Not only is California in a deep economic hole, it continues to dig, but not with a shovel, no. The people’s government has purchased a high-speed, greenie boring machine, and is full steam for the Earth’s core. Fox News reports:
California has become the first state in the nation to mandate solar panels for all new homes, in a move to cut greenhouse gas emissions that critics say will end up raising home prices in the already expensive market.
In a unanimous 5-0 vote Wednesday, the California Energy Commission approved the policy.
The regulation will require all homes and apartments built after 2020 to have solar panels, adding an average of roughly $10,000 to construction costs for a single-family home. On the flip side, the commission says, the panels could yield much more in energy savings.
Note, gentle readers, the “could.” This is true in the same sense that I could be a Nigerian prince that has a fabulous offer for you, or drinking nothing but Coca Cola could be beneficial to one’s teeth.
Spokeswoman for the Energy Commission Amber Beck told Fox News that under the new standards, new homes would be expected to reduce energy use by more than 50 percent. She argued that the change will lead to savings in the long run.
‘For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills,’ Beck said in a statement. ‘On average the 2019 standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years.
What Ms. Beck is not mentioning is that housing prices in California are so out of control, people are fleeing the state for Texas, Arizona and other rational states, in droves. Even the LA Times is admitting the mandate will cost as much as $12,000 per home. Considering government always underestimates, often by ridiculously optimistic margins, the costs of its mandates, one can expect solar panels to raise home prices considerably more than predicted. Cleantechnica.com., for instance, puts the average US cost of solar panels at $18, 840. As everyone knows, everything is cheaper in California. In addition, solar panels don’t last forever. Continuous exposure to sunlight damages them, to say nothing of weather, falling trees, etc. Forced replacement of solar panels is a very expensive proposition. But hey, this is going to improve everything, right?
The mandate is the latest win for the solar industry, despite past controversies tied to companies’ use of taxpayer funds.
The most notorious example was California company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. An Energy Department inspector general report in 2015 said the company misrepresented facts in order to secure a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Taxpayers lost most of that money in the deal.
The new California measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years, according to the commission. The Energy Commission said this would be equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.
Well, there’s nothing more important than making the solar industry flush with public cash,but the mandate is even more expensive, in a variety of ways, than one might imagine, as Watts Up With That reports:
The costs come to consumers already in a market where the median price of a single-family home is $565,000, one of the highest in the nation, the Wall Street Journal reported.
MIT Technology Review reported requiring every new home to have solar panels is a ‘feel-good change’ that is both expensive and does little to reduce carbon emissions.
‘A solar panel on every house might sound good, but it isn’t smart climate policy,’ said James Temple, writing for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology magazine.
The ‘big problem’ is cost, Temple said, citing Severin Borenstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Rooftop solar panels are a ‘much more expensive way of increasing renewables on the grid,’ costing between 12.9 and 16.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, more than twice the cost of utility-scale solar systems, according to the report.
As is now obvious, utility-scale solar and wind programs are also expensive boondoggles, dramatically increasing utility rates, not only in California, but across Europe, much to the consternation of the Germans and other members of the EU that are being forced to invest in more conventional and economically sane methods of power generation. The problem is simple: power generated by solar cells can’t be stored, and is unreliable.
The California Energy Commission claims the added costs to homes will be more than made up for in energy savings. If they save on electricity bills, however, it will be because customers who do not have solar panels are subsidizing them.
The savings are ‘effectively subsidized by other ratepayers without solar panels, net metering, and solar tax credits,’ according to Borenstein.
The best part is the miniscule emissions reduction:
Furthermore, MIT reported emissions reduced by the government mandate would not make much of a difference for the state’s carbon footprint.
‘California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015,’ the report said.
Emissions would be reduced by 0.32 percent.
Just another track on the California high-speed railway to oblivion.