(Norman Rogers) – Governor Sisolak has released a document: Nevada’s Climate Strategy. He wants to spend around $12 billion over the next 10 years to develop more solar power. The motivation is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to avoid a climate catastrophe. His plan will have no effect on Nevada climate because China emits 300 times as much carbon dioxide as Nevada. The cost of electricity will soar because solar electricity is very expensive.
Solar power is not practicable. Electricity from solar is erratic and unpredictable. It doesn’t work at night or when it is cloudy. Solar can’t replace our fleet of natural gas generating plants. They have to remain to backup solar and smooth the flow of electricity.
Our natural gas plants can generate a megawatt hours’ worth of electricity for $15, the cost of the fuel. The solar electricity that displaces the natural gas electricity costs about five times as much, or $80 per megawatt hour, exclusive of subsidies. Why does the governor want to pay five times more for electricity?
As bad as five times overpriced is, it gets worse. When solar reaches about 20 percent of the electricity generated a problem of excessive day generation emerges. Then expensive giant batteries have to be added to the solar farms to absorb the excessive daytime electricity. That electricity is then released in the early evening.
The new Gemini solar plant north of Las Vegas will have the world’s largest battery, costing $300 million. That battery will hold as much energy as five million sticks of dynamite. These are lithium batteries that can burn and explode. That has happened at multiple locations, including in Arizona. The expensive batteries wear out and require periodic replacement.
What about global warming? Yes, it is possible that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will warm the Earth. But after 25 years of predictions of imminent climate disaster it is clear that the warming is slight and probably beneficial. CO2 is essential food for plants. Increased CO2 is greening the earth and improving agricultural productivity. There is no sign of any climate disaster in Nevada. Las Vegas is still waiting for the temperature record of 118 degrees set in 1931 to be broken. The governor is punishing the people of Nevada in order to pander to his extremist environmental allies.
If the governor is really concerned with global warming, he should lead a delegation to China. Getting the Chinese to cut back emissions by one percent would reduce CO2 emissions far more than by covering the Nevada desert with overpriced solar farms.
This foolish pandering needs to stop.
Norman Rogers, a resident of Las Vegas, is an engineer and activist trying to expose the truth about renewable power. He is the author of the book: Dumb Energy: A Critique of Wind and Solar Energy. His website is renewablepuzzle.com.