Archive for the 'Cost of Green' Category

The Great Light Bulb Robbery

November 2, 2009

The Great Light Bulb Robbery has been called off in Ohio due to consumer outrage.

In early October, Akron, OH-based First Energy planned to force consumers to buy two compact fluorescent lightbulbs for $21.60 — bulbs for which the utility paid only $3.50 each.

The utility then planned to charge consumers $0.60 more per month to make up for lost electricity sales due to the bulbs’ energy efficiency.

But as Akron’s WYTV reported,

After taking a huge public relations hit when it tried to force all its customers to buy energy-efficient light bulbs, First Energy is making a new proposal.

The electric company is now asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve a voluntary program so that those who don’t want or need the mini-florescent lights don’t have to pay for them.

The scam would have netted First Energy $7.6 million — more than the $7 million (in 1963 dollars) netted during the August 1963 Great Train Robbery.

Green is the 21st century term for “stand and deliver.”

Cost of electricity: ‘It has to be painful’

October 23, 2009

What will President Obama’s “smart grid” bring our way? Consider this excerpt from today’s ClimateWire:

Michael Godorov, PPL’s manager of smart meter operations, said that a real-time pricing strategy requires a big differential between peak and off-peak prices to be effective. “It has to be painful enough for a customer to want to save money,” he said. “If you leave it to the consumer, you definitely have to put in enough incentives. The market has to make it imperative for customers to manage their use.”

“How do we get people to care enough about this?” asked David Mohler, chief technology officer of Duke Energy, at a conference in Washington last month.

If millions of motorists with plug-in hybrids were to arrive home at 5 p.m. on the hottest day of the year and want to do a quick recharge on a 220-volt appliance circuit, the electricity grid would have severe problems handling the load, Mohler said.

“We should have an ability to differentially price that,” he said. The fast-charge price could be equivalent to $20 for a gallon of gasoline, he suggested. Motorists content to charge overnight, when power prices are lowest, might have to pay the equivalent of 75 cents a gallon — a bargain price. “Until we can give them a way to painlessly respond to that price signal, I don’t know how we get to where we need to go,” he said.

Companies like Dallas-based Oncor that have committed to smart grid and dynamic pricing strategies believe most consumers will come along. Oncor has outfitted a truck trailer with a mini-classroom to show customers how its smart grid would work, and more than 22,000 people have taken a look since last year.

“We’ve had some people say, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want this meter.’ They don’t understand it,” said Oncor CEO Bob Shapard. “They don’t like people coming in their backyard to change it. ‘What’s the matter with the meter I’ve already got?'” they say. “You get some of that pushback. The lion’s share of our customers, though, takes the other approach. Virtually all the customers that have been coming through the education center are asking, ‘When can I get my meter?'”

Here’s what you need to know about the smart grid and smart meters:

Smart = Consumer (gouging plus pain)

“Smart” is the new “stupid.”

UN to US: $10 trillion for climate or else…

October 6, 2009

The United Nations says in a new report that unless we (meaning U.S. taxpayers and consumers) cough up $10 trillion to the world’s renewable energy rentseekers and carbon abatement scamsters, the planet will be destroyed by UN-fabricated global warming.

UN chief Ban (Dr. Evil) Ki-moon

UN chief Ban (Dr. Evil) Ki-moon

Click here for Wall Street Journal coverage.

GE’s smart-meter profiteering

October 1, 2009

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt must be channeling SNL’s Chico Escuela these days as:

Obama stimulus been berry, berry good to GE.

GE announced today that utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) will purchase 110,000 smart meters from GE. And just how is AEP managing to buy all these smart meters? President Obama and Congress are making us pay for them.

On Sep. 1, AEP applied to the Department of Energy for $75 million in federal stimulus money for the smart meter purchase.

It’s a good thing that GE’s Immelt sits on Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board — how else would the Department of Energy know to direct smart meter purchases to GE?

Of course, AEP isn’t the only conduit for sending federal stimulus money to GE. So far about 50 utilities have applied to DOE for a piece of the almost $4 billion in stimulus money earmarked for smart meter projects. Did we mention:

Obama stimulus been berry, berry good to GE.

BTW, the $75 million will create about 500 jobs over a three year period, says AEP — why that’s only $150,000 per job in Ohio where the average income is slightly less than $48,000.

Obama stimulus been berry, berry good to GE.

Obama stimulus been berry, berry good to GE.

