has not revealed the true amount of the wasted dollars from failed "green" jobs programs, nor revealed the true extent of its involvement in these failures.  This past week, emails revealed that Obama had direct knowledge of the problems with Solyndra, yet continued to tout the success of "green" enterprises and "green" jobs.

Dirty Harry's Clean Energy Cronyism.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has been working to secure sweetheart deals for Chinese green energy firms, according to reports.  Reid, who last week hosted the fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has been "pulling strings behind the scenes" for months on behalf of ENN Mojave Energy, a Nevada subsidiary of the Chinese-owned ENN Group.

House Wants Info on Obama's Involvement in Green Energy Subsidies.  New government e-mails show stark division among top White House and Obama administration officials regarding federal subsidies to green energy companies, prompting Congress to seek more information about what President Barack Obama knew and how involved he was regarding the largely failed strategy of doling out money to wind, solar and other alternative energy companies.

Subsidy programs still a problem.  The "No More Solyndras Act," approved last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would wind down the Energy Department's loan guarantee program for alternative-energy efforts, require the Energy Department to consult the Treasury Department before restructuring loans, and would also require greater transparency on the part of the government.

Hundreds of Millions in Taxpayer Losses Are Just 'Minor Blips'.  President Obama's disgracefully corrupt policies on green energy alone should be enough to ensure his defeat in November — even apart from his war on reliable energy sources, which is unspeakably outrageous. [...] What's more is that the White House's hands were all over this one; there are no six degrees of separation here, not even one degree.  White House chief of staff Bill Daley was explicitly made aware of Solyndra's grave financial problems before the restructuring decision.  At least a dozen more Solyndra-like Obama brainchildren have gone bankrupt, swallowing taxpayer dollars in their gluttonous paths to failure.

The 10 Most Revealing Solyndra Emails.  [#1]  In March of 2011, DOE ignored the advice of White House budget officials and restructured Solyndra's federally-backed loan, giving private investors priority in the repayment of their investments.  DOE insisted that this would produce the greatest returns for taxpayers, but OMB officials, in a series of emails earlier that year, pondered ways to demonstrate to DOE that restructuring the loan would be "a bad idea."  OMB analyst Kelly Coylar crunched the numbers, and found that DOE would lose about $141 million if it allowed Solyndra to go bankrupt and liquidated its assets.  A restructuring agreement, on the other hand, could more than double taxpayer losses, she wrote.

Solyndra takes the gold for crony capitalism.  If there is any justice in this world, the name Solyndra will live on through the years as the exemplar of crony capitalism gone wrong in America, even after President Obama is safely away from the White House.  Ever since the solar manufacturing firm went bankrupt, sinking last year with Obama's $527 million investment aboard, it has been generally acknowledged as a policy and public relations disaster.  But now that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released thousands of emails between Obama administration officials and key Solyndra players, the enormity of this disaster is becoming clearer.

Solyndra email: 'POTUS involvement was Rahm's idea'.  Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel repeatedly claimed he had no memory of the Obama administration's controversial $535 million loan to failed solar company Solyndra, but White House emails released Thursday [8/2/2012] say it was Emanuel's idea for the administration to tout the doomed firm.

Obama's 'Bank of Washington' applauded by Solyndra CEO in email.  Solyndra's CEO labeled President Barack Obama's administration "The Bank of Washington."  Chris Gronet offered the description in an internal email one year before the company collapsed in 2010, costing taxpayers roughly $500 million.  The email was obtained and published by the Republican National Committee.  "The Bank of Washington continues to help us!" he wrote in the October 2009 e-mail, which sketched plans for Solyndra to exploit several additional federal programs and tax-incentives.

Probe faults 'pressure' to promote stimulus in $535M Solyndra loan approval.  A congressional report concluded Friday [7/27/2012] that "political pressure" by a White House eager to tout stimulus spending was largely to blame for fast-tracking the ill-fated $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee — findings compounded by the release of an email that showed the former CEO once referred to the aid as "The Bank of Washington."  The email and the report were released by Republicans, who continue to use the scandal to portray the Obama administration as careless with taxpayer money in pursuit of its alternative-energy agenda.

Emails: Solyndra took sales pitch directly to Obama.  A top White House adviser received clear notice that solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. faced a "severe liquidity crisis" even before a controversial restructuring allowing investors to recoup money from the now-bankrupt company before taxpayers, documents released Thursday [8/2/2012] show.

The Case of CH2M HILL: $2 Billion in Crony Stimulation.  "Not very much."  This was the answer that the Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, recently provided when asked of the amount the federal government will be able to recover from the Solyndra bankruptcy.  "Not very much."  The same could be said for the amount of research that the federal government has put into other companies involved in the Solyndra scandal.  One such company, CH2M HILL, should be next on the House GOP radar, having used nearly $10 million in stimulus funding to design the elaborate Solyndra facility in Fremont, California.  While CH2M HILL is in no danger of suffering the same bankruptcy plight, they also languish in a pool of mismanaged taxpayer funds.

Solar Pie-in-the-Sky.  How plans to run an entire Australian town on solar energy failed miserably.

Uncle Sam's solar eclipse.  As much of the nation broils under the merciless July sun, the Obama administration can't resist the urge to burn cash on "green" energy projects.  Each time one of these solar-energy firms flames out, American taxpayers get singed. [...] The latest to fail is Abound Solar, a Colorado solar-panel manufacturer.  The firm filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on July 2, two years after being awarded a $400 million stimulus loan guarantee.

A Sign of Sanity in Solar Manufacturing.  GE is apparently delaying the construction of its previously announced Aurora, Colorado, thin-film solar panel factory, and "taking this opportunity to re-look at our solar strategy."  I couldn't find a GE press release to back this up, but it's been reported by RECharge and confirmed by Forbes.  It's easy to read too much into a single event, but I think this looks significant, particularly in the wake of Monday's [7/9/2012] Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by Abound Solar, incidentally another recipient of a sizable federal renewable energy loan guarantee.

Interior Department opening up more federal land... for solar panels.  Forget about the leasing for oil, gas, and mineral drilling that would allow the energy market to produce the jobs and economic growth it is absolutely chomping at the bit to create — let's prioritize our administrative resources and land use for an industry that has demonstrated itself barely capable of competing on the global market despite heavy assistance from taxpayers.  Yeah, that's a great plan.

New solar failure got subsidies from Dems and GOP.  Another politically connected subsidy-suckling solar company has hit the financial rocks, and once again, revolving-door lobbyists and Obama bundlers are implicated.  But this time the GOP is on the hook, too.  Amonix announced last week it was closing down its 214,000-square-foot Las Vegas factory that makes solar panels.  The news generated schadenfreude among Republicans eager to pin another Solyndra-like green energy failure on President Obama.  The Republican National Committee sent out an email citing Amonix as yet another example of "Obama's failed record."  But Amonix has been raking in federal subsidies since Obama was palling around with Bill Ayers in Hyde Park.

The Editor says...
Yes, both political parties are at fault when it comes to massive federal spending on projects that have dubious value and exaggerated potential.  But Barack H. Obama has squandered far more money on solar energy and wind energy boondoggles than anybody in history, and his record of abject failure is clear to see.  Keep reading...

A List Of Obama's Green Energy Failures.  Here's a list of the companies that this administration was sure would be winners just a year or so ago.
  •   Evergreen Solar — $3M in DoE funds, $58M from the state of Massachusetts;
  •   SpecrtraWatt — $500K;
  •   Solyndra — $535M;
  •   Beacon Power — $43M;
  •   Eastern Energy, an AES subsidiary — $17.1M;
  •   Nevada Geothermal — $98.5M;
  •   SunPower — $1.5B;
  •   First Solar — $3B;
  •   Babcock & Brown — $178M (they're Australian);
  •   Ener1 — $118.5M;
  •   Amonix — $5.9M;
  •   Fisker Automotive — $339M to build cars in Finland;
  •   Abound Solar — $400M;
  •   Solar Trust of America — $2.1B;
  •   A123 Systems — $279M;
  •   Willard & Kelsey Solar Group — $6M
  •   Johnson Controls — $299M;
  •   Schneider Electric — $86M.
What do these companies have in common, other than getting tons of your money?  Well, they're all either in or headed for bankruptcy court.

The Green Graveyard of Taxpayer-Funded Failures.  Solar-cell manufacturer Solyndra became a household name when it collapsed, taking $627 million in American taxpayer dollars with it.  It's the poster company for the government picking winners and losers — or really, just losers — in the energy market.  But there are 12 more "green energy" losers that have declared bankruptcy despite attempts to prop them up with taxpayer money — and the list is growing.  There's a reason why these companies could not rely solely on private financing and needed help from the government.  They couldn't make it on their own; they couldn't even make it with extra taxpayer help.

Obama Fundraises With Players in Solyndra Scandal.  At an exclusive re-election fundraiser tonight [7/23/2012], President Obama hobnobbed with 60 of his wealthiest supporters, including two figures at the center of the Solyndra loan controversy.  Steve Westly, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was one of the first to raise red flags about the administration's support for a $500 million loan to Solyndra, the solar energy start-up that later went bankrupt.  He wrote directly to senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett in 2010 to raise concerns about the company's viability ahead of the president's high-profile visit that year.

Another DOE-Sponsored Solar Plant Idles Production.  Another American solar firm is purportedly in financial disarray after receiving millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  Only a year after it opened, the Amonix solar manufacturing plant located in North Las Vegas has idled production, leaving serious questions about the company's financial viability and whether taxpayers will be burdened with another multi-million-dollar DOE-subsidized boondoggle.

Subsidized failure: Obama bankruptcies and green cronyism.  When you subsidize something, you get more of it — and the Obama administration has been funding failure.  The lights may have gone out on his uneconomic solar firms, but the money trail is still visible.  Billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted while President Barack Obama's well-connected friends benefited.

Lights out for another White House-backed solar company.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that Amonix, a solar panel company in north Las Vegas that received about $15.6 million in federal funds — grants, not loans in this case — and another $6 million in tax credits, has closed its doors for good after laying off most of its staff earlier this year.

Obama Administration Heralds Green Investments as 'Progressing and Succeeding'.  The Obama administration's investments in clean energy include a number of successes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted Tuesday [7/17/2012].  However, a review of the federally subsidized green companies finds that most have either filed for bankruptcy or made massive layoffs.  Carney responded to a question about criticism from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney regarding the $535 million Department of Energy loan to the politically connected Solyndra solar panel firm that filed for bankruptcy last fall before being raided by the FBI.

Obama Spokesman on Solyndra: 'Widely Praised as Successful and Innovative'.  Lis Smith, a spokesman for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, touted Solyndra by saying the failed energy company that received federally backed loans has been "widely praised as successful and innovative."

Team Romney: "It's Time to Vet the President".  [Scroll down]  Incidentally, since the ad singled out Obama's Solyndra disaster, you might be interested to see what an Obama campaign spokeswoman said about the politically-connected, now-bankrupt solar company:  "The reality is that Solyndra received funding through a Department of Energy program created under the Bush administration — a program that has supported tens of thousands of jobs across the country and is moving forward with [... "]  Actually, Solyndra's loan was rejected by Republicans because of numerous (justified) red flags, all of which were explicitly buried and ignored by Obama's political team for political reasons.

Renewable Energy's Incurable Scale Problem.  A simple bit of math shows that even with the rapid expansion that solar and wind-energy capacity have had in the past few years, those two sources cannot even meet incremental global demand for electricity, much less make a dent in the world's insatiable thirst for coal, oil, and natural gas.

GE Primestar: Another DOE-Touted Solar Plant Fails.  GE PrimeStar was originally PrimeStar Solar, a startup which used technology developed at the National Renewable Energy Lab and $3 million in DOE award money (given in 2007 and 2008 under the Bush administration) to develop its business.  In April of 2011, GE, which had been an investor in the company since 2008, bought the company outright and announced it would build a $300 million production plant in Aurora, Colorado.  The plant was announced just six weeks after Solyndra's bankruptcy, making it cause for celebration at the DOE.

Obama Administration official calls Solyndra an "enormous success".  Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, asked [David G.] Franz if he would agree that "the Loan Guarantee Program has had a tough record."  Frantz replied, "Quite to the contrary, sir, I think it's been an enormous success."  [Video clip]  There have been so many "successes" that it's hard to keep track of them all: Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, Ener1, A123, SunPower, First Solar, Evergreen Solar, Solar Trust for America, Fisker Automotive... every one of them swimming in a thick "success" gravy of bankruptcy and layoffs.

Failure of Serious Energy is [an embarrassment] for Obama and His Chicago Cronies.  Before there was Solyndra, there was Serious Energy.  The company was personally hyped by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Roland Burris (remember him?) as a "green jobs" company funded by Obama's 2009 stimulus.  Today, Serious Energy is closing factories and laying off workers — and the Federal Trade Commission has found it made false claims about the energy efficiency of its products.

Darpa Gets a New Boss, and Solyndra Is in Her Past.  Until last year, Arati Prabhakar worked for the venture capitalists who backed Solyndra, the green-tech firm that imploded in a scandal described by Mitt Romney as an example of the White House's "crony capitalism."  Now Prabhakar has a new job, this one in the Obama administration:  running the Pentagon's most important research agency.  But being the geek-in-chief requires investing billions on risky, high-tech bets that aren't so different from Solyndra.

GE Solar Delay Shows Timing Will Never Be Good.  We've heard this story before.  Much like taxpayer-backed Abound Solar — which just revealed it would declare bankruptcy — General Electric announced last week it would suspend construction of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Colorado.  The excuse given was that GE plans to focus on research and development to improve the technology and efficiency of the panels it wants to produce.

House investigating bankrupt solar company backed by Obama bundler and DOE loan.  House investigators have asked executives and former executives at Abound Solar, a now-bankrupt solar company that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, to testify before Congress about the DOE subsidy.  The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending invited the Abound Solar CEO and former CEO to testify, along with some Energy Department officials after the company announced it is filing for bankruptcy, despite drawing about $70 million of the $400 million available from the DOE loan guarantee.

Obama's Green Energy Failures Continue To Abound.  Another stimulus-backed solar panel maker, one the president touted in a weekly radio address, is filing for bankruptcy.  The administration's green-energy efforts continue to grow a deeper shade of red.

Bankrupt Colorado solar firm sticks taxpayers for $68 million, doomed by poor quality.  Despite glowing press clippings in which the CEO of Colorado-based Abound Solar claimed seven months ago that his company was the "anti-Solyndra," the green-energy firm has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.  It is terminating all 125 workers at its Loveland, Colo. headquarters, and is blaming China for its failure.

Abound Solar to Close, Will File for Bankruptcy.  Abound Solar Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, will suspend operations and file for bankruptcy because its panels were too expensive to compete.

Doing the Math on Solar Water Heaters.  [Scroll down]  In short, we are comparing an $8,000 investment with savings of $55 on a $100 annual gas bill.  Dividing the two numbers tells us that it would take 145 years to recoup the investment.  It gets worse, however, because you have to calculate the cost of that $8,000 capital investment.

Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2011.  [Scroll down]  Solyndra was once known as the poster child for the Obama administration's massive "green energy" initiative, but it has become the poster child for the corruption that ensues when the government meddles in the private sector.  Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011, leaving 1,100 workers without jobs and the American taxpayers on the hook for $535 million thanks to an Obama administration stimulus loan guarantee.  Despite the Obama administration's reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal.  White House officials warned the president that the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program was "dangerously short on due diligence," nonetheless the Obama administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it could make a splash at a press event.

Delaware's very own Solyndra?  Delaware's political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should subsidize the manufacture of supersized fuel cells under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy to replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity.  The politicos want to build a factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom's 10-ton, 100-kilowatt "eco-friendly" Energy Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.

$9 Billion in 'Stimulus' for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs — $9.8 Million Per Job.  The Obama administration distributed $9 billion in economic "stimulus" funds to solar and wind projects in 2009-11 that created, as the end result, 910 "direct" jobs — annual operation and maintenance positions — meaning that it cost about $9.8 million to establish each of those long-term jobs.

Searing questions on massive solar experiment in Mojave Desert.  Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane?  What happens if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target?  No one knows for sure.  But as the state and federal government push hard to build solar energy plants across the Mojave Desert — there are more than 100 solar applications pending — the military, birders, aviation officials and others are eager for answers.

Prisoners producing solar panels sold for installation by major Obama donors on federal buildings.
Green Energy Gulag.  The Obama administration is using prison labor to advance its green energy agenda, enriching foreign companies and some of the president's largest campaign donors in the process. [...] Hundreds of federal inmates earn between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour manufacturing solar panels at UNICOR facilities in New York and Oregon.  The panels are then sold to a variety of government agencies, which are obligated by law to purchase them.

Obama Energy Dept. awards $2 million grant to solar company linked with Van Jones.  On Wednesday [6/13/2012] the Department of Energy began financing solar power installation research with a $2 million award to Solar Mosaic.  The solar energy research company has former Obama "green jobs" czar Van Jones listed as an advisor.  It also employed Rebuild the Dream, Jones' firm, to do its public relations work.  The DOE's grant money will be distributed to nine companies in four states.  Solar Mosaic received the most money, four times the amount of most other grants.  Jones resigned his post in the Obama administration three years ago amid controversy stemming from his past remarks.

