Former Vice President Al Gore predicted in 2007 that the North Pole would be ice free by 2013. It did not happen and it is not happening. Our global rush to alternative forms of energy has at least in part been driven by fears of climate change. The climate change models have not proven to be accurate. What we do know is that alternative forms of energy are more expensive than oil and natural gas. In fact, they are much more expensive.
Germans are paying the highest electric rates in Europe; the amount they are paying for wind, solar, and biogas produced electricity comes to approximately €20 billion. The market value of that electricity is €3 billion. They even have to pay for this expensive electricity when the sources are not generating. It is called phantom electricity.
The same thing is occurring in the US. Florida is providing us with a good example. There are two electric utilities that are paying dearly for green energy. Solar power is being purchased at one for 14 cents/kwh, which is roughly twice the generation cost of coal or natural gas. The other is paying solar providers 24 cents/kwh. The biomass plant at the latter is about 13 cents/kwh, again about twice the fossil fuel rate, and the utility is committed to taking all the plant’s capacity.This is a great deal for the biomass plant, but not very good for consumers.
Green energy drives up electric bills for businesses and consumers. Higher electric rates fall disproportionately hard on lower income families, making it harder to allocate income to food, transportation, or education. We are generating green energy, and making life harder for lower income families here and in Europe. The pain is magnified by high unemployment and the slow gains in lower-paying jobs. Given the lack of apocalypse as defined by Mr. Gore, perhaps we could give families a break and use our own, proven, reliable, clean gas.