There are many disadvantages to solar energy because it is unavailable most of the day—availability is expressed as capacity factor defined as the fraction of total annual solar energy produced compared to a facility operating 24-hours daily, 365 days per year. Capacity factors of solar plants in Southwest desert areas are 0.19 compared to capacity factors of 0.9 or greater for nuclear and fossil-fueled electricity plants.
I would like to thank Crain’s Chicago Business for the opportunity to respond to the article published on September 10th: “Is U.S. commitment to renewable fuels waning?” Frankly, the article was either poorly researched or intellectually dishonest to an incredible degree. Contrary to the author’s claims, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has been a failure in almost every respect. Rather than mandating more ethanol be used, we should realize ethanol is a corncob pipedream, and do away with RFS, also known as the ethanol mandate, once and for all.
Nearly 10 years have passed since the federal government imposed a national mandate requiring gasoline be blended with ethanol. At that time, President George W. Bush claimed the United States was addicted to oil and that biofuels, especially ethanol produced from corn, offered an important way to bring down gasoline prices while weaning the nation off of foreign sources of oil and supporting economic development in rural America.
They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.
TweetThe United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suddenly reversed its support for biofuels. The panel now admits growing crops for fuel “poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity.” Scientists[…]
[The idea of green energy] was in the 1970s, following the OPEC Oil Embargo that solar panels began popping up on rooftops and “gasohol” subsidies were enacted. It was believed that green energy would move the U.S. off of foreign oil and prevent oil from being used as a weapon against us.
TweetLast week, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and other lawmakers introduced legislation in the House of Representatives calling for major changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS is the reason[…]
TweetThe Heartland Institute supports the Non-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) which has weekly Internet postings of new peer-reviewed papers on climate science. The January 11, NIPCC posted “A Measureable[…]
TweetWe here at The Heartland Institute know a thing or two about global warming skepticism. Indeed, you could say we wrote the book. So count us as a little surprised[…]
TweetI love all those “green future” commercials companies like Exxon and BP (“Beyond Petroleum“) run. They never fail to get a chuckle out of me, no matter how often I see them.[…]