More Solyndra layoffs exposed.  More than 1,800 people lost their jobs when President Obama's favorite clean energy investment — Solyndra Corp. — filed for bankruptcy last year, according to U.S. Department of Labor documents obtained by a San Francisco-area web newsite.  "On the day it closed, Solyndra said it was laying off 1,100 full-time and temporary employees," the Bay Citizen reports today [6/13/2012].  "But 1,861 workers lost their jobs as the solar panel manufacturer shut its doors, according to U.S. Labor Department documents provided to The Bay Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act.["]

House Republicans Step Up BrightSource Probe.  House Republicans are broadening their probe of the Department of Energy's largest solar-loan guarantee.  Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters to the White House and BrightSource Energy Inc., the loan-guarantee recipient, asking for e-mails and other documents related to the $1.6 billion deal.  The Wall Street Journal viewed copies of the letters, which are dated June 7.

Solar Panels Blamed for House, Shed Fire in Mobile.  Fire officials say wiring and batteries to solar panels may be to blame for a shed fire that spread to a house.

First Solar Furlough.  A politically connected, taxpayer-funded solar firm announced a massive round of furloughs on Friday [5/25/2012], just weeks after its chairman told Congress his company was "financially strong."  First Solar, an Arizona-based solar panel manufacturer that received more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees under President Obama, has furloughed half of the 240-person workforce at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One (AVSR1) power plant near Los Angeles.

Bundler of Sunshine.  New disclosures show that one of President Obama's bundlers is the wife of an executive at an energy company that received a more-than-$1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a solar power plant.  Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000.  She began bundling for Obama in the first quarter of 2012.  Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration's clean energy spending, records show.

Solyndra 'Just the Tip of the Iceberg': New Obama Solar Loan Links.  A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee dug further into the $90 billion directed toward green-energy initiatives in President Obama's 2009 stimulus, noting questions not only about whether the programs have wasted taxpayer money but whether the White House pulled strings for some firms.  "When taxpayers lost over a half-billion dollars on Solyndra, the Obama Administration said that it was just one bad apple and that the rest of the portfolio was strong," said subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).  "It is becoming increasingly clear that Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of taxpayer risk."

Welcome to the Renewable Energy Future: A Lesson From Germany.  Blogger P. Gosselin credits this transformation of "Germany's once impeccably stable world-class power grid" with its "reckless and uncontrolled rush to renewable energies, wind and sun, all spurred on by a blind environmental movement and hysteria with respect to nuclear power."  He quotes Steffen Hentrick of the Liberal Institute:  ["]This shows not only how the replacement of conventional energy capacity through renewable energy is an illusion, but also how expensive the forced energy transition to renewable will be for citizens.["]

Solyndra for sale: Company's high-tech plant to be sold.  For sale:  manufacturing and office facility with 411,618 square feet, state of the art electrical, air, and power distribution systems — and a troubled past.

Mojave Solar Project Killing Threatened Desert Tortoises.  Construction of BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project in the Mojave Desert is destroying the habitat of threatened desert tortoises.  Conservationists have documented that in addition to destroying desert tortoise habitat, the project, approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas in southeastern California, has directly caused many desert tortoise deaths.

State officials look for path to rescue market for solar incentives.  The market that New Jersey officials set up to subsidize solar energy needs a rescue or there will be disastrous layoffs in the industry, business leaders, politicians and regulators say.  Those in the industry say if the government doesn't step in to raise subsidy prices paid to solar panel owners, a bust in the market will kill jobs created in the last few years as New Jersey's solar capacity has more than doubled, putting the state second only to California.

Another Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company Looks Like a Failure.  An Ohio-based solar company received millions of dollars in state and federal subsidies despite government officials' knowledge that the company was in financial trouble, and now a local newspaper reports little activity at the manufacturer's Perrysburg plant.

Solyndra Not Dealing With Toxic Waste At Milpitas Facility.  Three months ago, CBS 5 [KCBS-TV] caught Solyndra tossing millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes used to make solar panels.  Now the bankrupt solar firm, once touted as a symbol of green technology, may be trying to abandon toxic waste.

Solar Panels Cause Clashes With Homeowner Groups.  Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice.

Obama is the World's Worst Investor.  Barack Obama recently campaigned in Ohio about the importance of his policies, solar energy efforts.  Solyndra, endorsed enthusiastically by Department of Energy and the president, declared bankruptcy less than 12 months after receiving Obama's "investment" of $534 million dollars.  Unfortunately, Solyndra was not Obama's only poorly performing solar energy investment.  Obama has, so far, lost over 2 billion dollars in poorly performing solar companies that, soon after huge infusions of taxpayer dollars, filed for bankruptcy protection.

First Solar Latest Casualty in Renewable Energy Shakeout.  First Solar Inc. (FSLR)'s decision to fire 30 percent of its staff and reduce production shows that even the biggest solar panel makers aren't immune from the shakeout that's bankrupted at least eight companies on two continents in the past year.  The largest thin-film solar producer said yesterday [4/16/2012] it will cut 2,000 jobs by the end of the year at a cost of as much as $370 million.

Obama Doubles Down On More Solyndras.  Another day and another set of layoffs at a Department of Energy-backed solar company and an electric-car maker funded with stimulus dollars.  Yet the President wants to double down on green energy.

DOE-backed solar company lays off 2000.  First Solar, a solar energy company that received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, announced today that it will layoff 2,000 workers in the United States and world-wide.

Obama's "green jobs" have been slow to sprout .  Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president.  Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States.  Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes.  And it employs just 10 people.

BrightSource and the Fracking Task Force.  Bad stuff always happens on Friday the 13th.  So it was on Friday [4/13/2012] that BrightSource Energy, the large solar energy company that has already received $868 million of a $1.6-billion loan guarantee, canceled its IPO application.  And that same day, President Obama appointed Heather Zichal to head a new high-level task force to coordinate regulation of hydraulic fracking.  The two events, both highly inauspicious, were not unrelated.  The connection is simple and obvious:  in order to prop up failing solar companies, Obama needs to force natural gas prices higher.

So much for competitive bidding.
Email Claims: Obama Promised Solyndra CEO He Would Look Into Buying Solyndra's Solar Panels for Gov't Buildings.  Less than three months after President Barack Obama's May 26, 2010 visit to the Solyndra plant in Fremont, Calif., a Solyndra investor claimed in an e-mail to the company's new CEO, Brian Harrison, that during Obama's visit he had personally witnessed the president "actually promise" the company's previous CEO, Chris Gronet, that he would "look into" having the federal government buy Solyndra's solar panels to place on federal buildings.

Feds call bankrupt energy firm an 'empty shell'.  Not yet two years after the Department of Energy awarded $43 million in loan guarantees for Beacon Power's energy storage plant, government attorneys are calling the bankrupt solar company and its affiliates little more than "empty shells" benefiting lawyers and other bankruptcy professionals.

World's Largest Solar Plant Files For Bankruptcy.  Solyndra was just the appetizer.  Earlier today [4/2/2012], in what will come as a surprise only to members of the administration, the company which proudly held the rights to the world's largest solar power project, the hilariously named Solar Trust of America ("STA"), filed for bankruptcy.  And while one could say that the company's epic collapse is more a function of alternative energy politics in Germany, where its 70% parent Solar Millennium AG filed for bankruptcy last December, what is relevant is that last April STA was the proud recipient of a $2.1 billion conditional loan from the Department of Energy, incidentally the second largest loan ever handed out by the DOE's Stephen Chu.

Solar Trust Bankruptcy Far Exceeds Solyndra Scandal.  Americans for Prosperity, the leading grassroots organization representing over two million activists in the fight for economic freedom, responded to the breaking news of the Solar Trust bankruptcy.  "We thought Solyndra was bad, but the Solar Trust bankruptcy is on a whole new scale," said Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity.  "President Obama's 'Green Energy' giveaway continues to produce one costly failure after another."

China to Drop Solar Energy to Focus On Nuclear Power.  China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5.  China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.

Solar Firm That Turned Down Gov't Loan Fails — But Are Taxpayers Really Off the Hook?  Solar Trust of America, an energy firm based in Oakland, California, declared bankruptcy on April 2, fewer than 10 months after breaking ground on a project near Blythe, California, that was to be the world's largest solar power energy project built on public lands.  In its bankruptcy filing, the company claims to have assets of up to $10 million.  Those assets, however, are dubious, consisting primarily of the Blythe project and another project in Riverside County, California, neither of which has gotten off the ground.  Meanwhile, its liabilities may run as high as $100 million.

Treasury Officials Given One Day to Review U.S. Solyndra Loan.  The U.S. Treasury Department was given one day to review Solyndra LLC's $535 million U.S. loan guarantee after learning the Energy Department was ready to announce the award, according to a Treasury audit.  While Treasury staff say they had enough time to review the loan, internal e-mails cast doubt on whether staff suggestions were addressed by the Energy Department, the Treasury's Inspector General's Office said yesterday [4/3/2012] in the report.

A Narrow Escape For Taxpayers.  The collapse of the "green" energy industry continued today, as Solar Trust of America LLC filed for bankruptcy.  Solar Trust was, it claimed, carrying out the world's largest solar energy project in California.  Two things make Solar Trust's bankruptcy especially newsworthy:  first, Barack Obama's Department of Energy offered the company a $2.1 billion loan guarantee just last year.  Fortunately, Solar Trust turned it down...

Solar Trust seeks bankruptcy protection in Delaware.  Solar Trust of America's Chapter 11 filing on Monday [4/2/2012] listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.

Solar company bankrupt despite 'win-win' DOE loan.  In keeping with the recent trend of so-called green companies going into the red, another solar energy company supported by President Obama's top administration officials declared bankruptcy today.  Solar Trust for America received $2.1 billion in conditional loan guarantees from the Department of Energy — "the largest amount ever offered to a solar project," according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu — for a project near Blythe, Calif., but declared bankruptcy within a year.  It is unclear how much of the guarantee, if any, was actually awarded.

Solar Shenanigans.  Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and the Commerce Secretary have extensive ties to fast-tracked green energy programs under investigation by the Senate Budget Committee.  Seven solar power companies have received quick approval and little scrutiny from the Department of Interior to lease federal lands in California and Nevada in no-bid processes.  Critics have raised questions about the environmental impact of these companies on endangered species.  There are also concerns about political favoritism.

Documents: White House was all-hands-on-deck as Solyndra collapse neared.  The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday [3/23/2012] again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra — a company President Obama had personally visited — was about to go under.

Obama Took Credit for Solyndra in 2010.  President Obama tried to blame Congress for the failure of Solar Panel firm Solyndra on his four-state energy tour this week.  But the president took credit for the $500 million loan to the program in 2010.  "We can see positive impacts right here at Solyndra," he said.  "Through the recovery act, this company received a loan to expand its operations.  This new factory is the result of those loans."  In a radio interview on Tuesday, the president blamed both parties in congress for the loan program.

Obama on Solyndra Loan: 'This Was Not Our Program'.  President Obama denied culpability for the failure of solar firm Solyndra in a radio interview on Tuesday [3/20/2012], instead pinning the blame on Congress and the Chinese.  The loans initiative used to finance Solyndra was "not our program," he told American Public Media in response to question about Solyndra's bankruptcy and subsequent controversy.

Obama's Solar Alchemy.  How much power did solar plants in Nevada actually deliver?  According to EIA data, solar plants in the state of Nevada delivered an average of 33 megawatts in any given hour in 2011 — less than 50% of capacity!  Or, to put it another way, if 22,000 Nevada households were solely dependent on solar power last year, they wouldn't have had any electricity at all for about half of the year.  As points of comparison, an efficient coal-fired power plant typically generates 70 to 85 percent of the power it is capable of producing, on an annual basis, while nuclear plants operate at about 95 percent of capacity.

Obama Blames Congress For Failed Solar Firm.  President Barack Obama distanced himself from solar panel firm Solyndra amid Republican charges that his administration improperly secured a $535 million government loan guarantee.  "Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn't gone bankrupt," Obama said about the firm that went under shortly after obtaining the loan.

Obama: Solyndra "Was Not Our Program," You Know.  This president of ours is having himself quite a day, isn't he?  In addition to his shameless Keystone ploy, he's also trying to distance his administration from one of its most glaring, high-profile failures.

Germany Cuts Subsidies to Floundering Solar Industry.  Germany — once a global leader in the race for reliance on "alternative" forms of energy — has discovered that no amount of environmentalist ideology can alter the fundamental laws of economics.  Although wind and solar "farms" have been the recipients of lavish government subsidies throughout the European Union, the German government is now being forced to concede it cannot continue supporting solar power at the levels that had quickly become customary, and is dramatically reducing its solar energy subsidy.

Obama: Solyndra layoffs 'heartbreaking'.  Solyndra's bankruptcy is "heartbreaking" for the 1,100 workers who lost their jobs, President Obama said Wednesday [3/21/2012], while standing behind his administration's clean-energy investments. ... But Obama defended the Energy Department's loan program, which has come under fire from Republicans in the aftermath of Solyndra's collapse last year.

Obama Blames Congress For Solyndra: "Not Our Program, Per Se".  In an interview with, President Obama defends using U.S. taxpayer money to invest in solar energy projects.  During the interview, Obama was asked about Solyndra, one of the more well-known solar panel companies that failed after receiving a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.  However, Obama told Marketplace that "this was not our program."  Obama attempts to make the case that this falls on the lap of Congress because they put together the loan guarantee program.

My Diminished Capacity to Understand Obama's Clean Energy Policy.  In my ignorance, I thought that subsidies are dictated by and for special interests not by economic rationality.  I also believed that Solyndra and SunPower were not aberrations but representative of what is going on in Secretary Chu's and Obama's energy department.  What I fool I have been. ... Now that I understand the error of my ways, I have resisted the urge to return my Ph.D. in economics to Harvard University, resign my research professorship at a prestigious German economic research institute, and return my endowed chair in economics.

Obama sticks with solar despite setbacks.  Given the steady stream of disappointments and even some scandals that have emanated from the green-energy stimulus programs of the Obama administration, one might expect to see the president shy away from the subject.  But today [3/21/2012], despite the ongoing problems with firms like Solyndra, the politically connected California solar-panel maker that tanked shortly after receiving more than $500 million in federal loans, and a string of bad news from taxpayer-backed green energy programs, the president is doubling down on solar energy.

Firm sells solar panels — to itself, taxpayers pay.  A heavily subsidized solar company received a U.S. taxpayer loan guarantee to sell solar panels to itself.  First Solar is the company.  The subsidy came from the Export-Import Bank, which President Obama and Harry Reid are currently fighting to extend and expand.  The underlying issue is how Obama's insistence on green-energy subsidies and export subsidies manifests itself as rank corporate welfare.

Internal White House emails reveal deep concern, embarrassment over Solyndra.  Less than one year after President Barack Obama touted his administration's $535 million loan guarantee for green energy company Solyndra during his State of the Union address, embarrassed White House officials wanted nothing to do with the company, newly released internal emails reveal.

White House-Backed Review of Energy Department Loans Omits Solyndra.  An "independent review" commissioned by the White House to evaluate loans issued by the U.S. Department of Energy did not include a review of DOE loans to failed alternative energy projects such as Solyndra and Beacon Power.  "First of all let me again emphasize we did not look at Solyndra and Beacon.  We have not looked at the companies that received grants, we're only looking at the loan program," study author Herb Allison told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday morning [3/13/2012].

Solar Energy: Popular but Corrupt.  We are familiar with Solyndra, but how about its political paybacks?  George Kaiser, one of Solyndra's primary investors, a big Obama backer, raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's initial election campaign.  Kaiser personally donated $53,500 to Obama's 2008 election campaign.  Campaign finance records show that Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050to Obama's 2008 election campaign.  And let's not forget the DOE's request that Solyndra delay its layoffs until after the November 2010 elections.  Was the delay request yet another political payback?

Obama administration push for clean energy hitting bumps.  The administration for the past six months has been under fire for blowing through nearly $530 million on Solyndra, the solar panel firm that filed for bankruptcy last September.  A new government report now finds the loan program that funded Solyndra continues to suffer from management problems.

Top 10 Obama energy blunders.  President Obama made sure the $787 billion stimulus package was stuffed with initiatives meant to create green jobs by the millions.  What the taxpayer got in return was a parade of bankrupt companies, led by Solyndra.  The solar-panel producing company got a $535 million loan guarantee, with the promise that 4,000 jobs would be created, but end up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

The Year Solar Goes Bankrupt.  Get ready for a new round of green bankruptcies, as Europe trims back subsidies for solar companies and taxpayers lose their appetite for subsidizing green power.

Solar power firms in Mojave desert feel glare of tribes and environmentalists.  Presence of horned toads and desert tortoises are holding up production at multimillion-dollar sites in California.

Is Abound Solar the Next Solyndra?  Abound Solar makes "next-generation thin-film cadmium telluride solar modules," writes Independence Institute's Amy Oliver.  The company was "recipient of a $400 million Department of Energy loan, just announced it is laying off 70 percent (280 employees) of its Colorado workforce."

Energy department probes delay of layoff news at Solyndra.  The Energy Department's Office of Inspector General is investigating who pushed to delay bad news about federally backed Solyndra LLC until after the November 2010 midterm elections.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who nearly four months ago pledged to find out if anyone in his department was involved, told a House Committee on Thursday [3/8/2012] he's turned the matter over to the department's Office of Inspector General.

