Renewable Energy and Reality Based Reference Points

I read a fantastic expose in the LA Times over the weekend about the Los Angeles Community College District’s impractical green energy plan and the money wasted pursuing politically popular policies that proved unachievable and wasted millions of dollars – taxpayer dollars – that could have been spent on students.

But Eisenberg’s enthusiasm obscured an inconvenient reality: With the technology now available, the cost of renewable power exceeds that of energy derived from burning coal and natural gas.

It reminded me of something I wrote in late 2009 titled The Coming Green Sprawl that attempted to make the case that wildly optimistic public policy regarding clean tech is not only bad for us tax and rate payers, but also bad for the clean tech industry itself because of the inevitable disappointment and disillusion that accompanies bubbles.

At every step in the unfolding story involving the LA Community College District adults should have stepped forward and demanded a level of detailed planning that is commensurate with potentially billions of dollars of taxpayer liabilities. It didn’t happen, millions of dollars were wasted and everyone still has their job. Typical for government work…