Posts Tagged ‘green energy’

Green Energy: Fracking

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Yet despite the federal EPA saying earlier this year that there was no evidence of fracking activities leading to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” several U.S. communities – even some states – continue to embrace half-truths and fear mongering over the endless economic and environmental benefits that fracking entails.

There’s More To The Story Of Ohio’s Economic Success




Green Energy: Wind and Solar

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One of the leaders in the field of green energy and allegedly reduced carbon emissions has been Great Britain, which makes it all the more odd that just before the big confab kicks off, they’ve slashed all of their wind and solar subsidies to the bone, preferring to focus on converting old power plants to natural gas.

Just before Paris climate summit, Britain slashes wind, solar subsidies




Solyndra, Inc. announces plans to file for bankruptcy

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Putting aside the fact that we the people have long debated the extent of government intervention in our free enterprise system, let’s begin with this, via wikipedia:

Free market capitalism consists of a free-price system where supply and demand are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by the government.

Businesses succeed only when they can supply viable products to meet a demand, and demand simply cannot be fabricated or forced. So why am I talking about this here? First, this is personal. We recently borrowed great sums of money from our grandchildren to help jump start the economy and put people back to work. Secondly, the government has demonstrated a complete lack of competence in distributing these large sums of money. In doing so, in this instance, it makes our jobs as sustainable professionals much more difficult by casting a shadow on responsible environmental stewardship. And, unfortunately, this one does reek of politics and the corruption associated with politics.

via The Washington Examiner, David Freddoso: Obama’s big green gamble: Solyndra

In late May, when President Obama was in California for his fourth fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., he also made a point of dropping by Silicon Valley to praise his own stimulus package.

“It is here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter, more prosperous future,” Obama said of a solar energy company that had recently received taxpayer backing. Obama spoke of the company in glowing terms and used it as an example of how the stimulus package is creating jobs all over America.

“We can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra,” he said. “[T]hrough the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans. Since the project broke ground last fall, more than 3,000 construction workers have been employed building this plant. Across the country, workers in 22 states are manufacturing the supplies. … Solyndra expects to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels. …”

Solyndra was the very first company to receive a Department of Energy loan guarantee under the stimulus bill. When it was awarded, Vice President Biden said the project was “exactly what the Recovery Act is all about.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said it would help “spark a new industrial revolution that will put Americans to work.”

But even if Solyndra is a good example of what the stimulus package can do, it might not be the kind of example Obama wants to publicize. Jim McTague of Barron’s noted over the weekend that, two months before Obama’s glowing speech, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a fear-filled note in its audit of the company, which has accumulated losses of $558 million in its five-year lifetime. The firm noted that Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”    Continue Reading →




Obama’s ‘green jobs’ fizzle

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This is not intended to be a rant or a political statement – merely an impassioned opinion. Okay, perhaps the headline is a (little) bit over the top, I borrowed it from the recent wizbang article, Obama’s ‘green jobs’ fizzle. However, given my position on the subject, I couldn’t come up with a more appropriate replacement.

When I started a small design/build company in 1983, my second project was a partial berm residence. At that time, many of the private building related energy reducing strategies were passive solar and/or earthen bunker structures, drawing on principles going as far back in time as the caveman. “Renewable Energy” technology was practically non-existent, with green technology companies struggling to hang on and keep their heads above water. It was apparent for renewable energy to progress and the technology to succeed, the industry needed to be substantially subsidized  by private investors and, to some extent, the government.

Fortunately, private investments in renewable energy technology began to materialize, and as a result the industry steadily evolved in a positive direction. Additionally, organizations such as the U.S.Green Building Council (USGBC) came on the scene and developed green building rating systems that promoted renewable energy. Unfortunately however, during the past several years, politicos have taken control, in my opinion, to gain political capital from large corporate players and environmentalists. In their efforts to “appease”, many of these policy makers are ill-informed, misguided and, seemingly, concerned more about the political bandwagons they associate with than being responsible environmental stewards. So what could go wrong? To begin, as we’ve witnessed recently with AGW and Cap n’ Trade, these (failed) policy proposals are extremely detrimental to those of us who support and advocate a more reasonable pro-environment position. It’s proving difficult to get consumers attention when rebuttals to these devisive policies are garnering most of the spotlight. The best selling author Michael Crichton coined the phrase “Environmentalism as a Religion“.

Wind turbines? Not much coming from the environmentalists, or the government for that matter, about the impact of these massive wind turbines on the bat habitat. Farmers depend heavily on bats to help control pests and in Pennsylvania alone, bats save farmers an estimated $277 million annually. High speed rail? Several states have returned stimulus funds when they realized the untenable costs associated with maintaining this form of mass transit. The California High Speed Rail Project will cost more than expected – much more than the original estimated cost of $33 billion as presented to the voters. That estimate was revised to $43 billion, and if the entire system over runs the budget by the same percentage as the first leg is expected to, the total cost will likely be somewhere between $63 – $87 billion dollars. This project is over budget before a single foot of track has been laid. Due in large part, most ironically, to environmental impact studies. This has become a national embarrassment.     Continue Reading →