BrightSource Ivanpah Project Following Solyndra Path?  U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees for BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project may suffer the same fate as loan guarantees for the failed Solyndra company, government watchdogs fear.  Of even greater concern, the BrightSource loan guarantees total $1.6 billion, triple the taxpayer dollars lost in Solyndra.  The Ivanpah project would be one of the world's largest solar thermal power facilities.

Colorado's Own Green Loan Sinkhole.  Meet Loveland-based Abound Solar, the lucky winner of a $400 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration.  Earlier this month, the thin-film cadmium telluride solar module-maker announced layoffs of nearly 300 employees (70 percent of its workforce).  In addition, the firm froze plans to build a new factory in Indiana.  Abound says it will ride out bad market conditions and "hopefully" survive until the market recovers.

Obama's Green Energy Failures Continue To Abound.  President Obama is the Little Orphan Annie of presidents.  He is always singing that the sun will come out tomorrow and shine on the American economy and his dreams of green energy.  Yet companies such as Solyndra have proved the rule rather than the exception, producing more pink slips than green jobs as solar power and alternative energy continue to be eclipsed by advances in fossil fuel production.  The latest casualty is Abound Solar Manufacturing.  The Longmont, Colorado-based recipient of a $400 million federal loan guarantee to expand solar panel production said Tuesday [2/28/2012] it is laying off 280 workers and delaying a new factory in Indiana.

Bankruptcy judge approves Solyndra bonuses.  A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday [2/22/2012] approved close to $370,000 in bonuses for 20 employees of Solyndra LLC, a solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the federal government before declaring bankruptcy.

White House misses Solyndra document deadline.  The Most Transparent Administration In History continued its practice of ignoring inconvenient subpoenas, by missing a Monday [2/20/2012] deadline to hand over documents related to the Solyndra "green energy" boondoggle.

WH ignores House subpoena for Solyndra documents.  President Obama and his West Wing aides ignored a subpoena of documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee even after congressional investigators met with White House officials to negotiate the scope of the subpoena, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

White House agrees to Solyndra interviews under subpoena threat.  House Republicans canceled plans to subpoena executive branch officials over the Solyndra loan guarantee after reaching an agreement with the White House Thursday [2/16/2012].  Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative panel had planned to vote Friday on a resolution authorizing subpoenas to two White House officials and three officials of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The Week That Was.  [At the bottom of Page 2:]  Slowly, information is leaking from nations that have spent heavily on wind and solar, such as Germany.  This information should give pause to those touting solar and wind, including politicians.  England is pulling back from wind, Germany has announced drastic cut-backs on its subsidies to solar, and Spain has announced the elimination of subsidies for renewable power.  These actions are not the result of success.

Growing Solyndra Green Scandal Is Just One of Many.  Outrageous bonuses and White House stonewalling guarantee that the Solyndra scandal, in which betting on green lost taxpayers $535 million, won't go away.  But Solyndra is no isolated failure.

Solyndra decomposes into an environmental disaster.  The Washington Times surveys the grim corpse of Solyndra, President Obama's showpiece "green energy" bankruptcy, whose bones turn out to be made from "unknown chemicals and lead-contaminated equipment" they don't feel like cleaning up.

Taxpayers Take Hit as Solar Industry Implodes.  In a year where Solyndra became the face of the solar industry's chronic failures, even the holiday season could not prevent one last flurry of layoffs in 2011.  The Mountain Enterprise (based in Frazier Park, Calif.) reported over the weekend that First Solar, Inc. — which the media sometimes identifies as the largest solar company in the world — laid off half its employees on Friday [12/30/2012] at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project.

Another Fed-Backed Solar Company Goes Bankrupt.  Adding to the growing list of failed "green" energy companies, another solar firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday [2/14/2012] in hopes of selling off its solar power subsidiaries and other assets.  Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD), a Michigan-based manufacturer of thin-film solar laminates, said it will continue to operate through the bankruptcy and sale process.

"Greek Debt Exposes Green Energy Subsidies".  In late January President Barack Obama's much-vaunted Spanish renewable energy 'success' story became the latest high-profile victim of subsidy cutbacks when the Madrid government unexpectedly dropped the axe on plans for all new renewable energy projects.  Spain's decision followed hard on the heels of a similar decision by Germany to phase out its solar subsidy regime entirely by 2017.  The British Government too is currently embroiled in a court battle to cut in half the overly-generous solar subsidy scheme set up by the previous Labour Government.

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2011.  Despite the Obama administration's reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal.  White House officials warned the president that the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program was "dangerously short on due diligence," nonetheless the Obama administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it could make a splash at a press event.  The company's main financial backer was a major Obama campaign donor named George Kaiser.  While the White House said Kaiser never discussed the loan with White House officials, the evidence suggests this is a lie.

Judicial Watch Sues Obama Administration for Records Detailing Bailout Loan to SunPower.  Another day another taxpayer funded bailout to a politically connected energy company up to its eyeballs in debt.  This time, it's a California solar company called SunPower.  And Judicial Watch is once again battling the Obama administration for details as to how the deal went down.

Solyndra Tip of Iceberg — Tens of Billions Yet to Come.  Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research, says the Obama administration's investment of taxpayer dollars into his own idea of a green initiative is a "great business model if you have no scruples."  Solyndra is just the tip of the iceberg, he says in this interview clip with Ginni Thomas.

Another Taxpayer Funded $825 Million Solar Loan Going to Waste.  Solyndra?  Let's try Genesis.  In Southern California, federal and state governments have been working to expedite a solar project in order to satisfy President Obama's solar agenda.  The problems that could derail the $825 million taxpayer funded project?  Kit foxes and an ancient burial site.

Problems cast shadows of doubt on solar project.  One of California's showcase solar energy projects, under construction in the desert east of Los Angeles, is being threatened by a deadly outbreak of distemper among kit foxes and the discovery of a prehistoric human settlement on the work site.

Republicans accuse White House of Solyndra stonewall.  House Republicans accused the White House on Thursday [2/9/2012] of stonewalling a congressional probe into the failed $535 million loan guarantee to bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra LLC and threatened to issue subpoenas later this month to secure interviews with "key administration staff."

Democrats designed it so 1/3rd of the loans defaulted.  The Associated Press accidentally stumbled upon the truth of Department of Energy "loans" — the Democratic Party designed them to lose $10 billion, and they seem to be conveniently lost in the direction of Democratic Party donors.

'Agenders' and Right Wing Conspirators.  A recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, "Is the UN Using Bike Paths to Achieve World Domination?" by Andrew Cohen, drew my intense attention. ... Cohen does not mention the numerous bankrupted renewable energy companies such as Solyndra, Evergreen Energy Inc., Beacon, Ener1, Amonix Inc. that squandered billions of taxpayer dollars while failing to deliver any affordable renewable energy to American households.

Clean green fraud.  The spectacular failure of Solyndra opened a lot of eyes.  Yet the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer is far from the only fly-by-night outfit to take advantage of the current "green energy" fad.  No program is more ripe for abuse than the renewable fuel standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, opened their own investigation into the fraudulent outfits that sell tradeable biodiesel fuel credits to legitimate companies that need to meet the arbitrary mandates established by the EPA and Congress.

L.A. Times Skewers Radical Left's Hypocrisy on Protecting the Environment.  The development of a solar power plant in the Mojave will decimate large swaths of the desert — all in the name of creating alternative energy sources and driven by global warming hysteria.  Both the Bush and Obama administrations share the blame.  Tens of billions of dollars have been made available for the development of non-fossil fuel burning energy sources, and the costs to the consumer will be substantially higher than that of traditional sources — and that's to say nothing of the costs to taxpayers in the subsidies going to fund this boondoggle.  It's pretty messed up all around, but the inevitable result of a regulatory state that would make the old Soviet bureaucrats proud.

Sacrificing the desert to save the Earth.  BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project will soon be a humming city with 24-hour lighting, a wastewater processing facility and a gas-fired power plant.  To make room, BrightSource has mowed down a swath of desert plants, displaced dozens of animal species and relocated scores of imperiled desert tortoises, a move that some experts say could kill up to a third of them.

White House gives up more Solyndra docs.  Amid threats by a top House Republican to pursue contempt charges, the White House on Friday sent lawmakers more internal documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar firm Solyndra.  The White House, in providing the 313 pages of documents, again denied that approval of the loan guarantee in 2009 was influenced by politics, an allegation that Republicans have repeated for months.

More about Friday night document dumps:  the technique used by "the most transparent administration in history" to hide embarrassing developments from the news media.

Germany's Solar Crack-Up.  Germany enjoys, if that's the right word, a thriving solar-energy industry.  But the cost of this success, to taxpayers and electricity users alike, has risen to astronomical levels.  Some 56% of green-energy subsidies in Germany goes to solar even though solar plants produce only 21% of all subsidized energy.  The cost to German consumers of all solar subsidy commitments already tops €100 billion.  And you thought Solyndra was expensive.

An Administration's Green Fiascos Pile Up.  The Solyndra fiasco is the highest-profile of the president's many green failures, but it's hardly the only one.  Barely a week goes by but that we learn of yet another government-funded "clean energy" boondoggle.  Let's consider a few examples.

15 Questions The Mainstream Media Would Ask Barack Obama If He Were A Republican:  [#2]  In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."  Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them.  What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?

Obama the promise breaker.  It turns out 2011 was not a Sputnik moment.  Instead, it was Mr. Obama's Solyndra moment.  The California-based solar plant manufacturer embodied everything about the administration's green obsession.  The White House steered $535 million worth of public funds into a solar-panel manufacturer with a dubious business plan.  This government stimulus was supposed to "create" 4,000 jobs.  By August, the firm went bankrupt, illustrating the hollow nature of government-created, artificial markets.

Bankrupt Solyndra Caught Destroying Brand New Parts.  After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars.  But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.  At Solyndra's sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week.  They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.  Forklifts brought one pallet after another piled high with the carefully packaged glass.  Slowly but surely it all ended up shattered.

Solyndra caught destroying brand new parts.  Bankrupt solar company Solyndra was caught by a local TV station destroying up to $2 million dollars of specialized glass tubes purchased from a German company.

Germany's Answer To Our Ethanol Folly.  I thought it would be a tall order to have a greater energy folly than our ethanol scam, which cost taxpayers billions in direct and indirect subsidies over the last decade or two, but it turns out the Germans have figured out how to do it — through solar power.  Der Spiegel online has a devastating article out this week on Germany's manic obsession with solar power, whose price tag has now topped $100 billion over the last decade.  For this massive amount of money, solar power only provides about 3 percent of Germany's total electricity.

Did someone mention ethanol?

Another subsidized solar company lays off most of its employees.  Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC laid off about 40 people indefinitely at the beginning of January until changes to its production line are completed, a company official said Monday [1/16/2012].  Michael Cicak, the company's chief executive officer and chairman of the board, would not say when the changes would be completed or when the laid-off employees could return to work.

Attorneys for laid-off Solyndra employees rail against bonus plan.  Attorneys suing Solyndra in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former employees are criticizing plans by the company to hand out bonuses of up to $50,000 to 21 current supervisors and other employees.  Attorneys for Peter M. Kohlstadt, whose pending lawsuit says Solyndra broke labor laws when it laid off hundreds of workers without warning last year, argued in a court filing Monday that the employees slated to receive extra cash already are well-paid, with all but five earning more than $100,000.

EPA is Binge Gambling with US Economy.  In recent history, we've collectively bet on "sure things" and lost.  We once believed there was an energy shortage — but modern technology and resource expansion have created a global oil glut, and natural gas is so plentiful that it is currently priced at a two-year low.  America is now a net exporter of fuel.  Renewable energy was a sure thing.  Presidents Bush and Obama threw taxpayer dollars at it — but it hasn't paid off.  Solyndra (and others) have gone bankrupt, taking taxpayer dollars with them.

Bankrupt Solyndra seeking to pay bonuses.  Now seems an unlikely time for handing out bonuses at bankrupt Solyndra LLC, but that's the plan of company attorneys intending to dole out up to a half-million dollars to persuade key employees to stay put.  Nearly two dozen Solyndra employees could receive bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 each under a proposal filed by Solyndra's attorneys in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

11 More Solyndras About to Crash.  There are at least another 11 Solyndras in Obama's backyard just ready to crash.  The Obama Administration said they knew that several of the companies would fail.  They built in $2.4 billion into the program for potential failures.  That's criminal.  Solyndra was not an isolated incident.  There are several green energy projects that are going to fail.

White House sends GOP another batch of Solyndra documents.  The White House on Friday [1/13/2012] sent more internal documents to Republicans investigating the $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar firm Solyndra, arguing that the cache of emails should satisfy GOP investigators.  The emails show senior White House aides discussing the need to coordinate messaging with the Energy Department and others ahead of Solyndra layoffs that occurred in early November 2010.

House Republican links Daley's departure to Solyndra probe.  The House Republican leading the investigation into the Obama administration's $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee alleged Tuesday that White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley resigned in part because of the GOP probe into the failed solar company.

A sustainable depression.  As in other depressions, scads of real money has been lost, sustained by the snake oil that global warming is such a threat to us all that we should not just encourage, but legally compel, people to install the most economically inefficient form of electrical generation on the planet — solar photovoltaic, and its sibling in inconstancy, wind power.  In various states and around the world, these are legislated by "renewable portfolio standards."  What we get is a sustainable depression.

The Hype Surrounding Renewable Energy.  [Scroll down]  Solar power, like wind, is a natural, free source of energy — provided that public subsidies and customers of high-priced electricity cover the costs.  In the U.S. the main federal subsidy currently pays for 30% of the cost for a residential system.  Then when other subsidies are added, as much as 75% of the cost can be covered.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that electricity produced by solar is presently three times more expensive than power produced by natural gas.  Also, like wind, it is severely constrained by geography and is intermittent.  And even under the best geographical sky and climate conditions there is still a recurring problem.  It's called "night".

Solar firm behind area projects files for bankruptcy.  Prospects for the 1,000-megawatt solar plant being built in Blythe look increasingly bleak following the recent bankruptcy filing of German solar developer Solar Millennium, the company behind the project.  The company filed for insolvency — the German equivalent of bankruptcy — on Dec. 21, and its assets could soon be liquidated.

When Graft Won't Save You, It's Called Green Energy.  If First Solar can't make it after all the subsidized loans, state incentives, money spent on lobbying and political donations, then someone ought to ask for their money back.  Taxpayers ought to be first in line for a refund.

Journalistic Sun Stroke.  Sometimes our intrepid media class chooses to cover a story that perfectly (if inadvertently) illustrates the real problem:  our intrepid media class.  Case in point:  the Washington Post's Sunday feature on the Solyndra scandal.  In reading the headline one initially takes some solace that, however overdue, the WaPo finally has gotten around to cover this half-billion dollar backdoor heist of the public treasury by cronies of the President.

Utility may cut off power to solar plant.  Idaho Power plans to cut off electricity on Tuesday to plant in Pocatello, Idaho, that makes material for solar energy, because the factory owes $1.9 million in unpaid utility bills.  The dispute is with Honolulu-based Hoku Scientific, Inc., which is backed by Chinese financing and enjoys federal and state incentives.

BrightSource Ivanpah Project Following Solyndra Path?  U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees for BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project may suffer the same fate as loan guarantees for the failed Solyndra company, government watchdogs fear.  Of even greater concern, the BrightSource loan guarantees total $1.6 billion, triple the taxpayer dollars lost in Solyndra.

The dirty politics of clean energy.  Disturbing revelations continue to emerge about how more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars were shoveled into the Solyndra solar-panel boondoggle.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the only "green" involved in this scandal is money.

Dark Times Fall on Solar Sector.  Long viewed as a remedy for the world's dependence on fossil fuels, the solar industry is dimming as makers of panels used to harness the sun continue to fall by the wayside.  Bankruptcies, plummeting stock prices and crushing debt loads are calling into question the viability of an industry that since the 1970s has been counted on to advance the U.S. — and the world — into a new energy age.

Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs.  Since the failure of the company, Obama's entire $80 billion clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign.  Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama's green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails.  Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

Obama's Top Boners of 2011.  [#6] Solyndra:  The economic futility of the regime in Washington was best displayed by the decision to "invest" US taxpayers' hard-earned money in Solyndra, even knowing that the company would fail.  This at a time when Obama was lecturing the half who actually pays taxes that we are not paying our fair share.

Chris Horner Testifies on the Folly of Green Energy Policy.  [Scroll down]  We do not know for sure that Solyndra will put an end to politicians' profligate pouring of debt-financed wealth down this drain.  But, in the event this proves out, the half billion Solyndra cost us will also prove to have been worth it.  In the meantime, CEI supports educating Americans on the 'green jobs' and 'clean energy economy' theories, one talking point at a time.  Our elected policymakers must begin showing more restraint before embarking on a vast compounding of the dilemma that ethanol supports have created, from which, politically, we apparently have found no way out.

Did someone mention ethanol?

