Another ‘green’ energy fiasco on the horizon?
July 18, 2011 - 1:00 am
To the editor:
Thank you for your excellent article on the proposed solar project in Laughlin (“Laughlin eyed for big solar project,” July 2). It is informative journalism like this that keeps me as a newspaper subscriber.
Let me briefly review the last solar boondoggle, at Nellis Air Force Base. They installed a $100 million solar plant. They did not pay for the land. This plant will save $1 million per year over the 20-year life of the plant. Wow. What an investment. Spend $100 million to save $20 million. My broker would say invest the $100 million and make a 6 percent — $6 million — return.
Who pays for the boondoggle? You, I and all other ratepayers of NV Energy.
What about the greenhouse gases? A silicon solar cell requires nearly as much energy to manufacture as it produces in its lifetime.
Well, then, what about thin film technology? Thin film solar cells have one-third the efficiency of silicon solar cells. So, we will need three times as much land for the same output.
The most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gases is to buy carbon credits; these are widely traded in Europe.
Some other points to consider: Why a Chinese company? The Chinese are the ones who won’t sell us rare earth metals so that we can build highly efficient cars and wind turbines.
Is there not a company in the United States that could do this? Is there not a bank in the United States that the U.S. government just recently bailed out that could finance this?
Is it a good idea to spend Clark County taxpayer money on subsidizing an industry that will be in dire straights in a few years? As federal, state and county budgets are cut, subsidies for solar and other renewables will shrink.
Why should Clark County taxpayers sell land below market value, give tax abatements and build infrastructure for an industry that has never stood on its own feet financially?
Keep in mind that for every megawatt of renewable energy that is installed the electric power industry must install the same capacity in hydrocarbon plants (coal, oil, gas material). Consumers in California and Nevada are fickle. They will not tolerate a lack of air conditioning or not operating plasma TVs just because the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.
Predictions are notoriously hard to make. Still, I predict that the bulk of electrical capacity in the next 20 or 30 years will be natural gas-fired plants.
Natural gas production now exceeds peak production of 1972. Prices are lower than ever and expected to stay there because of new reserves.
To the editor:
I am disappointed that two of my favorite restaurants have closed. My family and I were regular customers at both Rosemary’s and Nora’s Wine Bar. Their food was of the highest quality and the atmosphere was very pleasant.
Both restaurants offered excellent service and the food was moderately priced. It’s a shame that two classic establishments are a thing of the past.