Category Archives: Renewable Energy

Another day, another solar ripoff

Another day, another greenco ripoff. Seems this time we have a firm that’s managed to ripoff the Feds and Arizona for  a few million hard-earned tax dollars. It seems Suntech is filing for bankruptcy.

Suntech is shuttering the Goodyear plant and laying off its 43 remaining workers. But not before it pocketed $1.5 million in tax breaks from the state, $2.1 million from the federal government, and $500,000 in job training from the city.

In case your calculator is broken that’s another $3.65 million out the door. Not much compared to Solyndra other greenco failures, but it all adds up.

Source: Reason

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Filed under Arizona, Co2 Insanity, Global Warming, Green Energy, Green Tech, Politics, Renewable Energy, Solar

E15 AKA: The EPA wants to kill your old car

E15 Warning Label Picture

The non-elected officials at Obama’s EPA are again trying to mandate the use of  E15 gasoline. This means that instead of 10% ethanol they will now start selling  gasoline that will contain 15% ethanol. While this sounds green we feel the reality is there are many bad issues in doing this and no good ones. We also strongly suspicion the outcome the EPA really wants is nefarious and is entirely different from what they appear to claim.

The EPA’s goals appear on the surface to merely be a) reduce pollution and b) reduce dependence on oil via using more ethanol. As ethanol is made from crops such as corn, they consider it a renewable (aka green) resource. They claim that E15 is safe in cars manufactured after 2001 and that it’s the most tested fuel…ever. On the face of it, this sounds just terrific. A green win-win situation if there ever was one. In our opinion the reality of using E15 may be far different from claimed.

Like global warming, it appears to us that the EPA and Obama administration are using some good old-fashioned faux science to arrive at pre-conceived conclusions. They then put them out to the general public, who, for the most part, seem eager soak up any green BS the government spouts, true or not.

According to the article from The Hill, the automakers and AAA (the American Auto Club) take issue with E15 being safe for vehicles not originally designed it like the ones you see running around with “Flex Fuel” on the body. Those are vehicles specifically designed to run on the regular gas we use or E15.

But automakers say EPA is only considering the fuel’s impact on emissions control systems while disregarding the impact on the rest of the vehicle.

“It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle. Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers,” AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a Friday statement.

In a nutshell, they’re claiming the EPA only cares that if it doesn’t whack a car’s emission control system it’s deemed “safe.” Never you mind if engine or other problems may arise from using it, we’re the government, we never lie!

It’s evident they could also care less if people in even older pre-2001 autos, unaware of the potential problems, inadvertently fill their cars up from an E15 pump and destroy their engines. You will note the article from The Hill also makes it known you may not have a warranty from the manufacturer on newer cars if any E15 related damage occurs. Knowing the auto manufacturers just ‘love’ to pay warranty claims, you can probably make a safe bet that many more problems will suddenly be deemed E15 related so they can make more profit at your expense by making you pay for the damage.

So, what can happen if an automobile is not specifically designed for E15 fuel?  Apparently quite a bit.  First, it can attack rubber hoses, gaskets, seals and o-rings that are not specifically designed to withstand it. This means hoses like the one that goes from the fuel filler to the tank and the ones that go to the engine from the tank. The fuel injection units have gaskets, seals and o-rings it could attack. They also have things made from plastic such as throttle position sensors, fuel temperature sensors and idle air control valves that may not be made to withstand E15. On even older cars using carburetors, it can attack all the seals and 0-rings inside the carburetor.

E15 can also cause corrosion problems with metals like aluminum. It can corrode the aluminum fuel lines to the fuel injectors on some cars and even corrode aluminum intake manifolds.  If you look at a flex-fuel car, it will have all fuel related parts made of materials designed to withstand the corrosion effects of the higher ethanol content. Got an older car with a carburetor? It’s most likely that the body of the carburetor is aluminum.

