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NY Post readers were treated to the one of the best editorials it has yet to write on the subject of energy. It demolishes Cuomo’s renewables delusion.
The NY Post has neatly summarized the immense problems with Andrew Cuomo’s renewables delusion. Indeed, I have to wonder if some of the NY Post editorial board members don’t read NaturalGasNOW. Whether they do or don’t, they’re obviously understand the issues.
Here are the superb arguments from the NY Post (emphasis added):
The Empire Center’s Ken Girardin recently broke the news that the state last year generated slightly less electricity from renewable sources (wind, hydroelectric and solar) than it did in 2017.
Maybe that’s why Cuomo is shifting from a goal of “50 by 30” — having half New York’s power come from renewables by 2030 — to a “70 by 30” benchmark: He figures greens can be fooled by talk.
Never mind that the state has yet to meet the 30 percent target it set back in 2010, which it was supposed to reach four years ago.
Nor that the feds are phasing out their subsidies for wind and solar, making it even harder (and more expensive) for those industries to grow.
Nor that communities across the state are nixing proposals for giant wind and solar “farms” — which has forced the governor to push for offshore wind farms, the most expensive single way to generate electricity.
In fact, most of New York’s “renewable” energy comes from hydropower, which is tough to scale up. Plus, alternative energy faces a growing transmission problem: You have to get the electricity to the customers, which means major new power lines to connect new solar and wind plants to the grid.
Oh, and the same forces that fight new power plants “in my back yard,” also stand in the way of new power lines.
Not to mention that wind and solar don’t reliably generate electricity at the times of peak demand — which means you need carbon-based backup plants or you’re going to have blackouts.
Final problem: Thanks to Cuomo, the two Indian Point nuclear plants are to shut down this year and next. That will knock a giant hole in the state’s non-fossil-fuel electricity generation, and most of the replacement power is sure to come from gas and oil plants.
Every single point made in this editorial is accurate. The two of utmost importance, though,, relate to the Federal rollback of subsidies and the NIMBY realities.
The Federal government is, in fact, trying to slowly out of the renewables subsidy business. Andrew Cuomo wants everyone to believe it’s simply a Trump thing, which allows him to posture as the anti-Trump. The rollback had been coming long before President Trump. The Feds have been signaling it for years and one state after another, Democrat as well as Republican led, has learned the hard way these programs are both nonsensical and unaffordable luxuries. Cuomo is very much behind the curve on this one, just as he was on gaming. He arrived late in both cases when things were already going down. The leader Cuomo is really the prototype follower.
The NIMBY realities are also critical, as I have noted here repeatedly because I have had to deal with them myself. I have been relentlessly harangued by a Columbia professor with a second home in the Catskills who thought I was advocating windmills near his little piece of the playground. I have had to dispense with the ludicrous claims of a woman in a gas mask who didn’t want a solar farm near her. I have witnessed the massive opposition of locals, as well as environmentalists intoxicated with their own self-righteousness, to a new power transmission line that would have been placed underneath an existing railroad. There’s also this:
Renewables, for these reasons and the others explained by the NY Post, are not only no panacea, but also the worst approach to dealing with the energy demands New York State is currently facing. They are, in fact, yesterday’s technology and incapable of relieving the sort of energy crunch New York is now facing. They are useful only as supplemental sources of power that slightly dampen demand and, compared to energy efficiency measures, they don’t measure up on that scale either because they are so expensive. The only beneficiaries are corporatist green scammers.