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credit: wikia.com

credit: wikia.com

“I taut I taw a solar plant!  I did!  I did see a solar—ZAP!”  Our technological prowess is truly marvelous; we live in amazing times.  Unfortunately, human nature never changes and regardless of our advancement, we still fall prey to the inevitable doctrine of unanticipated consequences.  If we’re green types, we’re entirely unable to anticipate the most obvious and anticipated consequences.  Hot Air has the story:  

On Thursday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was in sunny California at the picture-perfect ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand-new Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, an exemplar of what we’re told is cutting-edge solar technology and the lucky recipient of a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee (note: the total cost of the project is $2.2 billion). As the WSJ report notes, however, the first-of-its-kind solar plant may be among the last:

The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.

The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.

Wow.  Amazing. Uh, correct me if I’m wrong about this, but doesn’t solar power fail in the dark, because there is no—you know—sunlight?  And doesn’t that mean those 140,000 homes would be lit only about half of the time—oh, and when there are clouds or storms, or…  Remember: government is involved, so:

Ivanpah is among the biggest in a spate of power-plant-sized solar projects that have begun operating in the past two years, spurred in part by a hefty investment tax credit that expires at the end of 2016. Most of them are in California, where state law requires utilities to use renewable sources for a third of the electricity they sell by 2020. …

That makes for expensive power. Experts have estimated that electricity from giant solar projects will cost at least twice as much as electricity from conventional sources. But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers.

Federal loan guarantee? Check. Tax credits? Check. Portfolio standards? Check. And what are consumers, a.k.a. taxpayers, getting for the “investment” that the federal and state governments have so astutely made on their behalf? Higher energy bills, that’s what. The Journal notes that Ivanpah costs about four times as much as a conventional natural gas-fired plant, but will produce far less electricity and take up a lot more land. That’s a sweet deal right there.

So.  The Obamites are doing their best to destroy the cheapest and most plentiful source of electricity—coal—while pushing billions into technological wonders like solar and wind power that can produce only a tiny fraction of the nation’s electrical needs, at far greater cost and intermittently at best.  Solar works only when the sun is shining, wind only when the wind is blowing, and even then, both do not produce regular, reliable power.  But—as they say on late night TV—wait!  There’s more!

The BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The company, which is based in Oakland, Calif., reported finding dozens of dead birds at the Ivanpah plant over the past several months, while workers were testing the plant before it started operating in December. …

Regulators said they anticipated that some birds would be killed once the Ivanpah plant started operating, but that they didn’t expect so many to die during the plant’s construction and testing. The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows. State and federal regulators are overseeing a two-year study of the facility’s effects on birds.

Well of course! Who could possibly have foreseen that birds flying though massive beams of 1000° heat might be harmed?  Obviously the same is true of those technological, public policy, political geniuses that could not possibly foresee massive wind farms as what they actually are: avian Cuisinarts.

This is truly an Obama accomplishment on a par with saving jobs and the economy by destroying jobs and the economy and then calling it a good thing because people won’t be locked in jobs they don’t want.  Apparently they don’t want the wages that go with those jobs either, which is good because they won’t be able to afford the electricity anyway.

Now we have billions poured into the most inefficient and costly methods of generating electricity known to man, which also have the effect of killing hundreds of thousands of members of endangered species, or turning those not currently endangered into endangered species, and all in the name of—what, exactly–  green?  Climate change?  The war on women?  Obamacare?  But hey, that’s a good thing, because those birds were probably tired of all that noisy wing flapping anyway.

Perhaps Mr. Obama can sell his quick-frying method to Kentucky Fried Chicken?  And I’m sure KFC can branch out into more exotic fare, provided courtesy of Barack Obama, NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy Inc.  Heck, all those birds are just layin’ around the plant, pre-cooked.  That way the taxpayers might get some benefit from this latest energy boondoggle.