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Electric Cars and Surging Solar Spell Market Doom for Fossil Fuels


Electric Cars and Surging Solar Spell Market Doom for Fossil Fuels

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Analyses show how demand for electric vehicles and rapidly falling renewable energy prices could take down oil and gas industry


Great, this means we can cut all the subsidies and distortions favoring all energy players, and let the market sort it out.

Those ‘rapidly falling’ prices don’t seem to be applying in the nations with the heaviest use of ‘green’ power, where prices are the highest in the world and industry and consumers both are complaining about the costs of this part time power, which has to be backed up at the base load level anyway by conventional plant. It is NOT cheaper to have to maintain two power systems simultaneously just so one can claim to be green…at immense cost.

So let’s take this analysis at their word, being the experts they are, cut ALL subsidies…and see who is really cheaper.


With a big Fuck You to Reagan for taking the solar panels Off the WH roof in 1981.


part time power was part time power then, too.


Are you including the avoided externalities associated with getting rid of fossil fuels? I think not.

All that heart disease, asthma, emergency room visits, hospital stays, pharmaceuticals, lost productivity, deaths and chronic illnesses add up. When you subtract those from the “supposed” high cost you claim for renewables, they become incredibly cheap.

In fact, even today, fossil fuels are more expensive than energy efficiency and most renewables on an internalized cost basis. When you factor in externalities, it’s not even close.


That’s the claim, sure. People calculate all kinds of costs all kinds of ways to make all kinds of claims.

Let’s find out the real way. With markets.


This is a case of market failure, where the real cost of a good is not reflected in its price. No amount of market kool-aid is going to fix that, but keep on sipping, I’m sure it will ease your cognitive dissonance.


you don’t know what the ‘real’ cost is without markets. You cannot simply assume prices and values, they are emergent from the behavior of people making choices and value judgments. The continual failure to get prices and costs right in govt programs are precisely because of this. You simply impose a price or cost, and it will be wrong…with the actual outcomes of being too expensive causing one distortion, the actual outcomes of the thing in question being too cheap goes another direction.

I can’t help that your trust in ‘estimates’ of price or cost isn’t reflective of how actual economics operates. You can help it though, by refusing to swallow the idea that entities can calculate costs in non markets and impose them as if they were real…which they cannot be without a market.


They weren’t solar electric they were solar hot water heaters like pool heaters they use in Fla.


You don’t get it at all. These costs are measured by comparing what happens to people who live in the pollution plume of fossil fuels to what happens to people who do not – or, in many cases, measuring the incremental impact when the volume of fossil fuel use changes. Nothing is being imposed as you assert, rather, it is simply being measured – these are called facts – inconveniently for you it appears.

This is a case of Adam Smith’s invisible hand picking your pocket, whilst you believe, quite erroneously, you’re getting the best deal.


Been there, done that. Market produces incongruities like hunger with overstock, empty houses with homelessness. Shkreli jacking up drug prices thousand percent and on and on.

Human decency demands that Market mechanisms cannot be allowed to run amok in these situations. The gyrations of the MARKET does not produce an ounce of food, nor a square inch of cloth, nor a shingle on a roof. Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Newton could exist in a world without Goldman Sachs. we can too.



I’m ignoring the paid corporate troll who is writing on this comments forum.

The “free market” didn’t invent the modern electric car. California passed a law saying that any manufacturer who wished to sell any cars in California (all of them!) had to put a few electrics on the market. No electrics, hit the road Jack. Companies such as General Motors responded with a rather nifty (for the time) electric car combined with the worst advertising campaign in the history of advertising, a veritable “Springtime for Hitler” of advertisements, dark as a Halloween trailer. People bought the electrics anyways because they were ultra-quiet, didn’t ever make your business clothes smell like gasoline and were squeaky clean under the hood. Dealers were stunned when customers came in with cash, with wads of large bills, and demanded an immediate electric car. Movie stars loved them.

Then GM and friends successfully lobbied the State of California to get rid of the law forcing them to make electric cars. Instantly GM’s lawyers came out and repoed and crushed every last electric car in existence (except exactly one 1995 pickup truck escaped the crusher, and the couple that owns it still loves it to death).

Still, people remembered the great cars, so the “free market” had to build a few 20 years later, because any tinkerer could put one together. When Toyota came out with the Prius, lots of people were adding extra battery packs and calling it a de facto electric.

The “free market” didn’t invent the photoelectric cell either. Decades ago photovoltaic power was 100 times as expensive as oil-fired generating turbines. Researchers made steady progress over the decades. Then industry finally stepped in when the profits were obvious. Corporations did the last 10% of the real R&D work.

The moral of the story is, if you expect the “free market” to make solar heat the dominant form of building heat, you should go work for Koch Industries. They need all the idiots they can find. If you expect the “free” (free for who) market to cover the 2/3 of the electric generating market that photovoltaic farms can’t cover because the sun doesn’t shine at night, same deal. Same deal for lowering transit’s use of energy by 90% (including freeway construction) worldwide. Ain’t gonna happen, Scooby. If you want real change, your state needs to support research, new product development and product ramping up. Your university needs to actually do the real work, not run the 1,000th in a row marginally useful survey of what the real researchers out there are really doing. Your local philanthropy needs to get out of the curing rare incurable disease business and into the climate change R&D business. It’s going to be your own kids that starve to death someday.


Right on, brother!


There had to be a carbon offset, though.


Are you speaking of the corporate troll who speaks of data as though he has the absolute truth but provides no reference to check his assertions?


You live in a fantasy world. There is NO SUCH THING as your imaginary “real way.” ALL markets are structured, and distorted, in myriad ways.

And there is NO WAY to incorporate all factors into a single monetary “price.”

The ideology / phantasm that you push, serves particular interests in this real world, and is assiduously promoted by those interests.


“Externalities” only matter in the grand scheme of things. However, for John Doe and Ricky Roe they are meaningless. The price they pay for an PV array does not include those “extarnalities”. I think that’s what Occam is trying to say.


We all need to work together to make a better world and preserve the environment for future generations. It may be too late but if the people lead a…the leaders will follow …as Gandhi said and it is happening
Fossil fuels fuel war , climate destruction, loss of habitat, refugees and more. Wake Up America , as Dennis Kucinich said.

I have 33 American made SOLAR PANELS. Got them 7 years ago, now have a BOLT all electric. Love it . When did your furnace or car ever even start to pay for itself??? Never.

As i do not have children i am able to divert limited resources so i took the plunge to lead and have never regretted this and am being paid back , it works!


Our rooftop solar panels paid for themselves in 3 years. My husband commutes in an electric car plugs in at night plugs in at work,done. He bought $20.00 worth of gas in a month so he doesn’t forget how.


Don’t you know what batteries are and how that fits with solar and wind power?
It doesn’t appear that you do. Go do some more homework then come back to this discussion.
You make a very poorly informed devil’s advocate.
When fossil fuels become exhausted, fossils fuels will become no more power for you.
Meanwhile, the sun will continue to shine and the wind will continue to blow.