Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
Don't feel so great, California will probably get a bailout so that everyone in the US has to pay for this.
This is so typical. The Las Vegas Air Force Base, with great fanfare, announced that that the were saving $1M/year using solar panels (ignoring maintenance costs, of course).The problem? The cost of the project was over $100M. The lifespan of the equipment was estimated at 35 years (almost certainly generous as no large solar projects have been in use this long).Loss on the project was, obviously, about $2M/year plus maintenance costs (assuming the life of the equipment was correct )plus the cost of the money-maybe another $2M per year. So the cost to save $1M/year is $4M+/year.Sounds like a bargain to me!
The easier way to save on energy costs is to design the buildings to be "Passive" (i.e. designed to collect solar energy without using expensive solar panels).Passive solar energy is awesome if done right, with angled windows designed to capture sunlight in winter, and block it in summer; thermal mass for storing heat; ventilation systems that can cool or warm the air without usng energy.There is even light-transmitting concrete (using fiber optics) to provide illumination when the sun is out. Just these simple design elements can reduce the cost of heating/lighting/cooling dramatically, when done right.But the buildings have to be either designed to do this, or substantially renovated. Still, after renovation, there are almost no maintenance costs and the changes last as long as the buildings do.Using an old textbook on passive solar energy, changing a few things in our house, and improving insulation, my family has been able to cut our energy usage by thirty percent. It's already been remunerative.(And I'm not an environmentalist. Just really cheap)
Well, at least they had good intentions... It makes you FEEL good they are trying to save the environment. Let's not judge them by results but by their intentions.(this is intended as sarcasim by the way..)
Why is this sordid tale a surprise? The protagonist, Larry, is described in the article as follows:"He earned a bachelor's degree in urban studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's in public affairs at the University of Texas"Urban Studies & Public Affairs. And then fools in Portland Or., put him in charge of a scam... sorry,er, program that cost taxpayers $$$, all the while Larry declared bankruptcy over credit card debt.After that, the greater fools in CA hired this tool?Heh.
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