The Green Energy Hoax Exposed

An excellent commentary on CBS Moneywatch (yes, CBS!) points out the folly of green energy jobs and takes some jabs at solar and the “fad” of electric cars. The article starts this way:

In the business world, when you combine bad management, faulty science and fanatical ideology, it’s a recipe for disaster. Strangely enough, when the federal government does it, the result is the same.

I’m referring to the national green energy policy that is actually costing us jobs, hurting our economy and increasing our dependence on foreign oil — all at a time when we can least afford it. It may even be having an indirect effect on rising gas prices.

Sadly, you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to know that force-feeding an initiative this big against free market forces would end badly.*

Read the rest of this worthwhile commentary from Steve Tobak, a former high-tech executive turned management consultant, by clicking below.

*CBS Moneywatch (Mar 13, 2012) – The great green energy hoax

  • Anonymous

    Geez.. I wonder which coal or oil companies Steve Tobak consults for. Honestly , if Mr. Tobak was around when the combustion  engine was being developed for horseless carriages ,he would have been working for the horse industry decrying how many new car companies were going bankrupt [ dozens did ] and how expensive cars were compared to horses.If the topic were airplanes, we never would have gotten off the ground.
     The truth  is 125,000people work in the solar energy industry in the U.S. More than 60,000 in the wind industry. Cost are dropping rapidly to the point that Bloomberg Energy says the levelized cost of wind energy is about 7.5 cents per kilowatt which is less than a new coal plant . Natural gas is about 6 cents per kilowatt. Solar ,while still twice as expensive,  has dropped dramatically in the last 4 years and is expected to fall by half in the next few years while increasing in efficiency from about  15% to 30%. Dinosaurs like Mr. Tobak say that the U.S. is unable to compete with the Chinese ; he and others on the right want the U.S. to run up the white flag.

  • Good job exdent laying out the counter-argument.  It’s counter-intuitive to even suggest that fossil fuels and more drilling are the “wave of the future.”  Anyone into fossil fuels and drilling these days doesn’t have the Nation’s interest in mind.  Their mind, to the contrary, is pure and simple on their wallet, and watching it grow fatter at the expense of everyone else.

  • Anonymous

     Just what everyone wants Exdent11, to litter every hilltop and open pasture with those ugly ass, huge, loud windmills. I can see it now all you greenies driving down a beautiful scenic country road in your Subaru’s of course, cursing the day you destroyed your landscape. Then you peer over to the right and left to see  houses and back yards covered in Solar panels with enough energy to toast their muffins, nice. 185,000 ( drop in the bucket) jobs and losing, should we discuss  the ex company Solyndra, that’s all that needs to be said there. Green energy is a pipe dream and is NOT remotely ready for mainstream implementation. Even if it was, I would much rather have a 1 or 2 acre Natural Gas well pad , than my whole landscape destroyed by windmills. Fossil fuel is the answer NOW to Jobs and energy independence. All we need is to get all the knucklehead greenies to get on board and stop giving their money to OPEC and China. Veedon Fleece, wrong ,with the proper oversight of drilling regulations and these companies that follow the rules with our environment in mind we can produce and utilize the cleanest most abundant energy in the world. That is reality.gas is reaching the $5.00 mark, just let me know when its time to switch over. I’ll bet it will be real soon

  • Anonymous

    Veedon Fleece…Van Morrison fan?  anyway, to make a general statement on the economics of it all, it really should be up to the market what fuel source succeeds.  i’m in the nat gas end of this business, but I was happy to read that the US Senate yesteray rejected an amendment to the omnibus trans. bill that would have provided tax incentives to promote the use of nat gas vehicles.  it’s not up to the American taxpayer to subsidize another citizens purchase of a vehicle, be it nat gas or electric for that matter.  and it’s not the Federal Government’s job to influence consumer’s purchasing decisions.

