Solar energy has its uses. For example, it’s great for spaceships and off-grid houses. But as a method to power the electrical grid, it is a scam.
Governor Sisolak has created a “climate strategy” that will squander billions on massive solar infrastructure. The money will be raised from taxes and by increases in the cost of electricity. The solar electricity will be supplied by independent companies with long-term contracts to supply unreliable electricity from solar farms at exorbitant cost. Most of the money needed is from hidden subsidies.
Solar can’t replace existing fossil fuel plants because it only provides power when the sun is shining. The sun does not shine at night or when it is cloudy. The existing fossil fuel plants have to remain, fully staffed, maintained and ready to step in on short notice. Dueling power grids are not economic. An analysis of the economics of solar shows that the economic cost is around five times as much as sticking with existing sources of electricity. The solar advocates brazenly claim that it is cheaper.
New solar farms in Nevada will have large batteries. The batteries do not attempt to correct the unreliable nature of solar. Batteries big enough to do that would make the solar farm cost ten times more. The batteries are there to move power from midday, when solar generates more power than the grid can absorb, to the early evening. The batteries typically can supply power for four hours. The batteries greatly increase the cost of the solar farm and must be periodically replaced because they wear out. They are also a fire hazard.
The true cost of solar is hidden by a maze of government subsidies and mandates from both the federal and state government. For example, one subsidy of many is called “tax equity financing.” The solar developer partners with a company that pays a lot of federal income tax, like Google. By means of various financial manipulations approved by Congress, money that would be paid to the federal treasury is diverted to the solar project. A hefty profit goes to the highly taxed partner. That subsidy alone may pay for 35 percent of the project. Besides making money, Google, or a different partner, can claim to be supporting solar energy. The reality of the solar industry is shrouded in a cloud of propaganda. The public thinks that economically (and environmentally) destructive solar projects are good works.
Nevada mandates that the electrical grid will be powered by 50% renewable sources by 2030. These sources will be mostly solar energy farms. This mandate has huge financial consequences that are good for the solar developers and very bad for the people of Nevada. The mandate forces the utility NV Energy to enter into typical 25-year contracts for the purchase of renewable electricity because no one will build a white elephant solar farm without an absolute guarantee of profit. This is a subsidy for solar energy because it transfers project risk from the developer and NV Energy to the Nevada electricity consumer.
The scientists promoting the alleged climate emergency are hopelessly compromised because their “science” is a green goldmine. The science behind global warming or climate change is speculative.
Nevada’s contribution to CO2 emissions is so small as to be like trying to raise the level of Lake Mead with a garden hose. Even if you believe every claim of the promoters of climate change, the governor’s program will accomplish nothing because reducing Nevada’s CO2 emissions from tiny to tinier will have an undetectable effect on world CO2 levels. CO2 emitted in Nevada does not stay in Nevada but mixes with the atmosphere around the world very quickly.
As pointed out by the CO2 Coalition, adding CO2 to the atmosphere has great benefits, improving agricultural productivity and greening deserts. Plants are hungry for CO2 and when more is available, they grow faster with less water. The operators of greenhouses utilize CO2 generators to improve plant growth.
Some of the world’s most prominent climate scientists belong to the organization Climate Scientists for Nuclear. They realized that solar is a fraud and that the only practical scheme for CO2-free electricity generation is nuclear power.
The prominent climate scientist and global warming activist, James Hansen, said that believing in solar energy is like believing in the Tooth Fairy. But our governor thinks he knows better and embraces spending billions on solar power. Some part of those billions may turn up under the governor’s pillow or the pillows of his Democrat associates. So, perhaps solar power really is like the tooth fairy.
Democratic State senator Chris Brooks is a political leader in promoting solar power. He is also in the solar energy business. He popped up as a consultant to the Gemini Solar Project which is expected to be the largest solar and battery storage facility in the United States, built on 7,100 acres of federal land north of Las Vegas.
Governor Sisolak is quoted as saying: “I will not spend a single second debating the reality of climate change.” That is probably wise. If he engaged in debate he might have to wrestle with temperature and rainfall records that don’t show climate change in Nevada.
The governor’s climate strategy is dumb on a grand, green scale.