Monday, May 2

NJ solar "mandate" will break even in 125 years

State legislatures aren't known for being hotbeds of brilliance. In fact my father used to say that our state legislators tried to repeal the law of gravity about once a month--and I suspect that's about the national average.

So, like most of America New Jersey got fired up by the "let's all go green and get energy from the sun" craze. Whereupon they passed a bill requiring the state's main electric utility to get 22% of its electricity from renewable sources by some date.

Local utility duly got approval to install half a billion bucks worth of solar panels on utility poles.

Hey, way ta go, lawmakers! You show off for your green constituents and prattle about how you helped save Gaia and everybody feeeels reeeally gooood about themselves.

But wait a second: Utility says the panels will produce "half of the...electricity needed to power 6,500 homes.” One wag quickly noted that this was enough to power, uhh, 3250 homes. At a cost of $515 million.

Dividing cost by homes supplied yields about $158,000 for each solar-powered home. Someone also noted that the average electricity bill in NJ is about $105 per month.

At that rate the panels will pay for themselves in...oh, 125 years or so.

Their expected life is 30-40 years. And that doesn't include the ones that will be stolen.

Very few legislators can do math, and they're all betting you can't either. Or won't. Because very simple math shows this feel-good, rah-rah "mandate" doesn't make economic sense.

Well of course not, dahling. What did you expect from government?

(h/t The Blaze, via Weasel Zippers)


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