Germany's solar power industry is the latest to flop as subsidies ebb.
Solyndra Does Europe.  This week Solon became the first publicly traded solar-power company to file for bankruptcy in Germany.  Despite cost-cutting and a round of last-minute negotiations, the Berlin-based photovoltaic equipment maker can't make its deadline to repay €275 million in loans.  You could call Solon a European version of Solyndra, the California solar-cell maker that filed for bankruptcy in September after blowing through a $535 million loan guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers.  But Solon also represents a broader bust in alternative-energy sources that's been more than a decade in the making.

Grand jury begins probe of bankrupt Solyndra.  A grand jury has begun investigating Solyndra LLC, the failed California solar-panel maker that lost more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans, according to law-firm billing records.  Weeks after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September, a judge allowed the company to hire a law firm to represent it in what court records at the time called a "federal criminal investigation."

Solar to add billions to power bills.  The [Australian] federal scheme to promote the installation of rooftop solar panels and hot-water systems will have a cumulative cost to consumers of $4.7 billion by mid-2020, adding to pressure on household power bills.  The prediction is contained in advice to the nation's energy ministers, which also forecasts rises in residential electricity prices of about 37 percent in the three years to 2013-14, with an average annual hike of 11 percent.

How Goldman played key role in Solyndra's rise.  While government officials and venture investors who supported Solyndra LLC are being put through the wringer by House Republicans, a powerful force on Wall Street that brought these players together has largely stayed out of the spotlight.  Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which Solyndra hired in 2008, helped propel the solar panel maker from Silicon Valley start-up to White House showcase.

Barack Obama: Enron's Heir.  Ten years ago today, on December 2, 2001, Enron declared bankruptcy.  The company is now liquidated, but Enron's intellectually insolvent "green energy" model is alive and well in the Obama Administration.  Cap-and-trade rationing of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and "green jobs" with wind and solar — Enron was there first.

Solar power bankruptcies loom as prices collapse.  The once high-flying solar power sector is headed for tough times, as a combination of slack demand and massive oversupply is leading to plummeting prices and profits for solar panel makers.

The Solyndra Scandal's Key Players.  House Republicans' ongoing investigation into the Solyndra loan scandal has unearthed a wealth of e-mail evidence offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Obama administration's ill-fated decision to guarantee a half-billion-dollar loan to a struggling solar company.  The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has heard testimony from top administration officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  However, a number of the key players involved in the Solyndra decision have long since abandoned their posts.  The American people deserve answers from all of them.

Post reporters, shining a light on the Solyndra scandal.  The scandal at base is about how taxpayer money is used, or misused, by government.  It shows how the White House uses companies for its own purposes and how companies try to use the White House to serve their aims.  It shows how far political appointees, and particularly the senior-most aides in the West Wing, will go to push the chief executive's agenda on a sometimes slow but generally conscientious federal bureaucracy.  And it shows how wealthy people who help fund a president's election campaign get special access to the White House.

New York Times on Solyndra: This Scandal Makes Republicans Look Bad, Right?  [On November 24, 2011, the New York Times] examined the Solyndra scandal and concluded Republicans are really off base for having the temerity to complain about throwing taxpayer dollars down a rathole in the name of enriching big Democratic donors.

Deconstructing Solyndra.  The FBI raided Solyndra's California headquarters in early September a week after it announced its bankruptcy.  The nature of this investigation is not yet public, and it's not known when it will be — but reports have said it could focus on accounting fraud and misleading federal officials about the finances of the company.  The Energy Department's inspector general is a partner in that investigation.

Green Energy Is Awash in Red Ink.  After blowing $528 million dollars in taxpayer support, Solyndra's 1,100 laid off workers will receive $13,000 each in federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance.  Since President Obama extolled the virtues of clean solar energy, why is it that Solyndra could not make a profit in such a hot market?  Was this just crony capitalism or a photo opportunity for the White House to waste more taxpayer money?

The Solyndra Mess.  The Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee appear to have hit the pause button on their investigation into the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that entered bankruptcy proceedings in September, defaulting on a $528 million federal loan.  What have we learned?  Nobody comes out of this looking good.

Steven Chu Should Lose His Job Over The Solyndra Scandal.  The Secretary of Energy takes responsibility for and defends the granting of a half-billion-dollar-loan guarantee to an imploding solar panel maker.  But that's not where the campaign donor buck stopped.

Chu offers no apology for fleecing taxpayers for Solyndra.  People can debate all day whether government should be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace by selectively awarding loan guarantees.  What's beyond dispute is that any official decision that results in the loss of half-a-billion tax dollars should elicit an apology from somebody in government.  Just don't expect that somebody to be Secretary of Energy Steven Chu...

Solyndra's Bankruptcy and the Failure of 19th-century Steam Subsidies.  The 19th-century steamship industry can be a valuable lesson for the President and all the Washington corporatists who so adamantly push their "green" subsidies.

DOE's Chu Takes Responsiblity for Solyndra Amid Charges of Unlawful Conduct.  Today [11/17/2011] embattled Energy Secretary Steven Chu finally ended his silence and took personal responsibility for the controversial Soyndra loan amid congressional charges that he may have violated federal laws.  At the contentious hearing he repeatedly said he was unaware of many governmental emails and reports that warned Solyndra was a bad bet.  Chu testified under oath before a key House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee.  He asserted "the final decisions on Solyndra were mine" and that "I did not make any decision based on political considerations."

Energy Secretary Steven Chu On Solyndra: Everything Was 'Proper'.  On the eve of his appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss the Solyndra bankruptcy, the Energy Department has provided reporters with advance excerpts from Secretary Chu's prepared statement.  The remarks indicate that Chu will continue to defend the green energy loan guarantee program that gave the now-bankrupt solar panel company more than $527 million in taxpayer dollars.

Energy Secretary Chu offers no apologies for Solyndra.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu made no apologies Thursday for the $535 million loan guarantee the government made to now bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra, saying the company's collapse was unforeseeable and politics did not play a role in the approval process.

Chu: taxpayers won't recover much from Solyndra.  Taxpayers shouldn't expect to recover much money from bankrupt solar panel manufactuer Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration, Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified on Thursday [11/17/2011].

Energy Dept. pushed firm to keep layoffs quiet until after midterms.  The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.  Solyndra, the now-shuttered California company, had been a poster child of President Obama's initiative to invest in clean energies and received the administration's first energy loan of $535 million.

Solyndra Stonewall Breeched.  No wonder the White House stonewalled on releasing Solyndra documents.  Last week's document dump is a lesson in why Washington has no business playing investment banker.

A Chicago Politics Expansion of Executive Privilege.  RINO Congressman Fred Upton of incandescent light bulb ban fame, chairs the committee that subpoenaed Solyndra documents from the White House.  Claiming Executive Privilege and otherwise stalling, the White House refused to turn over Obama Blackberry and other records that may be relevant to Mr. Obama's personal involvement in, or knowledge of, the Solyndra fiasco.  Instead of repudiating such an abuse of Executive Privilege, Upton agreed to limit the scope of his committee's subpoena.  The Friday dump of documents by the White House was therefore incomplete because Upton had already caved.

Before Solyndra, a long history of failed government energy projects.  Solyndra, the solar-panel maker that received more than half a billion dollars in federal loans from the Obama administration only to go bankrupt this fall, isn't the first dud for U.S. government officials trying to play venture capitalist in the energy industry.  The Clinch River Breeder Reactor.  The Synthetic Fuels Corporation.  The hydrogen car.  Clean coal.  These are but a few examples spanning several decades — a graveyard of costly and failed projects.

Troubles grow for Auburn Hills solar company.  Energy Conversion Devices Inc., the solar energy products manufacturer once hailed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and visited by President George W. Bush, could be headed toward bankruptcy.  The Auburn Hills-based company this week halted production because it has too much inventory, furloughing 400 manufacturing workers at United Solar Ovonic plants.  It also plans to lay off another 500 employees by year's end, adding to the 300 laid off in May.

Solyndra e-mails show Obama fundraiser discussed lobbying White House.  A major Obama fundraiser strategized with one of his associates last year about how to get White House and Energy Department assistance for a solar company in which his family funds had a substantial interest, according to e-mails released Wednesday [11/9/2011] by House Republicans.

Sorry, liberals, but Solyndra is a real scandal.  When it was reported that Obama fundraiser and top Solyndra fundraiser George Kaiser met at the White House on multiple occasions, top White House officials asserted "the White House now firmly believes that [Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser George] Kaiser never broached the subject of the Solyndra loan," in the words of ABC's Matthew Mosk.  Kaiser said Solyndra never came up in these meetings.  New emails show that the subsidized bankrupt politically connected solar panel company was a topic of meetings when Kaiser and his lieutenants met at the White House.  In fact, Kaiser & crew used their access to the White House to push for taxpayer subsidies.

The Great Stonewall of Obama.  During another trademark Friday news dump, the White House revealed that it would fight a GOP House subpoena for internal documents related to the half-trillion-dollar, stimulus-funded, now-bankrupt Solyndra solar energy loan bust.  White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler fumed that the information request placed an "unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties." ... While she paints the request as a last-minute surprise, the White House has been stonewalling on Solyndra all year long.

Executive privilege claim ahead on Solyndra.  On Friday, citing "longstanding and important Executive Branch confidentiality interests," White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler refused a House panel's demand for "all communications among White House staff and officials" relating to Solyndra.  Solyndra is one of the administration's pet "green energy" firms.

The smell of cover-up in the morning.  Solyndra is rich in material, now turbocharged by White House stonewalling.

Solyndra Execs Leave With Cash — Yours.  At The Corner, Andrew Stiles notes a report from Green Technology that Solyndra's executives substantial bonuses shortly before their company declared bankruptcy, having run out of your money.  The taxpayers likely will be stuck with a $530 million bill.

WH rejects subpoena request for Solyndra docs.  President Obama's attorney sent a letter to Congressional investigators on Friday [11/4/2011], saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

Look at What the Government Has Done with Your Money.  The feds have gambled with your money again, and they've lost it again; this time with a company called Beacon Power.  You've probably never heard of this company.  Candidly, before the announcement of its bankruptcy filing this week, neither had I.  Just as you probably had never heard of Solyndra before its bankruptcy, neither had I.  But your government has heard of both.

House committee subpoenas White House for more Solyndra documents.  The Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to issue a broad subpoena demanding more documents from the White House as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into a government loan guarantee to the failed solar equipment maker Solyndra.

House subpoenas White House for Solyndra documents.  Showing a growing frustration with the the Obama administration, congressional Republicans on Thursday [11/3/2011] authorized their second subpoena this week, demanding White House documents related to failed solar technology company Solyndra.  By a 14-9 party-line vote the Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative subcommittee authorized issuing a subpoena for any White House documents related to Solyndra, which received renewable energy loan guarantees under President Obama's stimulus program.  The request for documents could include details of the president's own travel and communications.

Poll: End Solyndra-style loans.  In the wake of taxpayers being left on the hook for a half-billion-dollar loan to a company controlled by a billionaire fund-raiser for Barack Obama, a new poll by the Tarrance Group shows that 72% of likely voters oppose having the federal government choosing which companies within a certain industry will receive financial subsidies.

Jobs Panel Member Whose Solar Firm Won Loan Guarantees Raises 'Conflict of Interest' Concerns.  A clean-energy firm led by a member of President Obama's jobs council has a stake in projects that have reaped nearly $2 billion in loan guarantees from Washington, a case that has raised conflict-of-interest concerns as the same jobs council pushes for more "government-backed" investment in renewable energy.

Solar panels swindle.  The [Feed-in Tariff] scheme was introduced by the last Labour government in order to encourage a huge switch to green energy in an attempt to hit its target of reducing Britain's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.  These green energy levies are costing the normal homeowner dear, adding nine per cent to our energy bills this year, according to the industry regulator Ofgem.  Millions of ordinary consumers, to put it bluntly, are therefore having their pockets picked to pay for the latest government eco folly.

Beacon Power: Firm feds aided files for bankruptcy.  Beacon Power Corp., an energy storage company that received $43 million in backing from the U.S. program that supported failed Fremont solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, filed for bankruptcy after struggling to raise private financing.  The money-losing company, which makes flywheels that manage energy moving through a power grid, had sought to avoid the fate of Solyndra, which entered bankruptcy last month after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from a U.S. Department of Energy program designed to spur alternative energy development.

Second Energy Department-backed company goes bankrupt.  A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday [10/30/2011], a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra's collapse.  Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The Editor says...
Name one government office in your area that's open on Sunday.  If you were to file for bankruptcy, wouldn't you have to wait until Monday morning?

Beacon Power bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra.  Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy on Sunday just a year after the energy storage company received a $43 million loan guarantee from a controversial U.S. Department of Energy program.

White House official stays mum on Solyndra subpoena compliance.  White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday [10/30/2011] would not say whether the White House will comply with an upcoming subpoena for internal communications on the $535 million federal loan guarantee to the solar company Solyndra.  "I am not going to comment on a subpoena if it has not been issued," Plouffe said on NBC's Meet the Press [10/30/2011].

Professor Obama's Investing 101.  It appears that much of the $36 billion earmarked for alternative energy firms, including $500 million to Solyndra alone, has been squandered.  If that money had stayed in the private sector, it would have produced jobs.  As it is, with real unemployment running at 20%, the president has wasted billions on companies that were destined to fail.  That "investment" produced nothing except more debt and slower economic growth.

House GOP may subpoena White House on Solyndra.  The political battle over the now bankrupt solar-power firm Solyndra will escalate this week when House Republicans move to subpoena the White House for any internal documents related to the failed firm's government loan.  Lawmakers said the subpoenas are necessary because the Obama administration has repeatedly denied their requests for the information.

The Solyndra Scandal Advances.  There's nothing new about government loans and loan guarantees being used as special interest pay-offs and tossed down one of Washington's famous rat-holes.  Of course, the administration has denied anything amiss with the $535 million loan from the Energy Department to now bankrupt Solyndra.  Alas, this surely is not the only example of taxpayer funds wasted on inefficient "green energy" which will never be recovered.

Obama Administration Pushing for Solar Projects on Public Lands.  The President and his team of green, leftist, big-government zealots learned absolutely nothing from the Solyndra debacle, and they're not even a little bit ashamed of it.  They are going to unabashedly continue to distribute other people's money where they see fit and create the new green society of the future even if they have to tank the entire economy to do it.

CEO of Tempe-based First Solar resigns.  Tempe-based First Solar Inc.'s stock crashed Tuesday [10/25/2011] after news that Chief Executive Rob Gillette was departing, prompting concern among analysts that trouble could be brewing at the once high-flying solar-panel maker.

First Solar ousts CEO, shares at 4½-year low.  First Solar Inc's board ousted CEO Rob Gillette, replacing him on an interim basis with Chairman Mike Ahearn while the solar panel maker searches for a new leader to steer it through a treacherous time in the industry.  First Solar gave no reason for Gillette's departure, which intensified fears that its performance has faltered as it faces increasingly cutthroat competition.

Top 10 Bad Signs for Obama.  [#3]  Solyndra:  The bankrupt solar-panel firm, which wasted half-a-billion dollars of taxpayer money while the White House was obsessed with a photo-op, is another scandal exploding at the worst time for Obama.  Not only does it raise questions about the President steering federal funds to political supporters, it makes Obama's promise of a green-jobs revolution look hopelessly naïve.

Solyndra investigation heats up with DOE interviews.  The highest-ranking DOE official questioned to date by the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee aides is Jonathan Silver, the former chief operating officer of the Loan Program Office.

Solyndra-linked fundraiser still boosting Obama campaign.  Steven Spinner, a former Energy Department official with ties to the failed solar company, continues to raise money for the president and help organize events.

Holding Obama accountable on Solyndra.  [Scroll down]  EPACT did not create a citizen-suit provision and it would be next to impossible for any one litigant to show the harm necessary to establish standing.  So it is unlikely Republicans can hold Obama accountable for breaking the law in court.  But the Constitution does provide other means for Congress to check Executive Branch lawlessness:  impeachment.  House Republicans would not have to impeach Obama, just the highest ranking official(s) that knowingly broke the law.  Apparently, that just may be Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Taxpayers Will Get $0 Return From Solyndra Auction.  If you happen to be in the market for a "12-inch Variable Speed Drill with Laser" or a "2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Shop Crane," you're in luck.  If, on the other hand, you are simply an American taxpayer hoping for some kind of return on the administration's ill-advised "investment" in Solyndra, prepare to be disappointed.

Subsidies Have Consequences.  The trouble with the ruling class is that it doesn't have a clue about business.  To an Obami like Jay Carney, White House press secretary, the failure of corporate crony Solyndra is "just the way business works."  You win some, you lose some.  Only, of course, the way business works is that when you lose, it's supposed to be your money that gets lost.

The Bizarre World of Radical Climate Science.  People who are ignorant concerning engineering or science may accept the notion that wind and solar are realistic sources of electricity.  It is more difficult to explain why the government is dumping billions of dollars into these technologies, both in the form of cash and in the form of mandates that shift the cost to electricity users.

SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra, Twice As Bad For Obama.  How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project — three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project.  The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million greater than its market capitalization.  If SunPower was a bank, the feds would shut it down.  Instead, it received a lifeline twice the size of the money sent down the Solyndra drain.

Congressional investigators try to deposition Solyndra loan memo author; DOE refuses.  Congressional investigators want to obtain transcribed interviews with Department of Energy officials involved with the Solyndra scandal, including the author of the legal memo justifying the restructuring of the solar company's loan, but the DOE has refused to submit, saying House Republicans don't have that authority.

