Skip to comments.Coming Soon: Higher Energy Prices, Shortages
Posted on 08/19/2012 7:26:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
Once real numbers have come out about renewable energy costs, people are having second thoughts, reported Maureen Masten, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources and Senior Advisor on Energy to Governor Bob McDonnell, VA, while addressing his all of the above energy strategy to meet the states energy needs.
The real costs of renewable energy are coming outboth in dollars and daily impacts. After years of hearing about free energy from the sun and wind, people are discovering that theyve been lied to.
On Tuesday, August 14, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) approved a new renewable energy rate rider that will allow the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to start recovering a portion of its recent development costs for building five solar facilities around the state, a pilot solar facility with battery storage, and wind resource procurements. The renewable rider could be on ratepayers' bills by the end of the monthdepending on when the commission publishes its final order, said PNM spokeswoman Susan Spooner.
The rate rider currently represents about a $1.34 increase for an average residence using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity per monthor a little more than $16 per year. This increase seems miniscule until you realize that this is only a small part of increases to come. PNM needs to recover $18.29 million in renewable expenditures in 2012 and the rate rider only addresses monies spent in the last four to five months. The remaining expense will be carried into 2013.
Like more than half of the states in the US, New Mexico has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that mandates public utilities have set percentages of their electricity from renewable sources. In New Mexico the mandate is 10 percent this year, 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. Most stateswith the exception of California (which is 33 percent by 2020)have similar benchmarks. To meet the mandates, PNM will need considerably more renewable energy with dramatically more expenseall of which ultimately gets passed on to the customer. PNM acknowledges that the rider will increase next year and predicts the total cost recovery for 2013 to be about $23 million. By 2020, based on the current numbers of approximately $20 million a year invested, resulting in a $24 a year increase, consumers bills will go up about $200 a year just for the additional cost of inefficient renewable energy.
Had the PRC not approved the special rate rider, costs would be even higher. Typically rate increases are only approved at periodic rate case hearings, usually held every few years. The system of only allowing rate increases after a lengthy hearing, keeps the costs hidden from the consumer for longer but increases costs to the utility and, ultimately, the consumer, due to interest charges on the borrowed money. PNM believes the rider will allow for more timely recovery of costs, resulting in a $2.7 million savings.
Environmental groups, whove been pushing for the renewable energy increases, opposed the special renewable rate rider and have threatened a potential appeal of the PRCs decision. It is hard to tout free energy when there is a special line on the utility bill that clearly points out the new charge for renewables.
So, renewable electricity is hardly free. It also isnt there when you need itlike in the predictable summer heat of California.
To meet their 33 percent renewable mandate, Californias utility companies, like New Mexico, have been installing commercial renewable electricity facilitieswith wind capable of providing about 6 percent, and solar 2 percent, of the states electric demand. But in the summer heat, the wind doesnt blow much and the solar capacity drops by about 50 percent when the demand is the highest.
Despite increasing renewable capacity and an exodus of the population, California has been facing threats of rolling brown/blackouts due to potential shortages. TV and radio ads blanket the air waves begging consumers to limit electricity usage by setting their air conditioners at 78 degrees and using household appliances only after 6PM. Flex Alerts have been issued stating: conservation remains critical. Consumers are urged to reduce energy use, California ISO balances high demand for electricity with tight power supplies and maintain grid reliability.
Even with expedited permitting, California cannot build renewable electricity generation fast enough. Environmentalists block construction due to species habitat, such as that of the desert tortoise or the kit fox. If they oppose renewable energy construction, you can imagine the vitriol they extend toward coal, natural gas, and nuclear. There is a big push to shut down nuclear power plants and new natural-gas plants, which are ideal for meeting the needs of peak demand,are fought by the very same groups that are pushing electric cars.
San Diego-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock observed: Right at the moment in California, building new electricity generating power plants of any kind is politically taboo. Electricity itself is becoming politically taboo.
Texas has been faced with both increasing costs and fears of shortages. Concerned about adequate electricity supplies, the Texas Public Utility Commission recently voted to allow electricity generators to charge up to 50 percent more for wholesale power. The increase is to encourage the building of new power plants in the state with the highest capacity in the country for wind electricity generation.
Apparently new electricity-generating power plants are politically taboo in Texas, tooat least within the environmental community. Instead of encouraging new power plants to be built, Ken Kramer, the Texas head of the Sierra Club, said, A better idea would be to encourage more energy-saving programsperhaps like setting the thermostat to 78 degrees and not turning on appliances until after 6PM.
When will Americans revolt over being forced to use less while paying more?
We know that high energy prices are just the beginning of inflation that raises the cost of everything from food to clothing to manufactured goods. When the cost of manufacturing goes up, industry moves to countries with lower-priced energy, cheaper labor, and more reasonable regulations. Jobs go overseas and we import more. The trade deficit grows, and America is less competitive.
