“There are going to be screw-ups. There are going to be bankruptcies. There’ll be indictments and there’ll be deaths. But we’re going to keep going – and nothing’s going to stop me” [Darleen Click]
So says California Gov Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown about solar power … and how he’ll “crush” any opponents, regardless of the corruption, shenanigans and outright fraud of the industry.
The promise of clean and cheap solar energy is getting a second look in California, where utilities are required to get a third of their power from renewable power by 2020. But after millions in tax breaks and handouts, the industry’s honeymoon is over with some counties and ratepayers, as the expected jobs, savings and revenue have not materialized.
California’s Riverside County is producing more solar energy than anywhere in the U.S., with close to a dozen solar plants either online or proposed.
“On the face of it, it looks like a good deal. They talk about all these huge jobs and long-term benefits to the county. The truth is, it’s a very short term,” Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said. “We’re going to be carrying the burden of having these types of facilities for decades to come, and because of the incentives that have been provided by federal and state government, there’s virtually nothing left for the county government or the local people to get benefit back after the small number of construction jobs are gone.”
Unlike Riverside’s 500 megawatt natural gas-fired facility, which pays $6 million a year in property taxes, a solar plant being built a few miles away will pay next to nothing, just $96,000. When Riverside balked at its own upfront infrastructure costs and tried to impose an impact fee, the industry sued.
The industry stands by that response. [...]
Riverside said it deserves something, considering the hundreds of square miles of land it is giving up to be covered by mirrors and solar panels.
“From the perspective of the company, it may be a billion-dollar investment. But for the most part, that’s not money that’s coming back to the county that’s going to be the host,” Benoit said. “So yeah, I appreciate the investment. But I think they kind of overstate the number of jobs and how long they’ll be here for their own PR reasons.
“But the long-term effect is clear: We’re going to have a desert that’s dramatically changed and forever off the tax roll and out of use for any other recreational or other purpose.” [...]
Stanford economist Frank Wolak, a California energy expert, said solar could boost consumer energy bills up to 50 percent, a finding similar to the state Public Utilities Commission. Solar power from two recently approved plants range from $100 to $200 per megawatt hour, at least 8 times higher than the $16 consumers pay for natural gas. [..]
“There’s been a policy to fast-track and install these utility-scale renewable energy installations that are on the scale of five to 10,000 acres each,” said April Sall of the Wildlands Conservancy. “We’ve seen thousands of acres of the desert bladed and now undergoing utility-style construction to basically convert that from pristine habitat that included those sensitive plants and animals, to becoming potentially a dust bowl.”
The two largest green groups in the U.S., the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, have remained silent on the impact of Big Solar on land use and endangered species, which is not so with gas, oil or coal. Sall and other local environmental groups say the Washington-based organizations see climate change as a bigger threat and therefore won’t get involved.
Yeah, sure, it would have nothing at all to do with killing cheap, efficient energy which allows for maximum freedom — anathema to the Leftist agenda.
California is screwed, but you, in the rest of the country, are even more stupid and/or venal if you all don’t learn a lesson from our misery.
Tags: california, fraud, solar power