Our President has declared that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And, there are still many that believe that carbon dioxide contributes to “global warming”. So, imported oil (and apparently domestic as well, see: the Gulf drilling moratorium) is “out”, and solar is “in”. Let’s examine that.
Solar panels cost about $210 per megawatt of power produced. Coal costs about $95 per megawatt hour, and natural gas clocks in at about $125 per megawatt hour. Given those numbers, it is difficult to understand why anyone would invest in solar power. Enter, an assortment of states passing “feels good legislation”, and, of course, the federal government.
Here’s an example.
Dave Shiels, and his wife, Katheleen Keily live in Arizona, and so far they have installed 72 solar panels on their red-tile roof at a cost of $80,000. But,
[t]heir local utility, Arizona Public Service, a unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., gave them about $37,600 in rebates. This was funded by a charge on all customers’ bills, about $4.05 a month for the average customer.
[t]he federal renewable-energy tax credit kicked in another $12,700 toward the Shiels-Kiely solar array and the state of Arizona added $2,500. Out of pocket, the couple put up about $27,200.
But, the good news is, by doing so, they have eliminated their annual electric bill, and, of course, the $4.05 per month charge on that bill that the other rate-payers are paying to provide them with their solar panels.
Silly me…I thought that the left was all about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor.