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Apr 26 2016

Why the Free Market Cannot Provide Renewable Energy Without the Government

If “renewable” energy is such a great idea, why hasn’t the free market provided it without subsidies and coercion from the government? After all, capitalism has proven again and again that it can do most anything better than government can.

Here’s the answer:

Lake Land College recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power.

The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.

“Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,” Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials’ original estimates found the turbine[s] would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.

The free market functions efficiently because it is compelled by reality to do what works. Something that produces a negative return of 99.14% does not work; therefore, the free market cannot provide it. But government exists in a realm of sheer moonbattery, where reality does not apply.

[College president Josh] Bullock states that the turbines simply haven’t been able to power the campus’ buildings…

At least a lesson was learned. Or maybe not:

Lake Land plans to replace the two failed turbines with a solar power system paid for by a government grant. “[T]he photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year,” Allee told the DCNF.

Yeah. Sure they will.

Students, get used to studying in the dark. Taxpayers, keep those wallets open.

turbine fail
Government lets you keep on failing.

On a tip from R. F.


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  • Kevin R.

    I didn’t make this joke up. I think it’s from Venezuela.

    Q: What did socialists light their houses with before candles?

    A: Electricity.

  • DrMicahStone

    TOTALLY GREEN =
    Kentucky Fried Chicken first uses Solar Power Plants to fry their birds, then uses Wind Power Farms to slice them up !

  • mouth2taco

    I was thinking this guy was about to be hounded out of office for opposing green technology, but he saved his bacon by switching to solar.

  • KHarn

    Reminds me of the scene from “The Great Waldo Pepper”:
    “What if I don’t like (the plane ride)?”
    “Well, if you really hate it, I’ll give you a second ride for free.”
    Government philosophy in a nutshell.

  • Auburn Rapunzel

    I like you.

  • Auburn Rapunzel

    There is such a thing as renewable energy. It is called a nuclear power plant. It is clean, efficient, and 200% safe if you follow procedures (because safety procedures typically call for double the necessary margin when it comes to managing risks).

    But we can’t have that because…um…white men, I guess.

  • Wait – what if we put solar panels directly on the wind turbines? Wind not blowing? Who cares – we’ve got solar panels! Wind not blowing at night? We’ve got……a problem.

  • grayjohn

    It’s all part of Global Scamming.

  • Marthajmintz2

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  • bob

    the biggest difference between government “subsidies”, or money that was stolen from people who work for a living, and the free market is that when government fails it just spends more stolen money. when the free market fails it goes out of business and doesn’t steal one penny from anybody.

  • bob

    the entire federal government is nothing more than a giant jobs program.

  • theBuckWheat

    The headline is wrongheaded. A better headline would be: Renewable Energy Cannot Compete in Honest Free Market. Subhead: “Sustainable Energy” Not Yet Economically Sustainable In A Free Society.

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  • dodsfall

    There is an easy government fix for this. Set up taxpayer-funded stadium lighting to charge the solar cells at night.

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