The University of New Hampshire may request an apology from me for using the politically incorrect word “American.”
Perhaps I should say Comrade, but I’m hopeful we haven’t reached that point yet.
The new final Clean Power Plan, issued by the EPA, requiring the cutting of CO2 emissions, relies heavily on Americans reducing their use of electricity: Supposedly, by improving energy efficiency.
Supporters of the Clean Power Plan say,
“Increased energy efficiency and falling costs for renewable generation would allow consumers to cut their bills.”
At best, this is grossly misleading. At worst it’s a blatant falsehood.
Renewables currently cost two to four times more than electricity generated from natural gas. Even if the cost of renewables are dramatically reduced, renewables will still increase the cost of electricity as a result of the new Clean Power Plan.
Proof that renewables will increase the cost of electricity is found in data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA is biased toward wind and solar, yet their Leveled Cost of Electricity (LCOE) estimates for 2019, four years from now, are:
- Natural Gas Combined Cycle 6 cents/kWh
- Wind, onshore 8 cents/kWh
- Wind, offshore 20 cents/kWh
- PV solar 13 cents/kWh
- Concentrating solar 24 cents/kWh
Currently, wind and solar cost much more than these future estimated costs, so the EIA data reflects major cost reductions for wind and solar over the next four years.
But even with these cost reductions, the cost of wind and solar generated electricity remains higher than electricity generated using natural gas.
The administration repeatedly claims that renewables are becoming less costly, and some people claim they are reaching grid parity. The EIA data proves these claims to be bogus.
Every claim such as these is misleading, if not completely false.
The new Clean Power Plan will increase the cost of electricity, not reduce it.
The idea that Americans can reduce their total bill for electricity by reducing their usage of electricity through improved energy efficiency is also grossly misleading.
There are very few applications in the typical American home that could be cut significantly as the result of improved energy efficiency. Without these cuts, monthly electricity bills of Americans will increase.
There are essentially only two items that can improve efficiency while lowering costs: They are automatic thermostats and LED lighting.
Thermostats can result in more efficient use of air-conditioning and heating by maintaining temperatures closer to desired levels, especially when the home isn’t occupied.
The initial cost of LED lighting is higher than for incandescent bulbs, but savings can offset the initial cost if lamps are used more than 4 hours each day. Replacing any incandescent bulb used less than 1 hour per day with an LED lamp would be a bad investment and increase homeowners’ out-of-pocket costs.
Virtually, all other proposals for economically improving energy efficiency are bogus, or are really attempts to force people to use less electricity.
For example, doing the dishes or laundry at nighttime may reduce the evening peak, but doesn’t save electricity. Replacing furnaces and refrigerators can improve efficiency, but the cost of the new furnace or refrigerator won’t be recovered by savings from using less electricity, so the total out-of-pocket cost for American homeowners is greater.
Hanging the clothes outside to dry saves electricity, but has nothing do with improving efficiency.
The new Clean Power Plan (CPP) increases costs further by requiring greater use of renewables, wind and solar, rather than allowing natural gas to replace coal for power generation. More renewables means more costly electricity.
There is little, if anything, about Obama’s CPP that will reduce the cost of electricity.
It’s an indisputable fact that the CPP will increase what Americans pay for electricity.
The next article will explain why the CPP is a disaster for the average American, why electricity will cost much, much more, and why it circumvents Congress, the representatives of all Americans, and undermines the American form of representative government.
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