It was a spectacular failure but, like ethanol, we are stuck with it because politicians can claim they care about the environment. The benefits are negligible, mostly for auto companies making electric cars. Like the electric toaster, which only came onto the market once General Electric realized that power plants had to run 24/7 but people only used electricity at night and began electrifying every product they could, electric cars are a subsidized solution that hopes to bolster solar power. I wouldn't be surprised if government does not start subsidizing and mandating electric knives and can openers too.
Though governments have spent over $3 trillion on solar and wind mandates and subsidies, conventional fuel usage is basically unchanged. If you count on solar, as Germany learned, you need full-time on-demand natural gas. California can't buy energy from Russia so to offset brownouts in the state caused by reliance on finicky solar, California asked for and received exemptions from EPA emissions rules, allowing them to burn natural gas without limit as needed.
President Obama also knows that what is good politics is not good for him. So he is installing a 2,500 gallon commercial-grade propane tank at his Martha’s Vineyard estate - I suppose to protect his frozen goods from melting during brownouts due to unreliable solar power.
This is a president who furloughed nearly all of the National Science Foundation in a budget showdown with Republicans, and even ordered the Smithsonian Panda Cam shut off, while keeping 300 White House employees on the job as essential, so it is not a surprise he is installing a propane tank while telling we plebians we need to do more to promote solar. What is a surprise is how much he needs. Is he worried that the grid will be shut down for two years?
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