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NREL: Energy Sec Chu's laughable statement on renewables

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu toured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden on Friday. Fresh from his Thursday testimony on the Solyndra scandal before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Chu continued to touted the cost effectiveness of renewables despite millions of taxpayer dollars lost on failed investments.

The NREL Newsroom reported that Chu said, “wind power now is virtually cost-competitive with fossil fuels, going for about 5 and a half cents per kilowatt hour. Solar is still more expensive than that, but should reach price parity by the end of this decade or a few years beyond.”

Colorado’s largest investor owned utility Xcel Energy begs to differ. At the end of August we reported what Xcel had to say about the cost of wind and solar in its most recent energy compliance plan:

Going forward, it is very questionable if new renewable resources can be cost effective if they do not get the benefit of the Federal Production Tax Credit. Currently the production tax credit for wind is set to expire at the end of 2012 and at the end of 2016 for solar resources.

Also, Chu’s fantastical accounting doesn’t include the billions of taxpayer dollars already allocated to renewables, which could have been used in a more cost effective manner had the private sector been allowed to invest where it chooses.

At least some are starting to question whether the cost of renewables — “going green” —  is worth it.  A recent BBC News report claims the number of UK residents living in “fuel poverty,” meaning that their electricity bills are more than 10 percent of their household income, has doubled. Roughly 20 percent of UK residents now live in “fuel poverty.” The report leaves viewers wondering if they can afford to go green.

We’ve detailed many times the “Great Green Deception,” but it will take consumers revolting against their utility bills to change course. In the meantime, start saving your money. You’ll need it to pay your utility bills.