Obama's "Rose Mary Woods" moment:
Busted: DOE Altered Loan Program Bulletins.  It appears as though the Obama administration has been caught red-handed trying to cover up evidence in relation to the "green" loans programs that helped finance Solyndra.  CNBC reports that a number of press releases posted by the Department of Energy have been retroactively altered to remove the name a solar company thought by many to be the next "green" failure. ... Naturally, the DOE blames 'outside contractors,' who "inadvertently" altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.

Solyndra and the IRS.  In November of 2009, in the midst of Solyndra's downward financial spiral, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling that granted special tax favors to the firm and its customers.  The "private letter" ruling involving Solyndra, though widely discussed among tax lawyers, commented upon within the solar-power community, and even flaunted by Solyndra itself, has received little attention in the mainstream media.  A former IRS official told National Review that the ruling raises a red flag about political interference in the tax system.  The source, who was not directly involved in the case, says that politicians have increased their lobbying for private-letter rulings on behalf of individual taxpayers ever since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.

Solyndra Questions for Obama.  Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard testimony from top Treasury officials regarding the department's role in the Solyndra loan scandal.  More hearings are planned as investigators continue to shift through documents provided (reluctantly) by the Obama administration.  The most notable piece of evidence unveiled last week was a memo authored by the DOE legal counsel defending the controversial decision to prioritize private inventors ahead of taxpayers with respect to the first $75 million recovered in Solyndra's liquidation.  But while it sheds some light on DOE's dubious rationale in this case, the revelation appears to raise more questions than it answers.

Judge denies bid by government for Solyndra trustee.  Customer contracts figure prominently in the FBI's criminal investigation of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC, which went bankrupt despite receipt of more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans, according to testimony on Monday [10/17/2011].

Solyndra won't talk about its contracts.  Officials at failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC refused to discuss the company's contracts at a private meeting last month with a bankruptcy analyst for the Justice Department, fueling the push to have a trustee take over the failed company during its bankruptcy, records show.

DOE in the headlights.  The Obama administration made $533 million disappear by giving it to a " green" company named Solyndra.  Next came a "green" company named SunPower that manufactured photovoltaic solar panels.  This time the money was upped to $1.2 billion of taxpayer money.  This company was supposed to manufacture photovoltaic solar panels for its California solar valley ranch.  Amazingly it just happens to be that the company had converted an old auto plant to a manufacturing plant for the panels.  Guess where the plant was located, of all things, in the Congressional District of a strong supporter, Rep. George Miller, D.-Calif.  Another surprise was that the lobbyist for SunPower just happened to be the son of Rep. Miller.  But of course that did not influence the senior Miller as he advocated for the loan.

Solyndra CEO Resigns, Major Backer Delinquent on Taxes; Will Media Report?.  Two more shoes dropped in the Solyndra scandal today, but it remains to be seen their sound will stir the sleepy liberal lapdog media.  Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison resigned last Friday, the Associated Press reported early this afternoon [10/13/2011].  Oh, and while the media of late have cheerleading the Democratic push for a new surtax on millionaires, don't expect the news media, particularly MSNBC, to note how a key Obama donor who pushed for the Solyndra loan has  been delinquent on his  evaded federal taxes for years.

Kaiser never mentioned Solyndra in White House visits, official says.  While records show Tulsa oilman George Kaiser visited the White House 16 times since 2009, an official who accompanied Kaiser says his foundation's investment in a solar energy company never came up during the meetings.

The Editor says...
If you are dumb enough to believe that, you should not vote.

The most transparent and accountable administration in history announces...
White House won't turn over Obama's BlackBerry messages on Solyndra.  President Barack Obama won't be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday [10/14/2011].

Energy Secretary Chu to be questioned in Solyndra collapse.  The top Republican and Democratic members of a House subcommittee investigating the collapse of bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra LLC after it received more than a half billion dollars in federal loans agreed Friday to seek the testimony of Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  The agreement came during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing over increasing questions surfacing about the loan restructuring for Solyndra, which put taxpayers behind private investors in case of a default.  The deal was approved by the Energy Department earlier this year.

Solyndra Redux?  They say haste makes waste.  But then, so does government.  And when you combine the two you get a real mess.  Such was the case when the Department of Energy found itself with $4.75 billion in unallocated loan guarantees as the stimulus loan program responsible for the Solyndra fiasco was ending at the end of September.  In the wake of the $535 million loan guarantee to a failing Solyndra whose major investor was also a major Democratic donor, last-minute loans were given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and ProLogis.  SunPower got a $1.2 billion guarantee.  The question is why.

Obama's Top Solyndra Crony Claimed Zero Income.  There's a lot of talk about making the Evil Rich pay their "fair share" these days.  President Obama wants us to be very angry at the spectacle of billionaires escaping from confiscatory tax rates. ... It's too bad Obama never rails against [Solyndra crony George] Kaiser, because the well-connected Oklahoma billionaire reported zero taxable income during five years of his rise to the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.  In another year, he claimed on $11,699 in taxable income, which works out to $5.62 per hour.

Who Besides Solyndra Got Loan Guarantees?  [Scroll down]  Most of the money has gone to enormous companies that should have no trouble accessing capital.  Established utilities, large multinational auto manufacturers, a global warehouse owner.  The bulk of these funds are not going to rectify some gap in the capital markets.  They're straight subsidies to huge corporations.  Even some of the smaller firms/deals are owned by large corporations like Total SA.

Another Inside Man for Solyndra at the White House.  The latest figure to emerge in Soylndra green-jobs scandal is David Prend, a co-founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Rockport Capital, who used his role as a green energy adviser to the Obama administration to push for a half-billion-dollar subsidized loan for Solyndra even though his company was a major investor in the solar-panel manufacturer.

Court papers: Solyndra's CEO quietly resigned Friday.  Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison resigned last Friday [10/7/2011], new court papers filed Wednesday show.  He did so quietly, and it's unclear whether the timing was related to Obama administration Justice Department officials' request for someone other than company executives to oversee Solynra's bankruptcy process.

Solyndra boss quits as struggling company turns to celebrity bankruptcy trustee to lead.  Solyndra's president and CEO has called it quits, weeks after he stonewalled lawmakers when questioned about the struggling company.

Solar Energy Lobby Calls For Extending Obama's Stimulus Grants for Solar Power.  The head of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the trade association that advocates for the the solar energy industry, said Wednesday [10/12/2011] that the solar industry is "rock-solid" and that a program included in President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus law that provides federal grants to the solar energy industry should be extended.  Under current law, the stimulus program is set to expire at the end of this year.

Solar company Solyndra says its CEO resigned.  The chairman and CEO of a California solar energy company that sought bankruptcy protection after receiving a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee from the Obama administration has resigned.

Shedding Some Light on Solar Power.  Solar power currently provides less than 0.07% of the United State's electricity.  So if we increased our solar power capacity by a hundred times, it would still provide us with only 7% of our energy needs.

Oh, boy!  Aren't they lucky!
Colorado lands GE solar plant.  Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to announce — possibly as soon as Friday — that Colorado will be the site of a new General Electric manufacturing plant for thin-film solar-power panels, four sources familiar with the matter said Thursday [10/13/2011].

Solyndra funder Kaiser paid zero taxes for years.  Because [Oklahoma billionaire George] Kaiser was a campaign "bundler" — an individual who collects contributions to a candidate from others that are then simultaneously given to the candidate — who raised about $250,000 for Obama during the 2008 campaign, congressional Republicans and media analysts have speculated that the Solyndra loan guarantee was nothing more than using tax dollars to reward a political supporter.

Chicago's solar panel deal quietly suspended.  In March 2004, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a deal that promised to save taxpayer money, reduce natural gas consumption and bring "green" jobs to Chicago.  But taxpayers might see red when they learn how the deal turned out.  More than seven years later, the initiative has been quietly suspended amid problems with some of the equipment — and acknowledgements by city officials that taxpayers will probably lose money on the deal and never realize the energy savings that Daley touted ...

SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra, Twice As Bad For Obama.  How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project — three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project.  The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million greater than its market capitalization.

A Solar Flare For The White House.  On Friday, while most of America was preparing for the weekend and not paying attention to the news, the government released a batch of Solyndra emails.  They showed that Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget officials were concerned about the Energy Department's giving Solyndra more money even after the failed company had defaulted on its $535 million government loan.  Specifically, the officials worried that the plan was putting Solyndra investors before taxpayers, a violation of federal law.

Solyndra: Incompetence or Corruption?  The current controversy surrounding the bankruptcy of Solyndra, the Obama administration's green energy albatross, may be reaching critical mass.  In yet another late Friday release of information, a time-honored strategy designed to minimize media coverage of unpleasant truths, the White House has sent Congressional investigators another 2000 pages of emails.  Emails which implicate officials at the highest levels of seniority within the administration.

The Real Problem with Solyndra.  The Washington Establishment's faith in the power and expertise of government knows no limits.  When given nearly unchecked power and money, bureaucrats and political appointees will use taxpayer money however they please, even if they recognize they do it poorly.  Right now, it is Solyndra.  But until we get our government out of the daily ins-and-outs of the private sector, we can expect similar boondoggles.

Solyndra: Obama's Solar Slush Fund.  Newly released communications regarding the loan approval for Solyndra, the now failed California solar energy company, show direct intervention by an Energy Department adviser and Obama campaign fundraiser, and raise new questions of possible involvement by Rahm Emanuel and the President.  As more is learned, it becomes increasingly clear that the Administration used the Stimulus, and specifically the green energy loan program, as a campaign slush fund to distribute billions of dollars like party favors to supporters and to grandstand for re-election to a perceived constituency.

E-Mail Shows Senior Energy Official Pushed Solyndra Loan.  A senior Energy Department official pushed hard for the government's $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt California solar energy company Solyndra even after he had disclosed that his wife's law firm represented the company and he had promised to recuse himself from matters related to the loan application, according to e-mails provided to Congressional investigators by the administration.

Obama fundraiser pushed Solyndra loan.  An Energy Department adviser and former fundraiser for President Barack Obama pushed for a California solar company to receive a half-billion federal loan, despite pledging to recuse himself because his wife's law firm represented the company, newly released emails show.

Obama Fundraiser Pushed Solyndra Deal From Inside.  An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the administration's energy loan program pushed and prodded career Department of Energy officials to move faster in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra, even as his wife's law firm was representing the California solar company, according to internal emails made public late Friday [10/7/2011].

Doubling Down On Solyndra.  After the bad Solyndra "bet," the administration paused not a second to examine how it went bad or to reconsider a process demonstrably flawed and corrupted.  Perhaps because as far as "green energy" projects go, the [Obama] administration seems to have a gambling addiction.  Solyndra wasn't the only bad bet.  It was the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month.  SpectraWatt Inc., a solar company backed by units of Intel Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group, filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 19, and Evergreen Solar went Chapter 11 on Aug. 15.

Solar panels don't work well.  Solar companies are duping the public.  Solar panels do not work as advertised. This comes not from coal executive but from Ray Burgess, who just happens to be the president and CEO of Solar Power Technologies, a Texas-based solar monitoring company that has developed a wireless mesh network to collect data from solar systems.  Solar panels are inefficient and degrade rapidly.  And even if they did work, they would not help the environment as much as proponents say solar energy will.

Solyndra: A bad bet Obama should regret.  Once the Obama administration's paragon of a clean-energy future, Solyndra has gone bankrupt, taking a $527 million Energy Department-guaranteed loan with it.  President Obama, however, has no regrets.

Solyndra loan supported by Obama fundraiser.  A prominent 2008 Barack Obama fundraiser who held a key role in the Energy Department played an active part in Solyndra's $535 million loan guarantee despite conflict of interest concerns over his wife's work at a law firm that also represented the California solar company, according to internal Obama administration emails released Friday [10/7/2011].  Steve Spinner's involvement in the Solyndra loan had been difficult to determine until the release of hundreds of emails on Friday included some showing the Silicon Valley energy consultant engaged in a range of high-level roles while at DOE.

Energy Department Official in Charge of Solyndra Loan Program to Step Down.  The director of the controversial loan program that cleared the way for a $535 million taxpayer guarantee to bankrupt solar firm Solyndra is stepping down, the Energy Department confirmed Thursday.  Jonathan Silver, head of the Loan Programs Office, plans to join the organization Third Way as a "distinguished visiting fellow."  The career change comes in the middle of heavy scrutiny from Congress over the department's handling of the Solyndra agreement.

The Editor says...
One minor scapegoat is not enough.  Somebody higher up needs to step down, too.

Newt: Fire Chu.  Finally someone in the Republican presidential sweepstakes is saying what needs to be said:  Fire Energy Secretary David Chu. ... On Chu's watch, the Department of Energy co-signed for a $535 million loan to a company that promised to make solar panels in the most expensive way possible using the most expensive materials available for a market already glutted with cheap foreign competitors.  The loan was used to build a second factory to expand Solyndra's ability to make solar panels no one was buying.  This made no sense, yet Chu signed off on the loan.

The Editor says...
That's all very good, but I think the man's name is Dr. Steven Chu, not David Chu.  Am I wrong?

Yes he is Dr. Steven Chu, and the article has been corrected.

Race to impeach: Solyndra or Fast and Furious?  Two evolving scandals are neck to neck in the race to impeach President Obama.  While Fast and Furious — the ATF gun-running for Mexican drug lords — is the more imaginative of the two scandals, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns are following the money on Solyndra.

E-mails show Energy Department was moving toward second loan for Solyndra.  Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration's Energy Department was poised to give Solyndra a second taxpayer loan of $469 million last year, even as the company's financial situation grew increasingly dire.  The department was still considering providing the second loan guarantee to the solar-panel manufacturer in April and May 2010, at a time when Solyndra's auditors were already warning that the company was in danger of collapsing.

A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy.  Facts are pesky things.  And they're particularly pesky when it comes to the myths about the wind energy business.  For years, it's been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  The reality:  wind energy's carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated.  Furthermore, if wind energy does help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale.  Those are the findings of an exhaustive new study, released today [7/19/2011], by Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based energy analytics firm.

Solyndra Loan Program on Pace to Commit Equivalent of $6M Per Permanent Job.  As the Energy Department moves to finalize the last remaining loan guarantees from a controversial clean-energy fund, the federal government is on pace to put up more than $6 million for every permanent job saved or created by the program.  As of late Friday afternoon [9/30/2011], the program that doled out money to now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra has backed up $16 billion in clean-energy loans.

Solyndracracy.  In happier times, the firm had been celebrated as a harbinger of the future.  The political connections it enjoyed were the fruit not only of well-placed contributions but of a self-imposed ideological mission:  It was going to deliver cheap energy in amazing ways.  Top executives had dismissed accounting irregularities.  The normal rules, it was said, did not apply.

The Administration's Expanding Scandals.  When a presidency is experiencing a political collapse, as is happening now, the last thing it needs is to face serious legal and ethical problems.  But that is precisely where the Obama administration finds itself with both the Solyndra story and the so-called Fast and Furious program.  It's clear that at a minimum, the Obama administration has given a misleading account of both matters.

Did someone mention the Fast and Furious scandal?

Energy official praised Solyndra before FBI bust.  A top Department of Energy official in charge of the office that awarded Solyndra LLC $535 million in loan guarantees insisted the company was "headed in the right direction" months before the firm went bankrupt and saw its offices raided by the FBI.

A Company "by the name of Solyndra".  In the course of following the unfolding Solyndra scandal there was one small detail that piqued my suspicions but which I hadn't had time to chase down further.  It concerns the Obama donor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser, who made numerous trips to the White House while the loan guarantee was in process, meeting with senior White House staff. ... If Kaiser ever appears before a congressional committee — or a grand jury — he should certainly be pressed about whether the "charitable activities" discussed at the White House included his foundation's investment in Solyndra.

Spiking Solyndra: Big Three Networks Barely Mention Burgeoning Scandal.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu's admission, on Thursday, that he approved more taxpayer money to the financially strapped solar panel company Solyndra, after it defaulted on a $535 million loan from that agency.  Big Three network coverage?  Zero.  This is just a continuing pattern of ABC, CBS and NBC barely touching the bourgeoning scandal for the Obama administration.

DOE approves $4.7 billion more in solar loan guarantees.  The solar industry is in a recession brought about by what is almost certainly illegal dumping of photovoclaic cells by the Chinese on the American market.

GOP's Solyndra probe threatens to ensnare Energy Secretary Chu.  Republican lawmakers have set their sights on Chu, who for three years has managed to avoid being dragged into a litany of political battles waged by Republicans and the White House on energy and environmental issues.

What's the rush?
Energy Department approves $4.7 billion in solar loan guarantees.  The Energy Department finalized Friday more than $4.7 billion in loan guarantees for four solar projects, bringing an embattled stimulus-law program aimed at financing renewable energy projects to a close.  The approvals come amid objections from House Republicans, who have alleged that the department was rushing to finalize the loan guarantees before the program expired Friday.

Solargate Opens Wide.  It turns out a recent recipient of the administration's largesse is from the House of Pelosi.  The green energy scandal keeps picking up speed.

Obama still silent on brewing Solyndra debacle.  President Obama has remained silent weeks after a green-energy firm that received a more than $500 million loan from his administration went bust, avoiding a brewing controversy on Capitol Hill even as new details trickle out about the firm facing multiple investigations by Congress and the Justice Department.

FBI Said to Be Probing Solyndra for Possible Account Fraud.  The FBI is investigating Solyndra LLC for possible accounting fraud and the accuracy of financial representations made to the government, according to an agency official. ... The company's offices in Fremont, California, were raided by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Sept. 8.  The Justice Department hasn't said why Solyndra is being probed.

Green Energy Industry Staggers.  As the Energy Department hustled to get another $4.7 billion in loan guarantees for green tech companies out the door before time ran out and the program ended last week, yet another solar panel manufacturer was wilting in the sun, and the green jobs scam was looking more threadbare than ever.

More solar companies led by Democratic donors received federal loan guarantees.  A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns.

Exactly the opposite is true.
Acting Commerce Secretary: 'U.S. Can't Afford' Not to Subsidize Green Tech.  Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said that in a global race for green technology, the United States "can't afford" not to spend taxpayer money on such projects, and that the price of that spending is an occasional failure.  One of those failures was a $535-million federal loan guarantee to the Solyndra company that makes solar panels but which recently filed for bankruptcy.

SolarReserve Wins $737 Million Guarantee for Solar Thermal Plant.  SolarReserve LLC, a closely held renewable energy developer, received a $737 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee to build a solar-thermal project in Nevada. ... Lawmakers in Washington are scrutinizing the Energy Department's program in the wake of Solyndra LLC's Sept. 6 bankruptcy filing.

DOE Mulls Green Energy Loans At $20 Million Per Job.  The Energy Department on Wednesday approved federal loan guarantees for two green energy projects totaling more than $1 billion.  It approved $337 million for a Mesquite Solar project in Arizona and $737 million for a Solar Reserve project in Nevada.  The projects would create a total of 52-55 permanent jobs, according to earlier DOE figures and company statements.  That's about $20 million per permanent job.

Politicizing Energy Independence.  Three years after energy independence and alternative energy measures had bipartisan support under the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has not only succeeded in politicizing alternative energy until it became a divisive issue, but with the Solyndra scandal, it may have also tarred the entire alternative energy field with another Enron.

Energy Department approves $1 billion in solar energy loan guarantees.  The Energy Department announced Wednesday [9/28/2011] that is has finalized more than $1 billion in loan guarantees for two separate solar energy projects. ... DOE announced a $737 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev.  The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.

The solar swindle:  Bosses at solar panel manufacturer Solyndra are busy taking the Fifth, and Obama administration officials are pleading ignorance over how an unsustainable enterprise was able to bag $535 million in taxpayer loot.  In the coming days, Congress is likely to get to the bottom of exactly who knew what and when.

GOP lawmaker demands independent probe into Solyndra.  A Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is calling on the White House to appoint an independent investigator to examine the administration's decision to approve a $535 million loan guarantee for a now-bankrupt solar company.  Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said the Obama administration should have quickly appointed a special investigator to look into Solyndra...

Solyndra: What the President Knew and When He Knew It.  According to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, President Obama was warned nearly a year ago that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu's department was not rigorous enough in vetting loan recipients and they ran the risk of funneling federal money to companies that shouldn't receive it, or didn't need it.  And the warnings came from the President's top economic advisers Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner.

Solyndra's $733M Plant Had Robots, Spa Showers.  It wasn't just any factory.  When it was completed at an estimated cost of $733 million, including proceeds from a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, it covered 300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields.  It had robots that whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the water temperature, and glass-walled conference rooms.

Is There a Dirty Side to Clean Green Solar Energy?  Should Solyndra worry about a Chicago style set-up from the Obama Administration, and should they protect themselves by requesting a special prosecutor?

Obama's Cabinet Does The Hokey Pokey.  In May 2009, Secretary Chu put his hands all over the Solyndra loan which he said would be a model for what the government creation of "green" jobs.  Chu attended the ground breaking with President Obama and cited Solyndra's example in his speeches.  Yet, now, with Solyndra's mind-boggling profligacy, squandering $523 million in taxpayer money in less than two years and filing for bankruptcy protection, both Chu and Obama are eager to take their hands off...

A Total Eclipse of Solyndra.  On Friday [9/23/2011], Solyndra execs Brian Harrison and Bill Stover invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. ... I thought the execs did the smart thing.  Harrison and Stover have nothing to gain by talking, because there's no good way to explain how they blew close to a half-billion in taxpayer money.  Besides, they didn't need to talk when committee Democrats were so willing to toss around a few mitigating factors...

Venture socialism.  Government officials rushed $535 million to Solyndra because the Obama administration was determined to make the company the centerpiece of its green agenda regardless of the law of supply and demand.  Billions more have been wasted by politicians betting on favored companies and making Washington bigger, using the brute force of government to force liberal preferences into the economy.  Mr. Obama calls them "investments," but this is really venture socialism.

How Did Solyndra Spend All That Money?  It seems that in the space of two years, Solyndra managed to spend $344 million building a factory and $660 million ... doing what?

545 Politicians & Judges Control Everything.  What we have in Washington is a political three-ring circus performing its various functions on the hugest pile of money ever assembled in one place in all of human history.  Indeed, there is so much money that there is no way that anyone can keep track of how it is spent, or who gets what, or who steals what.  Solyndra is just one small example of legal theft of a mere half billion dollars.

President Solyndra.  The green energy lobby is probably hoping that Solyndra's failure can be portrayed as an isolated case of illegal influence, lest it cast a shadow over the entire edifice of massive subsidies that green energy requires to survive.  But Solyndra is merely the most spectacular of several recent green energy failures.

Solyndra: Dumb and crooked.  If anyone wonders what is wrong with America today, check out Solyndra.  Its principal players were well-connected politically — they knew the White House like the back of their grubby little paws — but they did not know [much] about business.  In the 19th century, Solyndra would have failed an no one would have noticed.  In the 21st century, taxpayers rewarded Solyndra with a half-billion dollars.

Solyndra: Obama's Marble Boat.  Because of the prejudice against fossil fuels in administration quarters, and undoubtedly because so many Democrat fundraisers and lobbyists are lining their pockets on "green projects," the government, which should not be providing debt capital for new tech energy start-ups, has jumped into this area, feet first, and landed on its nose, at huge cost to us.

Taking the Fifth on the Solyndra scandal.  We know that the company applied for an Energy Department loan guarantee in early 2007, was given a bad credit rating by Fitch in 2008, and was denied a loan by the Bush Energy Department in January 2009.  We also know that in March 2009, Oklahoma billionaire and Solyndra investor George Kaiser, who raised more than $50,000 for President Obama's campaign, visited the White House four times.  We know that on March 29, 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Solyndra had been awarded a $535 million loan guarantee.

California Democratic Party among Solyndra's creditors.  Out of the hundreds of out-of-work employees, vendors, investors and other creditors in the bankruptcy of government-backed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, one name stands out:  the California Democratic Party.  Why California Democrats would be creditor to a company that received more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans to build a solar-panel plant isn't clear.  Even party officials say they're not sure.

Obama Speech was "Obama Unplugged".  [Obama is] the fellow who lectured us yesterday about fighting for the middle class "as hard as the lobbyists and some lawmakers have fought to protect special treatment for billionaires and big corporations."  This admonition comes from the same fellow who presides over a White House that inappropriately pressured the Office of Management and Budget to approve half-billion dollars to a company, Solyndra, which wasn't deserving of the money and has now gone belly up.  The reason the money was fast-tracked and funneled to Solyndra was because its chief investor, George Kaiser, is a significant fundraiser for Obama.  Kaiser, by the way, is a billionaire.

Lawyers netted millions in solar loan deal.  In the fallout of the collapse of solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC — a company awarded more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans before it went bankrupt late last month — members of Congress are demanding to know how all that money was spent.

Solyndra execs will decline to testify at hearing.  Solyndra LLC's chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions put to them at a Congressional hearing on Friday [9/23/2011], according to letters from their attorneys obtained by Reuters.

Solyndra execs to take 5th, refuse to testify before House panel.  Solyndra Inc.'s chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke their 5th Amendment rights and not answer questions during a Friday hearing before a House investigative committee, their attorneys said.

House investigators rip Solyndra execs.  Two members leading the Congressional investigation into bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra said the company's executives broke their promise to testify openly during a hearing scheduled for this Friday, instead electing to exercise their Fifth amendment rights not to answer questions.

The Solyndra Scandal and the Future of Green Energy.  An investigation by the Energy and Commerce Committee has revealed that, for political reasons, the White House rushed a $528 billion federal loan to solar firm Solyndra, which went bankrupt two weeks ago.  Taxpayers should be outraged.  Not just about Solyndra, but about the inherent corruption of government's entire push to pick winners and losers in the energy sector, and micromanage the economy in general.

Solyndra Investor admits:
We wanted the loan so we could 'go public and cash out'.  A clearer picture of the underlying insider scheme at Solyndra is beginning to emerge.  Yuliya Chernova of the Wall Street Journal writes a superb column today regarding all the business problems that beset the scandal plagued Solyndra.  There were a litany of engineering and business problems that were very apparent to everyone except, apparently, the White House politicos that pressured career officials in the government to extend a 500 million dollar loan guarantee.

Solyndra scandal unraveling Obama's credibility.  An Energy Department analysis of Solyndra's business model performed two years ago predicted that the firm would run out of money in September 2011.  But that fact was ignored by the president and his political advisers who wanted a "green jobs" photo op, no matter the cost.

Kaiser Family Foundation 2009 grant sparks more Solyndra questions.  A Daily Caller review of the George Kaiser Family Foundation's income tax returns found that during the same year billionaire investor George Kaiser successfully secured $535 million in government loan guarantees for the now-failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, his private philanthropy donated to a political cause close to the hearts of several high-ranking Obama administration officials.  Kaiser, a major Obama donor, was a frequent White House visitor during the week before the Obama administration approved that taxpayer-underwritten financial deal.

FBI-targeted solar company to put shine on law firm's wallet.  U.S. taxpayers risk losing more than a half-billion dollars from the collapse of solar-panel maker Solyndra Inc., but former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld and his associates stand to earn a windfall in fees representing the bankrupt company in coming months.

The Left's Solyndra Damage Control.  The latest batch of e-mails documenting the Obama administration's involvement in a $535 million federal loan to bankrupt solar company Solyndra has liberals scrambling to point fingers at an array of perceived villains.

Rahm Emanuel on Solyndra: 'I don't remember'.  Chicago mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said he doesn't recall anything about the Obama administration's $535 million loan to the recently bankrupt solar company Solyndra.

At least there's one bright side:
Fury over Solyndra loan threatens to sunset solar energy investments.  Political fury over a failed $535 million loan guarantee to an Obama administration-backed solar company is threatening to poison the well for future green investments.

[Investments?  Really?

And the Solyndra Scandal Reaches the West Wing.  Andrew Stiles has a good round-up of the latest news and e-mails that show the West Wing's interest in getting a quick approval of the Solyndra loan, over the objections of OMB.  This e-mail stands out:  "We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week)," one official wrote."

Solyndra scandal exposes the lie of government 'investment'.  Beware of a company that claims it can make widgets for $10 each, sell them for $8 apiece, and then "make up the losses on volume."  No banker or venture capitalist would invest in such a foolhardy scheme.  But substitute "solar panels" for widgets and that is exactly what Washington's professional politicians and career bureaucrats did with $535 million in loan guarantees for Solyndra LLC, the now-bankrupt California company that was the centerpiece of President Obama's "clean energy future."

Administration officials grilled on Solyndra loan.  Obama administration officials refused to say Wednesday [9/14/2011] whether anybody would be fired over the decision to award solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra LLC a half-billion dollars in loans before it went bankrupt and saw its headquarters raided by the FBI.

The Government as Venture Capitalist.  We've been posting on Solyndra since the date of its first loan in 2009.  The fact that nobody on any oversight committee, of either party, raised any serious objection until now is a bigger problem than the Solyndra bankruptcy itself.  Dear Congrees:  What you're doing now isn't oversight, it's grandstanding.  If you can't find time to notice that a $535 million dollar loan doesn't make any sense, then maybe the legislative branch of government isn't for you.

Obama admin tries to blame Bush for Solyndra.  As the Congressional hearing on the failed solar energy manufacturer Solyndra gets under way, it's already clear that the Obama administration is prepared to fall back on a tried and tested strategy:  blaming Bush.

Stearns: 'Someone should be fired' over Solyndra bankruptcy.  Republicans made it clear Wednesday that they intend to continue shining a spotlight on the bankruptcy of a solar company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration.  Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, even said he wants to see an administration official fired over the incident.

Obama administration marches forward with 'green' agenda despite Solyndra scandal.  The Obama administration continues to move forward with its "green" agenda, despite new concerns on the heels of a high-profile bankruptcy in the solar-energy sector.  More recently, approximately 500 Texans lost their jobs Monday [9/12/2011] because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the energy industry.  And the president has offered no specific regulatory relief, other than a single ozone regulatory proposal he nullified a few weeks ago.

The Spreading Green Jobs Scam.  As solar panel manufacturer Solyndra was sliding into a long-predicted bankruptcy, Energy Department officials began negotiations with the company and two of its main investors about restructuring its $535 million loan to keep afloat the business that was supposed to be a good investment.  Under the restructuring agreement, Solyndra's private investors were moved to the front of the line and taxpayers were put on the hook for at least the first $75 million if the company should default.  Subordinating taxpayers to private investors in recovering loan money is an "apparent violation of the law," according to Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Obama's Solyndra scandal reeks of the Chicago Way.  This is not a new kind of politics.  It's the old kind.  The Chicago kind.  And now the Tribune Washington Bureau has reported that the U.S. Department of Energy employee who helped monitor the Solyndra loan guarantee was one of Obama's top fundraisers.

Barack Obama, Flim-Flam Man.  Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has an important column in which he argues that the Solyndra fiasco is not just a garden-variety scandal, but a criminal fraud that should land someone, inside and/or outside of the Obama administration, in the slammer. ... The facts warrant a full-scale criminal investigation.

Solyndra Workers Looking for Non-Green Jobs.  And if you needed more proof that "green" jobs are a myth, the workers of Solyndra are applying for government assistance to learn a new trade:  ["]Ex-employees of the failed solar panel company Solyndra have applied for aid under the federal government's Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the Labor Department has confirmed.["]

No, Bush Was Not Responsible For Solyndra.  It's true that the Solyndra loan application was filed during the Bush years, and kicked around with varying levels of enthusiasm.  Evidently proceeding on the assumption that their remaining supporters are idiots, the Obama people just decided to leave out the part of the story where the Bush team voted against the Solyndra loan, for precisely the reasons Obama tried to cover up when he was pushing it through.

Tennessee's solar industry faces clouded future.  Hemlock Semiconductor's $1.2 billion plant rises up like a new city over the trees and fields near Clarksville, Tenn.  More than a dozen cranes dot the skyline of towering arc furnaces and industrial buildings, linked by a network of pipes that grows by more than a mile each week.

What Did the MSM Know and When Did They Know It?  When it comes to protecting democracy, an over-zealous media is always preferable to a lapdog media so enamored with those in power that they lose their curiosity, skepticism and willingness to dig or ask questions for fear of what they might find.

ABC Breaks, Then Ignores News on Obama White House Ties to Solyndra.  On Tuesday and Wednesday's World News, reporter Brian Ross exposed e-mails indicating that the Obama administration gave a $535 million loan to the green company Solyndra, despite deep misgivings inside the government about its viability.  Yet, Good Morning America has declined to follow-up on the ABC scoop.

Congress Likely to Cram Down Solyndra Billionaire.  Sources close to the Congressional investigation into the loans that the Obama administration made to bankrupt solar company Solyndra, say that Congress is likely to attempt to scuttle an agreement that the administration reached last February that allowed major investors to take precedent over US taxpayers in the liquidation of the company.

The Solar Dole.  Last week, Solyndra, which builds industrial solar panels in the Bay Area, announced that it was filing for bankruptcy.  The company, whose officials and investors visited the White House at least 20 times and have donated to the Obama campaign, chewed through 1,100 employees and piles of other people's money, including $535 million provided by taxpayers, before it finally succumbed to reality.

Obama Lied, Solyndra Died.  The Obama administration is joined at the hip to Solyndra, the company that in happier days manufactured solar panels.  The Obama administration touted Solydra as a model.  According to Obama, Solyndra pointed the way to the future.  It served as the administration's flagship example of using taxpayers' money to boost clean energy manufacturing and create jobs.

What's exactly happened with the government's Solyndra loan?  Under the Bush administration, the Department of Energy rejected Solyndra for a loan in early 2009, worrying that the company didn't have good long-term prospects.  Yet only two months later, Obama's newly appointed Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the government would give the company a $535 million loan, funded with money from the stimulus.

Solyndra Not the Only Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding.  Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.  At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.

Despite controversy, White House doubling down on clean energy loans.  The Energy Department (DOE) is not backing down in its efforts to support clean energy companies, despite Republicans pummeling the Obama administration for approving a $535 million loan guarantee to a now-bankrupt solar firm.  The department could approve as many as 15 renewable energy loan guarantees by the end of the month when a program launched under the stimulus law ends.