Can you imagine what will happen to an older car that starts leaking fuel into a hot engine compartment ? Most likely the fuel will spray out someplace and sooner or later leak on to the hot exhaust manifold and catch the car on fire. Same if the fuel line from the gas tank leaks onto the hot exhaust pipe or muffler. All possibilities using E15 in cars not designed for it. You can darn well bet that the government will find a way to deny any and all claims related to cars burning to the ground caused by using their mandated E15 gasoline. Same with auto manufacturers who will deny your claim due to you using E15 or tell you to sue the government because they mandated it, not us. Sounds like it will end up being circular to us.

All the aforementioned makes us question if this is exactly the intended effect of foisting E15 upon an unsuspecting public, many who are driving older cars due to Obama’s bad economy over the previous 4 years. The EPA rather obviously hates old cars. In their eyes they use too much gas, take up too much space and pollute too much. With the push for hybrid and full electric cars lately, it seems that in their eyes even driving a fuel-efficient car that uses gas is bad.

Just think about what’s gone on in the recent past four years. It appears to us to be a concerted effort by the government to get its citizens out of older cars, most gas fueled cars and perhaps out of cars all together. We feel there have been 3 plans and that we’re now starting up number 4.

Plan 1, known as jack up the price of fuel didn’t work to get everyone out of their older cars.

Plan 2, known as cash for clunkers didn’t work either. About all this did was ruin a lot of good parts vehicles that deliberately had their engines destroyed after trade-in and then were crushed. Let’s not forget it wasted a few billion of your tax-dollars, too.

Plan 3, subsidizing hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, full electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and the whatever it is Chevy Volt hasn’t gotten many people to leave gas fueled cars either. Chevy Volt sales (owned by GM aka: Government Motors) are sucking. Even subsiding any of them leaves them too expensive for the average person to buy.

Based upon all of this, it appears to us that the next step to be implemented is what we’ll call Plan 4. Plan 4 is the sneaky plan to increase the ethanol content of gasoline to the point where it will destroy many old cars and force people into buying new cars that the EPA considers green, such as the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, or at the very least, more fuel-efficient gasoline powered cars that pollute less and will run on E15. Once they get this going, it’s an easy step for them to eliminate E10 totally, like they did leaded gas in the previous century. Then it will be all E15, and even if you have so far been able to avoid filling up your older car with E15, they’ll get you now.

Let’s not forget ethanol is made from food crops such as corn and right now there’s a drought in much of the Midwest, which is causing corn and other crop prices to rise. Throw in more competition for these same crops due to an increase in ethanol production and you have a recipe for higher gas prices, higher food prices and even possibly shortages of one, the other, or both.

This seems a rather nefarious and sneaky plan to us, meaning it fits perfectly with the Obama Administration’s modus operandi, referred by them as being ‘transparent’ for some strange reason.

Have a better sneaky way to get everyone out of their own cars and save us all from non-existent global warming? Call the EPA, they’ll love to hear from you.

Source: The Hill

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Filed under Automobiles, Biofuel, Chevrolet Volt, CO2, Co2 Insanity, Electric Cars, Energy, EPA, Financial, Gas Prices, Global Warming, Green Energy, Green Tech, Obama, Politics, Renewable Energy

BP DUMPS SOLAR

……And another one bites the dust. British Petroleum is shuttering its solar manufacturing business. More proof that solar isn’t the big panacea it’s touted to be and is not going to be providing many shovel-ready jobs in the United States or anywhere else, with the possible exception of China.

The unit, which BP has been scaling back since 2008, is the latest sun energy business to fall victim to rampant competition from China, falling prices, overcapacity and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends.

This doesn’t only affect Europe, this is going to have a worldwide effect…..

The company confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to exit its large-scale projects at Long Haven in the U.S. and Moree in Australia.

Add this to the long list of dead or dying companies such as Solyndra and Evergreen Solar in the US and…..

Swiss bank Sarasin said in a recent study that Conergy and Q-Cells were among the German solar companies most exposed to the sector’s crisis.

We continue to maintain that if solar power was such a great idea government subsidies would not be necessary for solar to be a big financial and energy success and it appears we’re becoming more right as each day passes. Someone should get the people running the US Department of Energy and  California Governor Jerry Brown out of their green comas and advise them of this.

