Some days I just have to wonder what people are thinking. Lately
we’ve all been hearing how bad fossil fuels are and how we have
to go ‘green’. We’ve heard how this administration is going to
lower the sea levels and save us from a certain grim future.
Problem is that when people with good intentions and no practical
experience in business study a problem they come up with an academic
solution and not a practical one. The difference is clear, an
academic solution looks good on paper but a practical one will
What we don’t hear about is the cost of an academic solution.
We’ll touch on that now. First a little about what it costs to run our
vehicles. Oil is subsidized at 10 cents per megawatt hour while
the beloved ethanol and biofuels receive $19.52 per megawatt hour.
That seems like a big spread to me.
All right, how about if you get an electric car? Wouldn’t that put
you in a greener place? Perhaps, but with less money. Obama has made no secret he wants wind and solar power and not coal or nuclear power plants. Let’s look at the numbers. Electricity from coal is subsidized at 44 cents per megawatt hour, nuclear is subsidized at $1.59 per megawatt hour, wind at $23.37 per megawatt hour and solar at $24.34 a megawatt hour.
Once again I don’t see how something that costs that much more per
unit is called a viable alternative. Especially when one considers that
wind and solar account for a little over 1% of our electricity and
electric vehicles make up a quarter of 1% of vehicles on our roads.
Yes, Obama said he would double our solar and wind generated electricity during his tenure. But Bush did the same thing in 2005-2007. At up to 195 times the cost of what we’ve been using we only have about 98% more to go to be rid of coal, oil, and our money. After all, we taxpayers will be paying the bill.
So we aren’t greening up anything, not putting a dent in oil consumption,and are likely to see a huge increase in utilities and gas prices, but it’s progress. We need real leaders and lawmakers with real ideas to get us back to work and give us some real alternatives.
Figures used here are available all over the internet so I won’t supply
a link. If you wish to look them up yourself, the Energy Information
Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy is good start.
Comments are always welcome.