The Solyndra saga.  We know the Obama administration can't get enough of renewable energy.  We know it can't get enough of "shovel-ready" projects for soaking up its taxpayer-funded economic stimulus handouts.  Now a colossal green stimulus failure has put Democrats on the defensive and raised the prospect of an ugly scandal.

Solargate Unraveled.  Corruption is not an energy policy.  Emails released to the Washington Post before Wednesday's hearings on the $535 million stimulus loan guarantee issued to now-bankrupt Solyndra Inc. reveal the extent of, and resistance to, White House pressure to get the loan approved so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at a Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking event.  The White House has denied applying pressure or even monitoring the review process, saying the stimulus loan guarantee was a good "investment."

Don't Bet on Green.  No legislator would seriously suggest that a roulette wheel be employed to dig California out of its financial mess.  Yet elected officials routinely gamble with taxpayer money.  Lawmakers don't bet on red or black.  They bet on green. ... We now know that Solyndra was a $535-million bad bet.  The money gambled and lost at the federal level is now being traced by forensic accountants using government resources.

Solyndra, the logical endpoint of Obamanomics.  Obama claimed his election would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."  But that was just the cover story.  At its core, Obamanomics is about the top-down redistribution of wealth and income.  Government spending on various "green" subsidies and programs, along with a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions, would enrich key Democrat constituencies:  lawyers, public sector unions, academia and non-profits.

Solyndra: The Green Bay Of Pigs?  It seems that Uncle Sam's Mickey Mouse loan deal to the now-bankrupt solar manufacturer Solyndra was not only a bad investment decision, but likely a contributing factor to the company's implosion. ... The loan, it appears, bought a factory that was too large, too expensive, and ill-suited for the market.

'Solargate' Didn't Happen By Accident.  After Stimulus I was passed in 2009 the White House wanted to champion so-called "green jobs."  So, they set out to find an energy company to become the "poster-child" for their efforts — a company that they could offer loan guarantees to as proof of their investment and commitment to "clean" energy.

Obama abused the public trust to fund pet solar firm.  [President Obama] stood before the nation and asked for hundreds of billions of dollars in further stimulus, even as Americans learned one of the many ways in which the first batch of $859 billion was squandered.  Taxpayers deserve to know how and why Obama wasted their money on Solyndra.  They deserve to know whether it has anything to do with the fact that George Kaiser, a major Obama bundler, was the company's largest corporate investor.  They need to know whether that has anything to do with the extraordinary agreement the Energy Department made, allowing private investors like Kaiser to be made whole before the government in the event of bankruptcy.

The Solyndra Fraud.  The Solyndra debacle is not just Obama-style crony socialism as usual.  It is a criminal fraud.  That is the theory that would be guiding any competent prosecutor's office in the investigation of a scheme that cost victims — in this case, American taxpayers — a fortune.  Fraud against the United States is one of the most serious felony offenses in the federal penal law.  It is even more serious than another apparent Solyndra violation that has captured congressional attention:  the Obama administration's flouting of a statute designed to protect taxpayers.

Obama's Solar Scandal.  Solyndra.  That's the name of a company that manufactured solar panels in Fremont, Calif. (which voted 71 percent for Obama in 2008).  It was the first company to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus package.  This wasn't small potatoes.  The loan guarantee was for $535 million.

Solyndra Nation.  To find a metaphor for the failed Obama presidency, look no further than Solyndra. ... "Keep up the good work!" wrote an administration official to a Solyndra executive last May.  "We're cheering for you."  That was before the bankruptcy filing.  Before the 1,100 lost jobs and the empty 650,000-square-foot production facility in Fremont, California.  Before the FBI raid of Solyndra headquarters.  Before the House Energy Committee released emails suggesting the Solyndra loan was rushed and improperly vetted.  These days the White House is tight-lipped.  The only cheering comes from Republicans sensing a possible Obama scandal.

Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor.  The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

Obama's Pet Billionaire at Solyndra.  A high profile, politically well-connected California solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment line.  The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings, and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest levels of the Obama Administration.

Emails Reveal Direct White House Tie to Solyndra Scandal.  Yesterday [9/13/2011], ABC News dropped the bombshell that Bush era Energy auditors actually nixed the loan as unsound, nd that Obama OMB staffers raised similar concerns upon their own evaluation.  The White House's political team seemed to disagree, putting the deal on a "fast track."  Mere days later, the massive government loan to the unstable "green" poster-child — backed by major Obama donor cash — was fortuitously approved.

FBI raids solar panel company hailed by Obama.  FBI agents executed search warrants Thursday [9/8/2011] at the California headquarters of Solyndra LLC, which was awarded more than $500 million in federal stimulus loans in 2009 to make solar panels in what the Obama administration called part of an aggressive effort to put more Americans to work and end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Feds Raid Homes of Solyndra CEO, Execs.  Federal agents have expanded their examination of the now-bankrupt California solar power company Solyndra, searching the homes of the company's CEO and two of its executives, examining computer files and documents, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.

FBI serves search warrants at Solyndra.  FBI agents served search warrants this morning at Solyndra, the Fremont solar company that abruptly closed last week, two years after receiving more than $500 million in federal stimulus money, an agency official said.  The search is part of a joint investigation involving the FBI and the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, said FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn, who declined to elaborate.

This Week in Climate News.  Ho-hum, another day, another solar power company in bankruptcy, this time in down in Australia, and for the same reason:  the subsidies ran out.  Instead of calling it "green energy," maybe we should just start calling it "socialist energy" because it has the same flaw:  sooner or later you run out of other people's money.

Solyndra officials made numerous trips to the White House, logs show.  Not only does the now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra have a cozy financial relationship with the Obama administration, company representatives also made numerous visits to the White House to meet with administration officials, The Daily Caller has learned.  According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing.

Green Pigs Don't Fly.  Reportedly, Obama's jobs speech will focus on infrastructure spending, and much of that spending will undoubtedly be tied to the creation of "green jobs."  The problem is, what he has already spent has not created jobs.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it may well have cost jobs.  It has, however, enriched some of his wealthiest political contributors.  And that seems to be the real motive behind the president's infrastructure spending.  Not green jobs, but green pork.

The Watermelon Regime's Pay-to-Play Way.  The recent domino-like downfall of a slew of solar energy companies is shedding light on both the failure and corruption inherent in green politics.  Most prominently in the news was the bankruptcy of Solyndra LLC, a Fremont, California-based manufacturer of solar panels.

SolarGate.  A top bundler and major investor in a now-bankrupt green company made multiple White House visits before he got a guaranteed stimulus loan that the administration monitored to ensure it was granted.

Solyndra solar plant closes; $535 million vanishes.  This ought to be the top story on every news outlet nationwide, and ought to be the death knell for the "Stimulus" concept and for the "green jobs" fallacy.  But I get the feeling the MSM will bury it.

Sunburned.  Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar panels, is bankrupt, which is inconvenient for the Obama administration, which extended half a billion dollars' worth of loan guarantees to the firm as part of the president's stimulus effort.  The inconvenience extends to the 1,100 Solyndra employees who have just lost their jobs and to the U.S. taxpayers who may be on the hook for the bankrupt firm's loans.

Obama's Bad Bet on Green Energy.  Obama and Biden were literally invested in Solyndra's success.  The company got a half-billion-dollar federal loan guarantee, the first in a highly vaunted Department of Energy green-jobs program, as part of the stimulus.  This was supposed to be the new economic model:  government and its favored industries cooperating to lead the country into a green, politically approved recovery.  The showcase firm is now filing for Chapter 11 in an embarrassing blow to the premises of Obamanomics.

GOP wants White House papers on loan to failed solar company.  House Republicans are demanding White House paperwork related to a $535 million loan guarantee to a solar company that shut down this week.  The Republicans are probing the White House role in the 2009 federal loan guarantee to Solyndra Inc., a California solar panel manufacturing company that ceased operations and is filing for bankruptcy, resulting in 1,100 layoffs.

The Administration's Solar Eclipse.  Solyndra is a poster child for the pitfalls of crony capitalism and what happens when government attempts to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, particularly in the energy sector.  It underscores the dangers of an energy policy driven by ideology and not available resources and economic need.

Solyndra and the stimulus.  Solyndra was the first company to be awarded a federal loan guarantee under the stimulus, worth $535 million.  Taxpayers are likely to end up on the hook for much if not all of that amount, a highly embarrassing development for President Obama because he was among the company's biggest cheerleaders.

Is there a Solyndra/ObamaCare Connection?  Chatter began to emerge on Thursday [9/1/2011] about the unique treatment received by the bankruptcy-declaring Solyndra, a government-dependent maker of solar panels whose scheme, shaped somewhere between a pyramid and a trapezoid, was described in the Washington Post no less...

Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin.  A solar energy company that intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has a cozy history with Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show.  Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin.  A solar energy company that intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has a cozy history with Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show.  Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Republicans: Solyndra investment 'dubious' from the start.  DOE initially made the loan guarantee in 2009, shortly before the company closed one of its factories and laid off workers.  Solyndra executives have more recently insisted the company was healthy, but on Wednesday it announced that it has suspended manufacturing, is laying off 1,100 workers and will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Besides questioning whether the company was a poor risk, critics have seized on news reports that one of Solyndra's prime financial backers was an Obama campaign bundler in 2008.

Solyndra's lobbyists.  The Obama administration sure liked to tout Solyndra, the solar-power company that took in millions of federal subsidies before going bankrupt this week.  Given that this company's short life was dependent on government connections, it's worth looking at Solyndra's lobbyists.

Obama's solar stimulus snafu.  President Obama made a high-profile visit in May 2010 to Solyndra Inc., a solar-panel manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif.  The company received $535 million in loans from the Energy Department and was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's economic stimulus effort.  "Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future," Mr. Obama chirped.  On Wednesday, Solyndra closed its corporate headquarters, announced that it's filing for bankruptcy and laying off 1,100 workers.

SpectraWatt files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The frequently lauded and taxpayer-funded SpectraWatt Inc. — which closed its solar cell plant and laid off workers earlier this year — has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Obama's Real Energy Policy.  [Scroll down]  Test data on solar modules indicates a failure rate of between 3-7% within seven years of installation.  Failures of inverters are exceeding 10%.  None of this data is reflected in the current economic models for solar power.  The assumption is 25 years, but there is very limited data.  The business model for solar panels is becoming ever more challenging with rising materials costs globally and that of labor in China.  In North America Solyndra has gone through over $535 million in government funding and is on the edge.  Evergreen Solar, another poster child for solar power in this country, filed for bankruptcy last week.

Feeding The Masses On Unicorn Ribs.  The belief that green jobs would drive a new era of American prosperity was — like the large majority of green policy chat — intellectually incoherent.  The goods that drive renewable energy industries, like so much else in this world, are far cheaper to construct in Asia.

Sun Sets On The President's Policies.  It's bad enough we lavish and often waste huge subsidies on green companies like the now-bankrupt Evergreen Solar, based in Marlborough, Mass., trying to promote an energy source that would not be able to compete in the marketplace without them.  We're even promoting such failures abroad.  The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an independent agency of the federal government, has announced $500 million in loans for new solar energy projects in India.  This is on top of about $75 million already approved for similar projects in fiscal 2011.

Solon shutters U.S. solar panel plant amid shakeout.  Solar manufacturer Solon said yesterday [8/15/2011] it will close a solar panel factory in Arizona in response to intense global competition on prices.  The Germany-based company said it will phase out a Tucson panel facility by October, cutting 60 jobs in the process.

Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy, plans asset sale.  Evergreen Solar Inc., the Massachusetts clean-energy company that received millions in state subsidies from the Patrick administration for an ill-fated Bay State factory, has filed for bankruptcy, listing $485.6 million in debt.  Evergreen, which closed its taxpayer-supported Devens factory in March and cut 800 jobs, has been trying to rework its debt for months.

Families face £1,000 bill for green energy.  Families face punishing increases in energy bills of up to £1,000 a year to fund a switch to green energy and build new nuclear power stations.  Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday outlined a new regime that will encourage firms to build thousands of wind turbines, tidal power stations and nuclear plants.

Obama's OMB ignores document subpoena.  Solynydra was the first firm to receive a loan guarantee under Obama's $859 billion economic stimulus program in 2009.  Obama has pushed billions of federal tax dollars to so-called "clean energy" firms like Solyndra, which makes proprietary solar energy panel equipment.  At least one major fund raiser for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, Tulsa, Oklahoma, billionaire George Kaiser, is among Solyndra's venture capital backers and there have been multiple questions about the firm's future viability.

The solar plant to nowhere.  Evergreen Solar stock is plunging this week into a black hole of probable bankruptcy.  The losers — aside from shareholders and employees — are the taxpayers from Massachusetts.  Their government, just in the last few years, received $58 million in taxpayer subsidies.  This slug of money was given to Evergreen to get them to open a factory on a former military base in the town of Devens.  Within two years of the opening, Evergreen closed that factory and shifted operations to China.  Now it looks like even that move is coming up a cropper as Evergreen seems headed to bankruptcy court.

The Real Cost of Solar Energy.  President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet, spending billions of dollars to chase the green energy alchemy of solar harvesting. ... Obama is the self-appointed champion for solar power, dolling [sic] out billions for and energy source that has failed to run profitably anywhere in the world.  The economy of scale makes apparent the physical impossibility of solar harvesting. Using the sun to provide 50% of America's electricity needs would necessarily cover tens of thousands of square miles with solar panels and mirrors, with all of it costing tens of trillions of dollars.

Solar Power Encounters Head Winds from Environmentalists.  [Scroll down to page 6]  A high-profile solar energy project in California is facing serious delays as the Obama administration's push for renewable energy has collided with its enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Solar farm near Climax losing money because of property taxes.  Producing 225,592 kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation, a solar farm in eastern Kalamazoo County that went online in early 2010 has exceeded expectations.  Also exceeding expectations is the property tax, said Sam Field, a Kalamazoo attorney and one of the owners of Kalamazoo Solar.

Grand dream loses sheen in glare of daylight.  L.A. community colleges' green energy plan proves wildly impractical.  The blunders cost taxpayers $10 million.

Dark days for solar power.  Ever heard of the Solyndra solar-cell plant in Fremont, California?  Most people haven't.  That's a shame, considering how much taxpayer money has been poured into it.  Solyndra is in serious financial trouble.  Despite getting a $535 million bailout — part of the taxpayer-funded "stimulus" — the company subsequently announced it would lay off more than 17 percent of its work force.  It also had to close one of its manufacturing plants about a year after it got the money.

Turtle Hurdles, and Other Solar Obstacles.  Solar thermal energy is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy, differing from photovoltaics, which converts solar energy directly into electricity.  But the use of solar power, thermal or otherwise, is not as reliable as purported.  Maintenance proves to be a problem and the savings aren't realized in actual applications.

Spain's Solar Industry Leading U.S. to Nowhere.  A report last week estimates that the Spanish solar industry has lost more than 30,000 jobs since 2008, due to the rollback of solar subsidies.

Solar Power Generation: Boon or Boondoggle.  [Scroll down]  California, New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona are just a few of the states forcing the owners and ratepayers of utilities to buy expensive "part-time" power that destabilizes the electrical grid while not replacing a single kW of conventional power generation.  Such mandates take resources from those who would be productive and give them to those who produce an unwanted or unnecessary product, leading to unemployment for many.  Green jobs destroy twice their number of productive jobs, as we have learned from Spanish studies about that country's green-energy nightmare.

Blown Away:  Wind Energy Analyzed.  Hardly a stump speech goes by without a political candidate calling for "more renewable sources of energy such as wind or solar" to either stop our dependence on foreign oil or to slow the CO2 emissions that mean certain doom for our planet.  The politicians are doing what most politicians do:  spewing rhetoric that they know voters want to hear; proposing programs they know little or nothing about.

Why the Government Should Stay Out of Green Energy.  In the realm of solar power, there has never been more fanfare for a startup than in the case of Solyndra.  Founded in 2005, the company's rooftop-mounted solar panels were immediately touted as "the next big thing" in alternative energy.  Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Solyndra has been a magnet for venture capital cash from the Silicon Valley.  However, just before Solyndra's promising glow of success began to fade, the last big investor stepped into the boardroom:  The Obama Administration.  And man, did the American taxpayer get played.

Solar Eclipse.  The prospects for solar and wind companies have declined significantly in the last few years.  Those who have been unfortunate enough to invest in solar and wind enterprises have, on the whole, experienced mediocre returns even as the overall market has risen 50% since its low of March 2009.  Over the last twelve months, one popular global alternative energy index fund has declined in price from $25 to $20.50.  Over the past two years, it has produced a return of zero.

Keen Graphs of the Obvious.  The U.S. leads the world in recoverable fossil fuel resources, which are enough to last many more decades at least.  "Renewable" energy resources, other than hydroelectric dams, supply less than 5% of all energy in the U.S., even after years of government-funded research, incentives, regulations, and subsidies.  Fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydroelectric will dominate for decades to come.  The most economical source of electricity for some time to come is natural gas.  The most expensive is solar panels.

Green Power generates Red Ink.  It's time to end the mollycoddling of wind and solar energy toys before this stupidity does irreversible damage to Australia's electricity supply and costs.  The mindless green dream of producing serious base load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and no effect at all on global climate.

