Laws of economics are akin to laws of nature — they can’t be violated. Folks who infer otherwise are, in my view, spreading fake news. “Free stuff” is never free!
The Feb. 24 letter “The latest on clean energy” states: “Wind energy and solar energy are free, forever, once you build the infrastructure.”
Of course, all energy sources, including fossil fuels and hydro, are God-given and free — until we go to use them. What is “forever” is the cost of resourcing the energy and maintaining the once-built infrastructure.
Ask residential users of rooftop solar panels about roof integrity costs. Consider also the sustainability costs for wind turbine and solar farms that are ubiquitous in the western U.S. (Tourists observe many windmills not operating.)
The bogus free-energy-forever thesis was touted for nuclear plants when they were first built in the 1950s and 1960s. How did that work out for Three Mile Island owners and users?
Note that the referenced letter confirms the magnitude of resourcing required for solar and wind electrification systems with the claim of “over 3.3 million U.S. jobs in solar and wind, outnumbering fossil fuel jobs three to one.” Who is paying those workers?
Payment for “clean” energy jobs, existing and projected, traces back to thee and me, the electricity consumers!
Those who advocate for solar and wind energy are also advocating for enterprises whose primary objective is maximization of profit.
Energy now is not free, and forever will not be!