Numerous attempts are made by the media and others to claim that renewables are less costly than electricity generated from fossil fuels.
The prevailing mantra is that costs are “rapidly declining” and that wind and solar are competitive, or will be shortly.
The fact is, wind and solar, of all varieties, are not, and will not be competitive with fossil fuels in the foreseeable future.
This administration fosters this misinformation.
An example is the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that used to publish levelized cost (LCOE) information that was current, but has now resorted to publishing LECOEs for the future, most recently for 2020.
This misleads the reader into believing something that isn’t true.
These projections increased the LCOE for natural gas combined cycle from the current cost of around 5 cents per kWh, to 7.5 cents in 2020, four years from now.
While claiming that wind will also be 7.4 cents per kWh in 2020, when, today, it’s at least 10 cents per kWh.
This leads the media and casual observer to say wind is competitive with natural gas … which it isn’t.
Even more egregious is that the EIA adds a cost for carbon of 15 dollars per ton of CO2 for coal-fired power plants, which arbitrarily increases the LCOE to 9.5 cents per kWh, when in fact, it’s approximately 6 cents per kWh today.
Here are the EIA’s LCOEs projections for PV solar and Thermal solar, of 12.5 cents and 24 cents per kWh respectively … in 2020.
Obviously, neither type of solar power is or will be competitive with natural gas, or coal.
The media hype is misleading, and the EIA aids and abets the effort to mislead and deceive Americans.
In the real world these deceptions have consequences.
One need only look at the residential cost of electricity where renewables are being forced onto the grid compared with where coal-fired power plants provide most of the electricity.
The clearest examples are California, where the residential rate is 17.4 cents per kWh, and Arkansas, where the residential rate is 10.2 cents per kWh.
A more dramatic example is where wind and solar have become major components of the electricity mix … Germany.
The residential rate for electricity in Germany, depending on the exchange rate, is approximately 40 cents per kWh … or 4 times the rate in Arkansas.
Forcing wind and solar onto the grid will result in increasingly higher costs for electricity, especially as storage, essential for operating the grid when the percentage of renewables reaches 30% or more, is added to the grid.
It’s not greedy utility companies that are increasing the cost of electricity, it’s wind and solar.
LCOE information is at http://1.usa.gov/23NqVjm
Residential rates at http://1.usa.gov/1SP8CVU
* * * * * *
See Chapter 9, of Nothing to Fear: The Utility Death Spiral.
Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.
Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy
* * * * * *
It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.
Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.
If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.
© Power For USA, 2010 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.