Never Ready for Prime Time.  Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen (November 2010): "Allowing the tax incentive to expire would risk jobs in a very important domestic energy sector and across rural America."  Of course, it is only natural for aid-dependent industries to warn that they would suffer without the continuation of aid.  Employing this circular logic, taxpayer funded renewable power has remained the "energy of the future" for decades.  But American taxpayers simply cannot afford to subsidize industries that are forever-nascent.

Solar Energy Is Far from Ready to Replace Petroleum.  The principal use of petroleum in the United States is for transportation, not electrical generation.  In 2002, petroleum generated slightly more than 2 percent of total electricity generated at U.S. power plants.  That same year, solar sources generated about 0.01 percent of the nation's electricity.  The biggest competitor to solar electrical generation is not petroleum but coal, which generates about 54 percent of the nation's electricity.  The source of this coal is the United States, which has immeasurable amounts of it and requires no military commitments outside its borders to protect it.

Obama's Solar Energy Fantasy.  This is more than a repeat of the 19th century's error of subsidizing railroad construction. ... Here, though, the situation is even worse than simple crony capitalism, given its unique 21st century twist.  The wrinkle is that at least in the 1860s it was possible to deploy a technology that could conceivably fulfill its purpose.  Trains could potentially deliver freight and passengers from point A to B in a cost-effective way.  No such claim can be made for large-scale solar power technology, at present.

Solar Power Generation:  Boon or Boondoggle.  Obviously even the hottest tropical sun won't boil water, so all solar thermal generators are based on concentrated solar thermal (CST) generation, which is exactly what the name implies:  concentrating light to produce heat. ... The materials required for such a facility are awesome.  Not just the mirrors, but the plumbing, wiring, hundreds of tons of structural materials, and thousands of tons of concrete foundations  The late Petr Beckmann calculated that a solar plant would not be able over its lifetime to produce enough energy to build another solar plant of comparable size.

Solar Sticker Shock Hits Wash. County.  Kittitas County, Washington is experiencing sticker shock as the true cost of solar power is coming in at more than three times the promised price.  In less than one month's time, the cost estimate for a proposed 75 megawatt solar power plant has soared by more than 200 percent.

Florida Electricity Costs Skyrocket as Utility Invests Heavily in Solar.  Florida Power & Light (FPL) customers are being hit with a 16 percent hike in electricity prices as the utility company invests more heavily in solar power.  FPL's ongoing solar investment appears to violate a state law requiring utilities to provide power from the least expensive available source.

San Francisco Solar Initiative Too Costly.  $100 million solar power initiative approved by San Francisco voters in 2001 has yet to produce any solar power, San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission reports. Prior to the 2001 solar power ballot initiative, solar power advocates promised the costs of solar panel technology were poised to drop dramatically.  [And they were wrong.]

Solar Power:  Too Good to Be True.  For decades, there have been delirious proclamations that the world would soon run on solar energy.  Those statements always have sounded too good to be true … and, sure enough, they always have been false.

Solar panels a 'loser,' professor says.  Installing solar panels on homes is an economic "loser" with the costs far outweighing the financial benefit, a respected University of California-Berkeley business professor said Wednesday [2/20/2008].  The technology, using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, is not economically competitive with fossil fuels and costs more than other renewable fuels, said Severin Borenstein, who also directs the UC Energy Institute.  "We are throwing away money by installing the current solar PV technology," he said.

Neighbors Clash Over Trees, Solar Power.  In an environmental dispute seemingly scripted for eco-friendly California, a man asked prosecutors to file charges against his neighbors because their towering redwoods blocked sunlight to his backyard solar panels.

Landowner Must Cut Redwoods to Accommodate Neighbor's Solar Panels.  In a battle between next-door neighbor environmentalists, a Sunnyvale, California couple is being ordered to cut down their backyard redwood trees or face up to $1,000 per day in fines.  The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office issued the order to Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett after their neighbor, Mark Vargas, complained the redwoods were partially shading a solar power panel Vargas had installed a few years after the redwoods were planted.

The Editor says...
This decision sets an important precedent:  Solar panels trump redwood trees, even if the trees were there first.

Trees Block Solar Panels, and a Feud Ends in Court.  Call it an eco-parable:  one Prius-driving couple takes pride in their eight redwoods, the first of them planted over a decade ago.  Their electric-car-driving neighbors take pride in their rooftop solar panels, installed five years after the first trees were planted.

Schwarzenegger Misfires With Solar Subsidy.  Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electricity.  This is great, but for a few problems:  They are costly, they rarely produce the electricity claimed, and, even with subsidies, PV does not pay for itself.

Solar Junk:  In California, where solar energy usage has become most common, some 20 homeowners' associations have laws in place making it harder to install solar panels.

Read more about the California Energy Crunch of 2000, and see if all those solar panels did any good.  California ran into an energy crisis because the population is growing steadily but there are no new power plants.  Environmentalists have made it all but impossible to build new power plants in California.

"Million Solar Roofs" Bill Dies in California Assembly.  California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Million Solar Roofs" program (the state Senate bill known as SB1), which would give billions of tax dollars to the solar power industry and force home builders to offer solar power as a standard component of all new home construction, died in the state's assembly September 8.  Spiraling cost estimates largely killed the bill.

Renewable Portfolio Standard Threatens Consumers.  The notion that an RPS will include a "portfolio" of renewable energy sources is misleading — wind energy is the only economically viable renewable energy source given current technologies.  Although other renewable sources, such as biomass and solar, have long-term potential, they are currently no more than niche technologies.

Voters Reject Solar-Powered Housing Development.  Voters in Livermore, California on November 8 rejected an initiative that would have allowed construction of the nation's largest solar-powered community.

MSNBGreen:  The King Kong of the corporate world needs tax breaks, subsidies and favorable regulations in order to make green technology profitable.  Indeed, GE has nearly cornered the market on the solar panels necessary to implement Kyoto-style reforms.  Global warming hysteria is good for its bottom line.

Solar Meets Polar as Winter Curbs Clean Energy.  Old Man Winter, it turns out, is no friend of renewable energy.  This time of year, wind turbine blades ice up, biodiesel congeals in tanks and solar panels produce less power because there is not as much sun.  And perhaps most irritating to the people who own them, the panels become covered with snow, rendering them useless even in bright winter sunshine.

Problems with 'green' energy you may not have heard about.  After a big snowstorm, your electricity supply is reduced or terminated, if you are depending on solar. ... Keep in mind the unreliability and hazards of alternative power the next time Obama sings the praises of green energy and tells us how wonderful it will be when he shuts down coal powered facilities.

E-waste looms behind solar-power boom.  Solar is a renewable source of energy, and solar panels don't pollute when they are generating electricity.  But the upstream process of making solar panels involves a number of toxic chemicals.  Most solar cells are made out of silicon, the same material embedded in billions of electronic chips.  As a result, the burgeoning solar photovoltaics (PV) industry faces an electronic-waste problem.

The Solar and Renewable Utopia:  Carter Redux, that's the only way to put it.  After 30 years out of power, the purveyors of the Solar and Renewable Utopia are back.  We're going to develop windmills, make solar panels affordable, and redesign buildings so they use only half as much energy — in theory, at least.  The subtext, of course, is this — we won't have to deal with coal, nuclear, or any of those other nasty technologies that aren't "clean and renewable."  So what's wrong with this picture?  Well, the problem is that 30 years hasn't changed the physics of things like the intensity of sunlight or wind power.

Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies.  Analysis shows wind and solar power are ridiculously expensive, compared to natural gas, coal and nuclear power.

No Substitute For Fossil Fuels.  Earlier this year, Congress approved a scheme to pour $80 billion — on top of the tens of billions already spent — into renewables.  A government report released last week indicates the money will be wasted.  Renewable energy is the shiny gem that everyone wants but no one can have.

The Green Energy Collapse.  Across the world, unsustainable subsidies for wind and solar are being cut back.  The Ontario government paints itself in extreme green.  It has outlawed coal — the only jurisdiction on the continent to have done so.  It boasts the world's biggest solar plant.  It boasts the western world's biggest subsidies to the renewables industry.  And now, it also boasts the western world's fastest-growing renewables industry.

Green power's hidden agenda:  Wind, solar, and geothermal, by contrast, are the most expensive alternatives to coal.  A kilowatt of power from such renewables typically costs about ten times as much as a kilowatt from coal — and more than six times as much as a kilowatt from nuclear or hydropower.  Alternative energy promoters, including former vice president Al Gore, promise that these prices will decline if only the government subsidizes the necessary technological innovation.  Those promises have not come true over the past three decades, and it's extremely unlikely that they ever will.

Troy's celebrated solar house left in dark.  It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.  Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.  But it never opened to the public.  And it remains closed.

Pipes burst in solar house.  Students from Lawrence Technological University, with help from DTE Energy, built the house as part of a national solar decathlon two years ago, said Eric Pope, the news bureau managing editor at LTU in Southfield.  [Rush] Limbaugh said the solar home "looks like a trailer and cost 900 grand.  The floors blew up because the pipes froze.  No electricity.  No gas.  The future!"  And he was just getting warmed up.

Green Follies: Gov't Built Solar House Falls Apart.  Oh, there are all sorts of reasons why this engineering marvel was an utter failure.  There is finger pointing and head scratching all around.  But the singular fact of the matter is that this project is a failure because it was not undertaken by business in a situation where success meant fulfilling a business plan to satisfy investors in order to obtain profit.  No, it was a dalliance by professors financed by government without any expectations or requirements for success.

"Sustainability" Isn't Sustainable.  A number of college and universities have introduced "Sustainability Studies."  Of course, "sustainability" is just another term for environmentalism, but it exposes the mentality of the environmental movement very well.  The idea is that unless we are forced use fewer resources, we will not be able to sustain our life on earth and humanity will disappear or at best face massive disaster. ... What sounds good, however, often is not, and "sustainability" has become yet another scam — yes, scam — the statists have foisted on people in the name of saving humanity and planet earth.

Bono Discovers Sustainable Development Isn't Sustainable.  The big problem with renewable energy is that it just doesn't renew itself.  The sun does not shine enough and the wind doesn't blow enough to power the towns, cities, factories, hospitals and schools that make our lives so livable.  No environmentalist would ever allow their child to be treated in a hospital fully powered by "renewables".  They would not take the risk that the wind might stop whilst their baby was on the operating table. ... Renewable energy and sustainable development are for "other people".

Austin Consumers Avoid Pricey Renewable Power.  Austin Energy, a publicly owned power company and a city department of Austin, Texas, has found itself stuck with surplus renewable power as city residents have declined to sign up for higher rates under the city's voluntary GreenChoice program.  Contracting with renewable power providers and offering the service to customers sounded like a good idea to city officials until the price tag came in at up to three times the cost of conventional power.  City residents aren't buying.

Environmentalist Economic Strangulation.  Solar energy requires vast territories for solar cells — as many as 46,000 square miles would have to be covered by solar panels.  One logical place for a "solar energy farm" would be the wide-open, sunshine-rich, sparsely populated Mojave Desert.  However, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) already has nixed that possibility in the name of wilderness protection.  As a frustrated Gov. Schwarzenegger lamented, if you can't put solar panels in the Mojave Desert, then where can you put them?

Is Solar Power Dead in the Water?  Congress's rush to embrace solar power is having some unintended consequences.  It will turn over a large chunk of federal land to private energy companies, and it may involve withdrawing billions of gallons of water from sensitive desert habitat.  By 2015, Congress wants the Interior and Energy Departments to place, on federal land, renewable energy projects that can generate at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set off a frantic land grab as solar and wind energy companies rush to obtain permits for projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

L.A. Voters Reject Solar Initiative.  In a surprising blow to environmental activists and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, Los Angeles voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have required the city to install 400 megawatts of solar panels by 2014. ... The opposition took offense at the secretive manner in which the initiative was drafted, and they also focused on the high cost of solar power.

Global Warming Blues:  Green electric power from windmills and solar energy is impracticable.  Its expensive and due to the erratic nature of sunshine and wind, solar and wind power must be backed up by duplicate power plants or by energy storage systems that are as expensive as duplicate power plants.  It sometimes seems that the advocates of solar power don't realize that the sun does not shine at night.

Spain's Solar-Power Collapse Dims Subsidy Model.  Spain's hopes of becoming a world leader in solar power have collapsed since the Spanish government slammed the brakes on generous subsidies.  The sudden change has rippled across the global solar industry, in a warning of the problems that government-supported renewable-energy programs can encounter.

Highest Cost Generating Plant Comes On Line in Florida to Obama Fanfare.  Florida Power & Light (FPL) has built a 25 megawatt photovoltaic power plant in Southern Florida that will supply power to 3000 homes and businesses — a small fraction of the company's over 4 million customers. ... FPL spent $152 million building the plant, which amounts to $6,080 per kilowatt — a figure substantiated by the Energy Information Administration, who ranks photovoltaic solar the highest cost technology of a potential slate of 20 possible future generating technologies.

Energy to spare.  Under the inspiration of the Green Zeitgeist, I cannot go into a magazine shop without finding some science-lite cover story on new prospects for harnessing solar, thermal, wind, tidal, or whatever "renewable" forces.  There is an immense credulous audience out there, willing to be entertained by such nonsense.  No one with a grasp of high school physics should take any of these schemes seriously.  In each case, we are looking at a crank idea from the hippie era, which has not since been significantly improved, because it can't be.

Solar Power Realities:  Solar power is uneconomic.  Government mandates and subsidies hide the true cost of renewable energy but these additional costs must be carried by others.

Unsustainable cow manure.  Wind, solar and bio-fuels will ensure an eco-friendly, climate-protecting, planet-saving, sustainable inheritance for our children.  Or so we are told by activists and politicians intent on enacting new renewable energy standards, mandates and subsidies during a lame duck session.  It may be useful to address some basic issues, before going further down the road to Renewable Utopia.

The Unbearable Lightness of Solar Power.  [An article in the New York Times] features a dramatic photo of 500 acres of solar panels sitting next to an innocuous looking natural gas plant in Indiantown, Fla., owned by Florida Power & Light.  The natural gas plant — which occupies no more than 15 acres — produces 3,800 megawatts of reliable electricity.  The gigantic 500-acre solar complex next to it (that's about three-quarters of a square mile) will produce 75 MW of electricity AT ITS MAXIMUM, i.e., on a hot summer afternoon.

So Long, Solar.  Oh, the glory days of almost a month ago, when advocates promoted the promise of solar energy in the United States. ... Fast-forward to a report in today's [3/27/2010] Washington Post:  "BP will close its solar-panel manufacturing plant in Frederick, the final step in moving its solar business out of the United States to facilities in China, India and other countries."

A big bet on big government: ' Al Gore, solar power, and corporate welfare.  The New York Times reports on the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and its "big bet on solar technology."  Read the post closely, and you'll see that the success of solar technology companies is utterly tied to corporate welfare.

How High are Your State's Electricity Prices?  Electricity prices are nearly 40 percent higher in states with renewable electricity mandates.  Petroleum produces only 1 percent of our electricity.  Using wind power or solar to produce electricity will do nothing to reduce our use of foreign oil.  Thirteen of the 15 states with the least expensive residential electricity prices produce at least 50 percent of their electricity from either coal or hydroelectric power.  Americans need more affordable energy now, not vague promises for the future.

Affordable energy is under assault.  Many politicians and ideological special-interest groups are working to place onerous restrictions on the energy we use and on how we use it.  The energy resources that supply 85 percent of our energy needs — coal, oil, and natural gas — are the most affordable and therefore the targets of this assault.  The regulations are intended to make energy from these sources harder to produce and more expensive to use.  But these policies not only decrease the availability and increase the price of natural gas, coal, and oil, they also force the American people to use energy sources that would otherwise be too expensive and unreliable to exist commercially.

Obama's Green Energy Myth.  Both wind power and solar power are more expensive — incredibly so in the case of solar — than either fossil power or nuclear power.  Worse, you can't count on either wind or solar as a reliable source of energy, since the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine.  Accordingly, for each megawatt of wind and solar capacity we develop, another megawatt of back-up power, typically powered by fossil fuels, has to be in place.  This redundancy adds to the already unacceptable cost of "green energy."

Huge Solar-Plant Project Approved.  A proposal to build the world's biggest solar-thermal power plant in the Southern California desert got the go-ahead Monday from the Obama administration, which used the announcement to bolster its message that renewable energy creates jobs.  The $6 billion project is being developed by Solar Trust of America, a joint venture between Germany's Solar Millennium AG and privately held Ferrostaal AG on 7,025 acres of federally owned land near Blythe, Calif.  The approval clears the way for the developers to seek federal grants and loan guarantees.

The Editor says...
It's a socialist trifecta:  Using taxpayers' money to let a foreign company build a subsidized business on federal land.

Peak renewables.  The "peak oil" scare has long been used as an excuse for alternative-energy providers to demand government subsidies.  We are told that oil production will reach a zenith and the wells will run dry any day now, so failure to provide billions in handouts to the providers of other fuels would be irresponsible.  Forget peak oil — the world may be on the verge of peak renewables.  The much-hyped intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind have proved so expensive to maintain that other developed nations are trimming subsidies.

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Updated May 15, 2024.

©2024 by Andrew K. Dart