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Renewable Energy’s Reversal of Fortune

Marita Noon — Townhall Finance.com — June 2, 2013

I met Monica in a store where she works. When she found out that I write on energy issues, she told me her story. Her electric bills run as high as $7-800 a month in the summer for a 1600-square-foot home. “I work for the electric company,” she said. “Everything I have goes to pay my bill.” With her bills so high, Monica got behind. She’s been on a payment plan for three years and doesn’t see any hope of ever getting caught up. Instead of using air conditioning, she uses the swamp cooler whenever possible—but with temperatures above 100 most of the summer, the AC is essential. She’s cut back use of the pool pump. “The pool’s not crystal clear,” she told me, “but my bill is a little less

No one could have predicted the reversal of fortunes the renewable energy industry is facing

Nearly a decade ago, in the mid-2000s, states were busy passing legislation that mandated the use of renewable energy—generally called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Today, more than half the states have renewable requirements that range from modest to aggressive with California’s being the most stringent at 33% by 2020

Legislators eagerly embraced the renewable mandates based on three specific myths:

·       Climate change is a manmade crisis caused by the use of hydrocarbons,

·       Hydrocarbons are finite and are about to run out and, therefore, are expensive. And

·       Renewable energy, specifically the wind and the sun, is unlimited and free.

Since then, each of the key selling points has been wiped out.

Environmentalists have been crying “wolf” for so long that the public has become immune to their scare tactics—the disasters predicted at the first Earth Day haven’t happened and despite increasing CO2, the climate hasn’t warmed for 17 years.

The combination of new technology and new applications of old technology have unleashed a new abundance of natural gas and oil—dropping the prices and displacing the market for renewables. Last month, Atlantic Magazine’s cover announced “we will never run out of oil.”  Continue reading, here….

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