Wanted Poster GE Sketch Final

Thank you Hank Paulson!

September 18, 2009

The Treasury Department released today the unredacted documents related to CEI’s recent FOIA request.

The formerly redacted portion of the docs puts the taxes potentially levied by cap-and-trade at an astounding $300 billion per year!

The office that created these docs was created by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, whose nomination we opposed since it was obvious that he would use his position to advance the global warming ball for the greens.

As it turns out, good ol’ Hank may have sowed the seeds of cap-and-trade’s destruction.

Treasury: Cap-and-trade costs taxpayers $200 billion annually

September 14, 2009

From the Washington Times:

Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to The Washington Times…

A memo prepared by Judson Jaffe, who works in the Treasury’s Office of Environment and Energy, referenced President Obama’s remarks on energy policy in his State of the Union Address and said, given the president’s plan to auction emissions allowances, “a cap-and-trade program could generate federal receipts on the order of $100 to $200 billion annually.”

These figures differ from other cost estimates for the legislation produced more recently by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

“These are candid, internal discussions of what they are telling each other and what they won’t tell you,” said Christopher C. Horner, a CEI senior fellow who filed the request.

Kudos to Horner.

The new French disease: Carbon tax-itis

September 11, 2009

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has announced plans to strong-arm France into adopting a carbon tax in order to “save the human race” from global warming.

According to the AP:

The tax would be initially based on the market price for carbon dioxide emissions permits, which is now euro17 ($24.74) per ton of carbon dioxide, Sarkozy said. At that level, the government expects to raise euro3 billion, which will be entirely returned to households and businesses through a reduction in other taxes or repaid via a so-called “Green Check,” Sarkozy said.

The result would be a shift of the tax burden from other revenue sources to energy derived from fossil fuels in an effort to discourage their use.

Gasoline, diesel fuel, coal and natual gas will be subject to the tax, but not electricity, Sarkozy said. France generates most of its electricity via nuclear power, which doesn’t emit greenhouse gases.

The tax would add 4.5 euro cents to each liter of diesel, 4 cents to each liter of gasoline and 0.4 cents for each KWh of natural gas consumed, Sarkozy said. The tax is intended to rise gradually from this level, Sarkozy said.

France emits about 1.4% of global manmade CO2 emissions.

If France stopped emitting CO2 altogether for the next 90 years, the total amount of atmospheric CO2 avoided would be on the order of 1.8 parts per million.

Sacre bleu!

World’s largest solar scam uses ‘low cost’ labor to produce ‘high cost’ electricity in Mongolia

September 9, 2009

First Solar, Inc. will build the world’s largest solar field in Mongolia, reports the Wall Street Journal. A few interesting points:

  • The field is slated to produce 2 gigawatts of power — equal to the output of two coal-fired power plants.
  • The field will take up 25 square miles (16,000 acres), as compared to about 200 acres for two coal-fired plants.
  • Unlike coal plants, however, no electricity will be produced at night– so the field will need to be backed up by conventional (most likely coal-fired) power plants.
  • The estimated cost of such a field in the U.S. would be on the order of $6 billion — twice as much as the cost of two coal-fired power plants. Keep in mind that back-up coal plants (at additional cost?) would be needed to back up the solar field. But First Solar expects the costs to be much lower as it would be using “lower-cost Chinese” (slave/child?) labor.
  • First Solar expects China to place a $0.15 – 0.25 tariff (tax) on the electricity produced by the plant — about tripling to quintupling the consumer price of electricity in China.

Is this considered renewable because there seems to be an endless supply of green chicanery?

Renewable welfare: $251,000 per job

September 2, 2009

Taxpayer provided welfare for the renewable energy industry became a lot richer yesterday as the Departments of Treasury and Energy announced that they were making $502 million in “grants” available to firms in lieu of earned tax credits. Apparently the tax credits weren’t worth anything since the industry has no profits.

The $502 million of stimulus funding supposedly will provide 2,000 jobs according to the feds.That’s only $251,000 per job — and all so that consumers can pay higher prices for electricity.

Whoever is being stimulated by this spending is pretty perverse.

Cash for renewable clunkers

August 31, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports how Wall Street wind investors get a 30% cash rebate on the building of renewable energy facilities in addition to accelerated depreciation deductions — with no government spending cap on the program.

A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said:

“We are concerned that this may evolve into a cash-for-clunkers version 2.0.”