Biden’s 45 percent solar energy ambitions would cost at least a trillion dollars
This morning, the Biden administration announced that it is seeking to have 45 percent of the nation’s electricity generated by solar panels by the year 2050. To put it kindly, this goal is entirely unrealistic, and it will be incredibly expensive.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that despite billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, solar plays a minuscule role in our current electricity generation portfolio. In fact, solar facilities generated just three percent of the nation’s electricity in 2020, as you can see below.
Building enough solar panels to generate 45 percent of the nation’s electricity would cost a fortune even under the most generous of assumptions. American Experiment used cost estimates from EIA to calculate the cost of installing the panels needed to generate the electricity and found that it would cost more than $1 trillion dollars through 2050.
This price tag doesn’t even begin to depict the true cost of the Biden administration’s plan because it doesn’t reflect the enormous cost of running an electric grid that is too heavily dependent upon unreliable energy sources, like solar panels and wind turbines.
According to the regional grid operator, the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), it becomes exponentially more difficult to run an electric grid when unreliable renewables make up more than 30 percent of the grid.
California is already dealing with the problems that accompany this increasing difficultly. In fact, California has struggled to keep the lights on multiple occasions this summer because there was not enough electricity when the sun was setting. The graph below shows generation from “renewables” in California disappeared when electricity was needed most.
California grid operators had to resort to begging people not to use their air conditioners or charge their electric cars when the sun was setting to prevent another round of rolling blackouts. Things are so bad in the Golden State that they are building five brand new natural gas plants to keep the lights on because solar is too unreliable.
The trillion-dollar boondoggle proposed by the Biden administration doesn’t take any of these challenges seriously. This cost calculation is also very conservative because it does not take the cost of battery storage into account.
American Experiment calculated the cost of building enough battery storage to store 24 hour’s worth of electricity in the United States, even though a grid powered by solar would likely need weeks of storage to account for lower solar output in the winter months.
The table below shows the cost of building this battery storage would cost $2.2 trillion dollars, or roughly $6,650 for every single man, woman, and child in the United States.
Adding the trillion-dollar cost of solar panels means every American would be on the hook for $9,690 and a family of four would need to pay $38,760 to cover the cost of this “green new deal.”
Much of this money would go straight into the pockets of Communist China because they produce 80 percent of the world’s solar panels. Furthermore, the New York Times reports that many of these solar panels are manufactured by enslaved Muslim Uighurs in western China in factories powered by coal-fired power plants.
Biden’s announcement may be green tofu (as opposed to red meat) for his extreme environmental base, but it is a deeply unserious energy policy that will likely result in rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity prices.
The rush to solar panels would also make the US more dependent upon solar panels manufactured with slave labor in China. So much for advocating for hard-working Americans.