Please don’t bring up oil company subsidies. At least they have a viable product, make a profit and pay taxes.

Source: Reuters

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Filed under California, California Green Jobs, Climate Alarmism, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, CO2, Co2 Insanity, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, DOE, Editor, Financial, Global Warming, Government, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solargate, Solyndra

Think wind power is safe? Then you must believe in Santa!

Never mind that wind turbines routinely chop up hundreds of thousands of birds every year, it now it appears they may be about to start chopping up people, too! There are 1,500 accidents a year and those are only at UK wind farms and don’t count the rest of the world. So what’s happening?

A dossier of incidents, compiled by a campaign group opposed to wind farms, includes cases where blades, each weighing as much as 14 tonnes, have sheared off and crashed to the ground.

Residents living near a wind farm have reported sheltering in their homes when lumps of ice were thrown from blades from a 410-ft high turbine near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

So far three deaths (amended to 4) and no one’s been chopped, yet.

One involved a maintenance worker in Scotland who had become ‘tangled’ with the driveshaft of a turbine while the other three deaths took place during construction of onshore and offshore wind farms.

Tangled mangled in a driveshaft doesn’t sound like a very nice way to meet your maker though, does it?

Well, we hope it never happens, but sooner or later we’d predict that someone, someplace, will get hit by a flying wind turbine blade and chopped up. Meanwhile, think about the poor birds getting chopped on a daily basis for a power generation scheme that won’t profit without subsidies.

Source: The Telegraph

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Filed under Climate Alarmism, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Co2 Insanity, Editor, Global Warming, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind Power

Another Solar Fail

Solargenix Energy - Formerly Duke Solar Energy - The Natural Power For Good

Here’s another example of how government cronyism causes tax-payers to lose money on solar power scams. From Chicago, the home of government corruption we get this new fail. This time, for a change, it’s solar hot water heating systems made by a company called Solargenix Energy LLC.

In March 2004, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a deal that promised to save taxpayer money, reduce natural gas consumption and bring “green” jobs to Chicago.

But taxpayers might see red when they learn how the deal turned out. More than seven years later, the initiative has been quietly suspended amid problems with some of the equipment — and acknowledgements by city officials that taxpayers will probably lose money on the deal and never realize the energy savings that Daley touted, the Better Government Association has learned.

So where’s the cronyism? Right here.

In the end, the BGA found that one of the few beneficiaries of the deal appears to be a businessman with close ties to Daley: United Service Cos. President and CEO Rick Simon, the former chairman of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau and a South Loop neighbor of the ex-mayor.

Seems those solar panels didn’t work properly and now that they’re fixed, the cost to install them exceeds the cost of continuing to use natural gas to heat the water. Regardless of what type of solar it’s a theme that we seem to see more of such as the boondoggle solar installation in Yosemite, which may never really pay off financially.

We’ve seen government cronyism involved with Evergreen, Solyndra, Sun Power, Tonopah Star and now in Chicago. We wonder how many billions will be wasted before someone finally gets a clue that solar has a long way to go and that the government should keep their nose out of it.

If it’s so effing great, the free-market will invest! If it sucks, they won’t. A pure and simple way to save the tax-payers billions of dollars better spent elsewhere and possibly some day get solar that actually works and is cost efficient.

Source: Chicago Sun Times

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Filed under Climate Alarmism, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Co2 Insanity, Editor, Financial, Global Warming, Government, Green Energy, Green Tech, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solargate, Solyndra

Will SunPower be the next Solyndra?

SunPower Corporation

Solyndra’s body isn’t even cold yet and look at this! The solar company in Fremont, California, that filed for Bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration under dubious circumstances, hasn’t even been auctioned off and already it’s looking like we have another contender for a similar failure after receiving $1.2 billion in loan guarantees from the Obama administration.

Reports are now surfacing that SunPower isn’t perhaps in very stellar financial condition, either. According to the Daily Caller today……

The company, SunPower, received its $1.2 billion loan guarantee in September, immediately before the program’s deadline.

SunPower isn’t as financially sound as the public was led to believe when it secured a loan guarantee twice the size of Solyndra’s $535 million loan. Just this week — less than a month after taxpayers landed on the hook for SunPower’s $1.2 billion loan guarantee — company executives announced that they expect to lower their 2011 earnings projections.

The company also carries $820 million in debt, which is $20 million more than its market capitalization.

So why the largess from the Obama administration so soon after the Solyndra debacle? Well, as usual, let’s follow the money and connections……

Last October, President Barack Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Democratic Rep. George Miller toured SunPower’s plant in California. Both touted the company. Miller said SunPower was an example for “renewable energy” production and “America’s future economic growth.”

But, Miller failed to mention how his son, George Miller IV, is SunPower’s top lobbyist in California. Miller’s son was pushing for the $1.2 billion loan guarantee taxpayers are on the hook for now.

Sounds to us like more crony socialism is afoot. It will be interesting to see what happens at SunPower over the next few months. Could it be a Solargate II, with some CO2 Insanity tossed in for good measure? Time will tell.

Source: Daily Caller

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Filed under California Green Jobs, Climate Alarmism, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Co2 Insanity, Global Warming, Green Energy, Green Tech, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solargate, Solyndra

Solar Panel Propaganda

Solar panels, touted by many to be a renewable energy panacea that will rid the planet of all those nasty coal-fired power plants, may be a bigger boondoggle than we already thought. We’ve already complained that they do not appear in many instances to provide a return in investment.

It now appears that the time they provide energy before replacement is required is dramatically less than claimed. Thus shortening not only the life of the panels and the electricity generated, but also reducing the return on investment.

If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.

In the real world, we are just starting to find out how bogus many of those predictions are. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that panels can degrade as much as 4.5% a year. Or more. Put that in your pro forma and see what your banker and insurance agent — or Congressman — say about that.

While we see claims that average solar panels will last 25 to 30 years, the aforementioned claim of 0.5% per year means that solar panels should last an astounding 200 years (100% ÷ 0.5%). At the realistic rate of 4.5% per year they will only last about 22 years before replacement is needed (100% ÷ 4.5%), which is not even the 25 to 30 currently claimed by many and not even remotely close to 200 years.

It gets worse folks. They don’t only degrade, it appears they also can literally fall apart and it doesn’t take very long.

In Italy last year, “they discovered that after one year in the field, over 90% of the (solar panels) from a one megawatt project began to delaminate and ended up on the ground.”

That is a lot of wasted money. 90% down the tubes after being used for only one year. No return on investment and very little ‘free’ electricity generated. All that is left is an eyesore that is a pile of toxic waste, wasted tax dollars and perhaps a tax deduction for a business loss.

We are adverse to the lies about what renewable energy costs and what it’s capabilities are. We’re also adverse to the physical and financial messes left when solar and wind-power are abandoned. We’re extremely adverse to the rush to install solar and wind-power without having full knowledge about the effects. Look at the carnage left in the previous two links to see what we’re talking about.

California seems to be leading the rush off the proverbial cliff via the implementation of AB32, California’s cap & trade law, that mandates power providers to generate 33% of their power from renewable (green) sources by a not too distant 2020.

With many large solar projects planned in California, it would seem to be a logical move to slow down and find out what our money is being spent on and what the return on investment will be as opposed to rushing in head first, only to find another government mandated, costly boondoggle. To know what happens to government mandated boondoggles one only has to look at the Solyndra and Evergreen Solar fiascos.

You can safely bet that when these solar energy plants fall apart at the seams, the taxpayers and energy consumers of California and other states will get stuck paying for the bill. It’s probably also a safe bet that the messes left at abandoned solar and wind farms will be there for decades as a reminder of what happens when the government gets involved in what should be private enterprise.

Source: AOL Energy

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Filed under AB32 California, California Air Resources Board, California Green Jobs, Cap & Trade, CARB, Climate Alarmism, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Climate Modeling, Climategate, CO2, Co2 Insanity, Editor, Energy, Global Warming, Government, Green Energy, Green Tech, Politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, Solar, Solargate, Solyndra, Wind Power