The real ‘green’ in green energy is all the money involved
By: Andrea Widburg
America has a few remarkably good, stable, readily available sources of available energy, all of it relatively clean to very clean: Nuclear power, oil and natural gas, and clean-burning coal. All, though, are too impure for the green lobby. (The clean-burning, safe, modern nuclear plants are especially verboten.) Instead, they want water, wind, and sunlight, all of which are intermittently available, two of which (wind and sunlight) create require and create toxic and non-biodegradable byproducts, and all three of which significantly increase consumer costs. That third issue is on display with the problems surrounding a windmill project that Richmond-based Dominion Energy is planning to implement.
Dominion Energy is one of America’s major energy providers, servicing Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming. (I’m a Dominion customer.) It’s also enthusiastic about the whole green energy movement—and, when you learn about its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, you begin to suspect that green money, as much as green energy, drives this interest. (Note: I’m not accusing Dominion of any form of corruption or incompetence. It’s just an example of the green energy boondoggle across America.)
Dominion’s plan, which is already being put into place, is to build about 180 hideous, loud, bird-slicing, non-biodegradable, intermittently-productive wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. (My assumptions are operating there. Maybe the planned turbines will be beautiful, quiet, bird-supportive, biodegradable, and endlessly productive but the odds are against it.)
The proposed cost for this project is $8 billion. However, thanks to inflation, Bonner R. Cohen writes that Dominion is already predicting that the project, due to be finished in 2026, will cost at least $2 billion more, with further cost overruns very likely:
The nation’s largest proposed offshore wind-power facility is already encountering rough seas, with its developer acknowledging it will cost at least $2 billion more than originally estimated.
Richmond-based Dominion Energy announced in November its original estimate of $8 billion would not cover the cost of the project, which the company now puts in the neighborhood of $10 billion.
Dominion attributes the offshore wind project’s higher costs to higher commodity prices and other inflationary pressures. Because the project will take several years to complete and many economists have estimated the current inflationary cycle could last for a while, CVOW’s costs could rise even more.
Complicating matters is the fact that even though the project will be located in federal waters, it must still meet some state requirements, including receiving approval from regulators at the State Corporate Commission, which has said it will closely monitor the project’s costs.
There are some political battles surrounding the project because Glenn Younkin campaigned against the project, as did several newly elected Republican members in the Virginia House, which is now majority Republican. However, the Virginia Senate is still under Democrat control, so it’s likely that, for now, the project will go forward.
However, once completed, the planned windmills will almost certainly work a hardship on people within the district the windmills are intended to serve. According to Dominion, the new windmills will power up to 660,000 homes and be part of Biden’s vision of America’s coasts destroyed by hundreds or even thousands of windmills creating “clean” energy.
Aside from hurting the birds, this “clean” energy will hurt consumers too. Cohen quotes David Stevenson, the Director of the Caesar Rodney Institute’s Center for Energy & Environment:
“Dominion Energy is doing a disservice to its customers by helping the state meet its ill-considered Virginia Clean Economy Act,” said Stevenson. “The VCEA set specific targets for wind, solar, battery storage, and transmission upgrades and the state utility commission did a cost-impact study on it, concluding it would increase residential electric rates an unacceptable $800 a year.
“Correcting the commission’s mistake of underestimating residential demand, its unlikely assumption that North Carolina customers would pick up 20 percent of the cost, and including the necessary transmission upgrades, brings the cost premium to about $1,500 a year,” said Stevenson. “While the best option is total repeal of the VCEA, we would hope more modest emission-reduction targets would be set, and the targets would be met by the lowest-cost method.”
What’s become increasingly obvious, whether the subject is solar power, windmills, or electric cars, is that green energy is an obsession of the college-educated Whites who increasingly make up the Democrat party’s most powerful bloc. If you’re looking for White privilege, look left. In Democrat-land, Blacks are expected to vote and shut up. It’s leftist Whites who have all that White-privilege.
The green energy boondoggles allow those same Whites to assuage their climate guilt and flaunt their virtue-signaling, all while transferring government money to their pockets or getting the government imprimatur on laws and projects forcing consumers to pay the greenies more. It’s the perfect scam, maintained by telling the ratepayers, “You’re evil and dirty, so shut up as we help purify your environmentally-unfriendly souls.”
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