  • Anonymous

    Wacoyaco and Rudymeister,
     You two should not lead such sheltered lives. Get away from fox news and Rush.Read a book. Try” Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins. Things are happening . Solyndra, based on thin film CIGS technology in a cylinder, was a victim of  the incredible unexpected decline in polysilicon prices that other solar companies use. Solar panels cost  a small fraction of what they cost less than five years ago. This is really a success story for the future of the solar industry. A typical 6 kw system provides half  the electricity for the average efficient house. Windmills are what they have in Holland for the tourists. Wind turbines are providing most of the new power in Europe and the Chinese are building vast wind farms. Only in the U.S. are our Congressmen dumb enough to not encourage development of  new energy sources as they did today by blocking incentives for wind, solar and NG in the Transportation bill.While they dither over free market principles, the Chinese government is driving their industry to eat our lunch in the battle for world markets in renewable technology. And by the way, who says that taxpayers would pay a single dime for the incentives to cover conversion to CNG and LNG? The cost would  be covered by a tax on production of NG or  fuel of same. The effect of most of the country’s truck fleets converting to Ng would  be to cut our imported crude cost dramatically.It would stimulate hundreds of thousands of jobs.It would raise the value of  NG; drilling in dry gas areas of the Marcellus would increase dramatically.
     So cut the ‘free markets does it best’ crap. There isn’t a major industry in the U.S. today that has not had government support in some form.Of course, if you believe what many Republican Congressmen believe; we Americans can’t win an economic technology war in renewable industries with  China; by all means , raise the white flag of surrender.

  • Anonymous

     Not a big fan of Rush( he’s over the top), but definitely like the views and opinions of Fox News agency. With all the Liberal, gay loving, Illegal Alien loving, baby killing, anti  christian , family bashing, politically correct, and worst of all Obama loving news agencies out there. It is music to my ears hearing FOX reporting and commentary that reflects traditional family morals, are proud not afraid or embarrassed to remind viewers that our country was founded and run on  ” Christian principles”, that they are always honoring and respectful of our troops that gave their lives and blood so you and I can banter back and forth, about energy.They truly want Americans and America to prosper and flourish though hard work, not government handouts or redistribution of wealth that was earned. I’m guilty I love Fox news. Oh!! this must be a Santorum commercial, So I’ll have to say it LOUD !! Go Santorum!! The Windmill comment was a tongue in cheek, seriously exdent11 would you really like to see that come to fruition. have you been down to Texas to see one of those Turbine farms( google T Boone Pickens check out his 1000 acre turbine farms). I cant say UGLY enough.Pickens even knows NG is the way to go, he has been an advocate for years.exdent11, I know from your posts that you want green renewable energy, me too!! How about that!! we have something in common. But, and this is a big But, I don’t want my landscape covered with them. In order for these presently designed turbines to be effective and efficient you would need thousands of them to electrify a small city. How many would you say we would need to electrify Binghamton, or Ithaca? This is just not feasible.  You seem to have some knowledge of Solar energy.  How many solar panels,( I believe the average size panels are 2ft by 4 ft?) would it take to run “all” the electric and heating needs for an average 2000 sq ft. home ( 3 bdrm/ 2 bth )? How much would it cost? You say 6 kw system provides half electricity, how big is “your” average house? How much would that system cost? I used to build homes before the crash of 2007, I looked into this some years ago( 2005-2006). The numbers to convert were staggering, the average house 2000 sq ft would cost around $25,000 (materials and construction) Most of the homes would ‘Not” come off the grid completely,and All of their roof ( Southern exposure a must) would be completely covered with panels.There would also be an additional need for panels to be strategically placed in their yards to harness enough power to power their lights and run a few small appliances. Tell me the good news about Solar that has changed in 5 years. Did I read in your last statement that you are somewhat pissed that congress blocked the transportation bill? Me too!! That is “your” President Obama, speaking with the forked tongue again. have you checked out who is throwing all that super-pac money at him? OPEC, that’s who. Not to mention Bill Maher, someone every American family can aspire to emulate , a pot head, communist, agnostic, fool with no morals in his DNA. Obama the silver tongued hypocrite accepted those funds too, I just hope our nation wakes up in November.

