Here's a perfect example of why forcing the green economy down America's throat will not work. We shouldn't need this example, because Spain is already clearly demonstrating that (20% unemployment). But, thanks to New Jersey, we get our very own real life lesson right here in America. New Jersey went the solar power route and they are currently putting up almost 200,000 hideously ugly solar panels on street utility poles. Here's a sample of what it looks like:
People are already voicing extreme displeasure at these 'eyesores' popping up around the community. Not only are they ugly, they are expensive. This from the New York Times:
"The solar installations, the first and most extensive of their kind in the country, are part of a $515 million investment in solar projects by PSE&G under a state mandate that by 2021 power providers get 23 percent of their electricity from renewable sources."
Got it? The utility company is being forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to meet a stupid mandate. But, you say, what about all the savings! Ah yes, the savings.
"When complete, this project is expected to provide half of the 80 megawatts of electricity needed to power 6,500 homes."
Impressive, half the power for 6,500 homes. That's ALL of the power for 3250 homes. Let's do something the environmentalists hope you never do: the math.
$515 million dollars was spent to eventually power 3250 homes. That means approx $158,000 was spent per home. The average electric bill in the United States is approx $105 a month, or $1260 a year. See where this is going? It's going to take a long, long time - 125 years to be exact - to break even on this wonderful green project. And the panels only have a lifespan of about 25-30 years so they will need to be replaced long before the money is recouped.
Predictably, the utility company is already beginning to pass the costs on to consumers
"PSE&G officials said solar energy was still more expensive to produce than more traditional power sources and acknowledged that bills were going up 29 cents a month. Each panel produces 220 watts of power, enough to brighten about four 60-watt light bulbs for about six weeks."
And the best news for last -- the solar panels will only produce barely 1% of the state's electricity. So they only have to repeat THIS disaster 22 more times and the mandate is met!