The higher electricity costs are 100 percent due to government regulation and legislation that are unreasonably crushing American businesses and ratepayersmuch like the pressure England imposed on the American colonies that launched the American Revolution.
Paul Revere alerted the early settlersthe Red Coats are coming, the Red Coats are comingwhich brought people into the town square where they joined forces and rallied together. Their cooperative effort was so effective that those early Americans made it so painful for the Red Coats that they abandoned their objective.
People who hear me speak often describe me as the Ann Coulter of energy. Due to the childhood nickname of Bunny, my family refers to me as the Energizer Bunny. But today, I feel like the Paul Revere of energy: Higher energy prices are coming. Energy shortages are coming.
What remains to be seen is how the citizens of America will respond. Will we gather in the figurative town square and join forces, making it too painful for the use-less, pay-more agenda to continue? Will we force state legislators to abandon the RPS? Will we rally together in opposition to the EPAs cost-increasing regulations? Will we turn out a president who is more concerned with lining his cronies' pockets than doing what is best for Americans?
Unless the publicly-inflicted pain forces the abandonment of the objective, Higher energy prices are coming. Energy shortages are coming.
Only liberals could devise a way to increase our electric bills in an era of dirt-cheap natural gas.
It used to be the adults were in charge of things like this and the liberals, hippies and academics got to indulge their idle fantasies away from where they would actually do any harm. Now the inmates are running the asylum and the results are as devastating as they are predictable.
They've been lied to for years about 'free' everything from socialism, but they still believe it.
We just aren't doing socialism 'right' and we need more of it to really work. /s
Obama: “energy rates will necessarily sky rocket”. He wasn’t kidding, but the libtards don’t think like normal people.
“When will Americans revolt over being forced to use less while paying more?”
Answer: it depends on WHICH “Americans” we are talking about.
The “blue” Americans (from the blue states) will NEVER “revolt”, because they are of the mindset that they should take what government gives them — to revolt might mean the end of their entitlements. (Example: the ever-unchanging “45%” who vote for the democrats no matter how extreme the candidate might be, such as you-know-who)
The “red” Americans? Yes, they are different. But if “the reds” eventually work up the intestinal fortitude to “revolt”, it’s going to be about a lot more than just energy prices and shortages....
As a side bar, please deep your eyes and attention on the “Obama” induced rising gas prices. As happened in January/February/March when the unemployment eased ever so slightly because gas prices were stable, when they started to go up again the employment numbers went south, just as I predicted.
Now the price of “Obama” gasoline is climbing like a shooting star. The next few months will show the USA economy dropping like a ship anchor dropped into the water!!! Every dollar spent on gas is another removed from retail sales. Obama continues on his quest to destroy the American economy and America itself.
I wonder when the American public and voters are going “to get it”, that Obama, his wife Michelle, the entire Democrat Party are no friends of America, or...Americans!!! never have been...and, never will be!!!
I'm with you Kool, it's time to vote grown-ups back into office. Old liberals who think they're teenage hippies - into late middle age - are tiresome. And creepy.
“Free Energy” — what a pantload. Such a notion could only be believed by those who believe in the famous skittle-pooping unicorn.
Generating electricity requires payment of three expenses, regardless of the type of energy source. The ratio of these three will change significantly with different types of energy sources, but you will always have these three basic expenses:
1. Cost of Capital which is huge. Power generation is a very capital intensive business.
2. Operating Costs. The cost of the fuel, other consumables and labor required to run a plant.
3. Maintenance Costs. The cost of keeping the plant in operating condition. You can maintain a plant before it breaks (preventive maintenance) or after it breaks (forced outage maintenance).
If you run a wind or solar plant, your operating costs go down due to the “free” fuel, but the others are higher. But the biggest problems with alternatives are:
1. The energy sources are very diluted so it takes a HUGE amount of capital to extract usable amounts of energy. See #1 above.
2. The energy sources are either unavailable at night or are unreliable, hence you need to build twice or thrice the amount of plant you really need to assure energy availability. Or, if these fantasy sources ever produce more than 2% or 3% of our energy, you have to build energy storage plants at astronomical cost. ow do you store electricity? Try batteries, which consume tons of toxic materials. Or pumped storage which would consume mountain tops all over America. Flywheels, supercapacitors, and compressed air energy storage? Forget it.
We’ve been lied to about “alternative” energy? No kidding, but competent engineers have been screaming that for 40 years. Nobody listens, especially pie-in-the-sky politicians and least of all commies.
All our utility bills went up on the August bill.
The good news is that this “little episode” was the 60’s liberals “last hurrah” - take a look at their ages, which no amount of Botox and plastic surgery can change - they will be taking the dirt nap soon enough.
Very well said...
"Consider the Grain Giant Cargills CEOs extraordinary statement recently that the U.S. Government Mandate that Corn be used to make Ethanol for fuel, could lead to a 40% to 50% rise in food prices! "