Cost is higher
Your editorial of Oct. 23 states: “Solar energy is an economic boon. PG&E has agreed to buy the energy produced in California Valley.” PG&E has agreed to buy the energy produced because the state has mandated electric utilities to get one-third of their power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020. The cost to PG&E and ultimately consumers is not mentioned.
The cost per kilowatt-hour for electricity as follows: Natural gas, 6.4 cents; photovoltaic 15 cents. Ultimately, the electricity generated by the solar plant must be paid for by the consumers. Many businesses, especially those that require large amounts of electricity, will move out of the state or will not move in. A net loss of jobs. Those businesses cannot produce their product here and sell it in competition with businesses where electricity is less expensive. This will ultimately mean jobs lost in the state with no reduction in man-produced CO2.
It is a global problem. If China, India and other countries do not reduce their CO2 emissions, California’s mandatory “green” energy will have adverse affects to California residents with a negligible effect on the climate.
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William H. McKenzie
Following up on the hints in Bill McKibben’s remarks (Nov. 1), permit me to offer a prediction. Following on the heels of government-enforced mandatory health insurance, the next proposed “environmental enhancement” will be a law that all new homes and buildings be required to have roofs built with solar panels.
The legal “rationale” for this mandate will be, like the health care law, the Interstate Commerce Clause, since at least some of the building materials will have crossed state lines. And there will be a severe penalty fine for violations. The justification will be the alleged “reduced demand for carbon-generated electricity” and “benefit for the environment.”
Far-fetched? Perhaps, but I’ll bet not in the eyes of the current Department of Energy, nor even in the minds of the government-subsidized solar industry.