If you follow the energy sector in the U.S. you may see some trending topics on such things as wind energy, solar energy and how the U.S. grid is being transformed by more and more renewable electricity generation plants in the form of solar and wind.
We American’s seem to desperately want to be a nation that is all for renewable energy and we admire and want to be like countries such as Paraguay and Albania which are almost entirely renewable.
Consider that these countries have built hydro generation plants which is one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy and is also a much hated form of renewable energy by environmentalists.
Then you have Iceland which is 100 % renewable but the thing is they have access to the cheapest form of renewable energy yet to be found, geo-thermal power. They harness volcanic heat to generate all their electricity and make money exporting it to other countries.
As you can see many countries across the globe go renewable not because it’s the right thing to do to keep from polluting the earth but because it is darn right cheap to do so.
There is a trade-off between human benefit and pollution to the world that is a balancing act and if you think about it you make these decisions everyday each time you drive down a tarred road or eat from a plastic cereal bowl.
So the solar and wind industry’s and their cult led followers are constantly posting trending topics on Facebook and Twitter about how great both of these technologies are for the U.S. electric grid.
They would have you believe that wind power and solar will very soon take the place of coal-fired power plants and will even claim is the reason for their demise.
In reality natural gas power generation facilities are the overwhelming factor for the lack of need for coal power generation and from the Energy Information Administrations own chart you will see that wind has barely made a dent in deciding this fact.
The decline we see in coal in 2012 by 12.5 percent was actually do to a dramatic shift into natural gas electricity generation. If you look at the efficiency and pollution levels of natural gas you will find it to be a great source for clean energy at a dramatically lower price tag compared to wind and solar.
Solar actually only increased a little more than 1/100th the amount gas did in 2012. Natural gas is so needed right now that exploration and development of generation plants is happening without the need for government subsidies as it needed in the past.
In summary wind and solar electricity generation is a great idea but we need to be subsidizing the newer more efficient technologies that when you remove the subsidies you still have a technology that produces electricity cheaper than coal like we have with natural gas. Why do you think you don’t see any private investors building large solar farms, it’s all government sponsored (Solyndra) because of the cost. Remember T. Boone Pickens and his wind farms, he got a sweetheart deal for those large windmills and that plan has now been ditched because it simply made no fiscal since even with his discounts. The price per kilowatt hour you hear in the news for how cheap electricity is being generated via wind and solar is inaccurate because subsidies are not included, they produce only when the sun is shining and wind is blowing (at certain speeds) and they heavily rely upon natural gas generated power during their down times when wind isn’t blowing and sun isn’t shining.