Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Renewable energy not worth the cost

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People believe renewable energy will help bring down their bill but in reality it won’t. Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requires NV Energy to use renewable energy; that costs money to buy.

Building our own renewable energy plant costs money. There other fees and taxes added to our bill.

Renewable energy technology still needs to be improved before we could ever call it affordable.

Locals are not ready for renewable energy. Local wildlife is taking a big hit due to renewable energy.

Thousands of birds and bats are killed each year because of wind farms. Solar panels are threatening our desert tortoises. Placing solar panels and wind turbines has caused damage to the land and loss of habitat.

Hoover Dam has already put stress on our desert’s ecosystem.

Nevada has options to fix these problems but it takes time and money.

Renewable energy is not yet the cost-effective answer we are looking for.

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  1. Letter writer is 100 percent correct. Unless and until renewable energy matches conventional energy in price, performance and power, it's worthless and useless. The U.S. government [read taxpayers] has been subsidizing renewable energy for years including the loser products that they spawn. All we got for our money is deeper in debt. Huge black holes.

    Carmine D

  2. Tortured logic seems to be the theme of this letter.

    The writer seems to yearn for smaller energy bills and then bemoans the cheapest energy source, Hoover Dam, for "stress on our desert's ecosystem".
    Yet she implies satisfaction with coal-fired electricity as though holes in the ground and air pollution do not disturb ecosystems.

    She says "People believe renewable energy will help bring down their bill". People with foresight past next month's bill believe that an energy future with zero fuel cost is best for our economy and ecosystems. After all, twelve years ago when gasoline was $1.50 a gallon, people didn't invest in electric and hybrid cars because they didn't forsee today's fuel cost. Today that investment pays.

    The writer continues "Nevada has options to fix these problems but it takes time and money." without naming those options or how much money and who pays for it. Elsewhere she states "Building our own renewable energy plant costs money. There other fees and taxes added to our bill." Que?

    Then there's the inexplicable "Locals are not ready for renewable energy. Local wildlife is taking a big hit due to renewable energy."

    Altogether an amazing example of..............?

  3. I'll be ready for the touchy-feely use of "renewable resources" when they stand on their own two feet financially. Subsidizing "green" energy is just a feel-good band-aid whose time has not yet arrived. The billions wasted by Osama Obama and his motley crew could have been better spent on many other things. Better yet, the billions could never have been spent at all, thereby reducing the deficit and perhaps even the $16 trillion debt Commie-lites have imposed on future generations.

  4. The letter writer is uninformed on all the points she writes about. For starters readers could look up this report:
    "When ranked against other threats to birds, however, wind is trivial. A 2007 report by the National Research Council found that turbine collisions account for only 3 out of 100,000 human-caused bird deaths. Birds are killed in numbers many orders of magnitude greater by collisions with buildings and power lines, poisoning from pesticides, and predation by domestic cats.

  5. "Building our own renewable energy plant costs money. There other fees and taxes added to our bill."
    Building ANY power plant costs money AND fees AND taxes so this is a non starter as an argument against renewable energy.

  6. Then there is this:

    "A newly installed solar array at a Las Vegas water treatment plant is part of the city's effort to save $2.5 million annually in energy costs.

    In a ceremony Thursday morning city officials dedicated the $19.7 million array at the water pollution control facility at 6321 E. Vegas Valley Drive.

    When the decision to build the array was made the city was paying about 9.7 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. The current rate is about 6.9 cents. The cost of power from the new arrays is expected to work out to about 6.8 cents for 35 years, city spokeswoman Diana Paul said.

    The array includes about 15,000 solar panels that will produce enough electricity to provide about 20 percent of the facility's power needs. It's enough electricity to power about 300 homes."

    Look again carefully at the cost per Kwh.

  7. There is also no substantiation for this assertion:
    "Solar panels are threatening our desert tortoises. Placing solar panels and wind turbines has caused damage to the land and loss of habitat."

  8. @mschaffer is correct in pointing out the letter writer's convoluted logic, apparently a mix of Faux News commentary with PETA talking points. I have yet to meet a right-winger concerned about birdies and turtles except to discuss whether Hollandaise or sausage gravy goes best.

    Every energy source we currently use was both subsidized in its development and expensive at first. The Grand Coulee Dam cost $2.9 billion to build and get operational. The first Kv was damn expensive as were the next couple of million. Now we in the NW enjoy power rates half of those in Nevada and we are using the profits to add more generating capacity to make up for closing the coal plant at Boardman and other spots.

    What y'all call alt energy is simply energy generated by a cleaner source....which, in my view, is progress. Coal plants [and natural gas] are dirty. Carbon and sulfur pollution has environmental and health consequences. If you want and accurate cost of coal then make sure to add those costs as well.

  9. Ms. Alexander: have you considered the return on energy-considered DESIGN? In a desert, roofs that overhang and enhance shade..... Trees planted in places to shade in summer.... I do not take issue with your comments but who's gonna 'xplain it to Harry?

  10. Perfect solution: Tell California to go ... well ... find their own solutions and keep their share of both the water AND power from Hoover Dam for ourselves.

  11. When (NOT if) the oil runs out, we can use natural gas. When the gas runs out we can use coal. When the coal runs out we can go back to the cave.

  12. All the yammering by the "sky-is-falling" Chicken Little's never addresses the huge amount of wasted tax dollars in subsidies to companies such as Solyndra, Fisker, etal. True to form, the Commie-lites change the subject instead of addressing it.

  13. And all the yammering by the prophets of doom never addresses the vast contributions to American industry created by NASA, medical research, development of the Columbia/Snake hydro and transportation system, etc. Win some, lose's life, get a grip.

  14. And that is why most of us understand that solar panel generation is be installed on site, on the facility where power is to be used. NV Energy and other utilities do not want individuals to have control of their own power generation, so they come up with these ridiculous solar collector arrays stuck out in the desert, thus justifying miles of high voltage lines and multiple distribution facilities.