Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hope you weren't counting on those "green jobs".

If you have read this blog for any length of time - you know green energy is way up on my list to bitch about. Mostly it revolves around how solar is a con. None of this green energy is cost effective. I don't care how good it makes you feel, it is a net negative on the economy rather than a net positive.

So today when I read that T. Boone Pickens was abandoning his wind farm, first I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Then I thought "there isn't anyone the administration won't try to make poor". Sure T. Boone has a ton of money. But, he already bought these turbines from GE. And really - if you have enough money you can get anything done. Right? How would you like to be sitting on 687 giant wind turbines? Maybe he can sell them out of the back of his giant Hummer on the cheap.

Anyway. Something was nagging at me that it had to be more than just not being cost effective. You can still make a ton of money from things that are not cost effective. Rich billion ares always win. Working class folk always loose.

So I started poking around. The general reason Pickens gave for stopping the farm was the transmission lines were way more expensive than he thought. But... wait! Wasn't the Obama administration going to pay for that? I thought he was. He made a big deal about it and everything! So, it must be true.

Self I said "how much can those lines cost"? Surely Google will be able to tell me.

Apparently, a shitload. 1.5 million per mile. JesusFChrist! It would take 10 million just to get the electricity shipped to my grocery store 10 miles away. It says so right here in this USA Today article from 2008.

"Stringing new wires is easier said than done. Wind developers won't go ahead with projects until transmission lines are in place, and utilities are loath to build the lines until they're sure the developers won't back out. Also, the first wind developer in an area is often asked to shoulder much of the $1.5 million-per-mile cost of a high-voltage line. "

Another paragraph from that article:

"Until now, wind developers have piggybacked on existing wires, says analyst Stow Walker of Cambridge Energy Research Associates. But after wind energy soared 45% last year, spare transmission capacity is depleted. Wind power generates more than 1% of U.S. electricity."

Surely they knew we would find out about this sooner rather than later. Right? I mean - all people have is time on their hands. It would have made a lot more sense to keep us rich and distracted.

BTW the picture is mine from the wind farm very close to me. I wonder what it would cost to string that site with transmission lines. That was only one string of turbines.

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