Did You Want Electricity with Your Fried Eagle?

In Animals, Climate Change, Economics, Energy, Environment, The Big Picture by E. Calvin Beisner1 Comment

Let’s see now. The controversial Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, financed with $1.5 billion in federal loans, using sunlight reflected from 170,000 mirrors to heat boilers atop 450-foot-high towers, received on average $200 per megawatt-hour during summer months and $135 for the rest of the year but is likely to go bust.

Meanwhile, PG&E pays $57 per megawatt-hour for power generated by more conventional solar plants, and $35 per megawatt-hour for power generated by natural gas plants. And PG&E says, “Continuing the delivery of [renewable] energy from these innovative energy facilities is in the interest of all parties and furthers important state and federal policy goals.” All parties? How about electricity consumers? (Not to mention the thousands of fried birds.)

Don’t miss this takeaway: the cost of delivering electricity from conventional solar is 63% higher than from natural gas—and from Ivanpah’s system, 285% to 471% higher.

And defenders of renewables think they can compete economically with fossil fuels for large-scale, dispatchable, instant-on-demand, reliable electricity provision?

Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”


  1. People think its OK to pay more bills for electricity, if it means they are saving the planet using renewables. Both those premise are wrong because not everyone can afford to pay more bills and the reduction in emissions is not going to affect planet’s health.
    Also, Everybody is concerned about the alleged murder of Birds by DDT. Talk about fried birds from renewable energy, no one cares.

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