  • Anonymous

    Hey exdent, I read all sorts of books, I especially like ones with pictures!   Seriously though, I appreciate the backstory on Solyndra.  If you’re implying Solyndra failed due to the prices in polysilicon, I’m still not sure that’s a reason why we should be putting money into these companies, regardless of technology; green fossil fuel etc.  Companies fail every day for all sorts of reasons.  Our politicians can’t control that and shouldn’t risk someone else’s money to try to save that business or promote it.
    I hope the solar industry succeeds, and much of what you say is encouraging.  I think that all forms of energy can have a “piece of the pie” as they say.  But I don’t believe the taxpayer should subsidize it.   If you’re right that most US businesses are receiving some sort of subsidy, then let’s take that away too.  Give that money back to the folks who’ve earned it and let the market do what it’s supposed to do.  What is the market anyway other than you, me and the millions of other Americans who make economic decisions every day based on what we believe is the best thing for ourselves and our families?  A Washington bureaucrat can’t do that, because he doesn’t know what the best thing is to spend someone else’s money on and he’ll always be susceptible to someone else’s influence (lobbyists) because he’s a human with all of the same flaws as the rest of us.  I’d rather put my trust in my fellow citizen.  And why do people want to emulate China?  It’s true that China has invested something on the order of $45 billion in wind energy, but in the same period, between 2000 and 2010 they’ve invested 85 times that into coal fired generation.   This is according to the Pew Charitable trust…not Fox News.  

  • Anonymous

    Personally ,I don’t have much faith in the American people or the markets as a whole. People make a lot of mistakes. They eat the wrong foods ; they put far too much faith in Oprah’s book selections ; they make a mess of  relationships ; and they are ill informed which makes them easy marks for all sorts of polemicists and charlatans. Markets are not much better. They are wrong a good share of the time or how else could one ever make money in the stock market?
      When you belong to a local organization, the members generally try to elect a leader whom they respect for his or her intelligence, knowledge ,and common sense.  We  try on the national level  to do the same; to elect competent representatives and in turn they pick bureaucrats that are suppose to know a lot about their particular area of expertise.
      I believe it is fair to expect the Dept. of Energy under Secretary Chu is better at developing an energy plan for the country’s future  than one designed by Fox News or by a bunch of mostly ignorant [ in energy technology ] politicians whose backers are invested in the status quo. The problem is one can never get a large majority of  American voters to support  the plan long enough to carrying it through without being sabotaged ; as the republicans have been doing since Jan, 09. Remember
    Mitch McConnell saying in 09 that his’ top priority was to get rid of Obama’ He did not say it was to work with the President to get the country out of crisis. Think about what that implies..
      It is often the bureaucrats don’t fail us but  we fail them.

  • Anonymous

     Hey Brother, let me give you a cyber hug, seems like your in need of some therapy, has the world got you down? You are right about our Government and Stock Market. I have been very disappointed in the lack of bi-partisanship to agree on anything to get this economy back on track.It seems that the Republicans and Democrats are so far apart just on ideology, they just cant get it done. That is why I have said to get as much government out of every day business, let our entrepreneurs take the chances.  Government should do what they do best, protect us, defend and uphold our constitutional rights, get out of the way. As for the Stock Market, I’d rather go to Vegas, I’ll have a better chance of making money and not worry that some CEO or CFO will run off with all the cash. At least I know I’ll have a 50/50 chance. Maybe, I can bring you out of your slump. I’ll give you a tip, I don’t tell this to just anyone. The next major boom in this country will be, ready ?, Natural Gas and Oil exploration in the United States!! There the secret is out. If I had lots of money ,( I Don’t, Obama spent all of it) that is where I would place my hard earned investment dollars. Be open minded, exdent11, listen to Rudymeister he makes sense. Still waiting on your ground breaking news about Solar energy, don’t give up on me,that was a long reply I gave last night. I thought today, I would wake up, read your new comment about how cost efficient they are now and run out to buy them for my house. It has been fun debating with you, but I know deep down inside, you know, that NG is the way to go. Your coming around exdent11 ,I feel it.