New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich does a lot of name-calling and obfuscating in an opinion piece that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal today about the recently-passed Energy Transition Act. The Rio Grande Foundation has staunchly opposed mandates that New Mexicans must use more so-called “renewable” energy, but Heinrich is a full-throated supporter of such policies. Who is correct?
Here are Heinrich’s basic points minus the name-calling:
1) Electricity prices are dropping in 100% renewable Georgetown, Texas. That is false as this news story from earlier this year points out. Rates are up for consumers and the City is being forced to pay $6.5 million for renewables. Heinrich provides no real evidence for his point, so it is hard to even give his point credence when the evidence so clearly points in the opposite direction.
2) Heinrich also claims that Facebook coming to Valencia County, NM somehow vindicates “renewables.” This is just silly. As this article states,
Server farms require high-quality electric power, all the time. Wind farms and solar farms do not provide always-on power.
Because of this, even companies that buy renewable power equal to their annual consumption make use of whatever fossil-fueled plants keep the grid running in areas where they operate.
In other words, no matter how much wind and solar are produced around the Facebook facility they still rely on traditional electricity sources when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
3) Heinrich’s final point is perhaps the most pathetic. He counters a point about German electricity prices rising by making a misleading statement that “citizens are demanding their country take even bolder action to decarbonize their economy by moving away from expensive coal power plants and investing more – not less – in the clean energy infrastructure of the future.”
That doesn’t really mean anything, but how about those German electricity prices? Whatever polling says about German desires, the reality is that (as the following chart) electricity prices there are high and going up rapidly.
Worse (at least for Heinrich and his enviro group allies, “Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions have not declined as rapidly as expected in response to the vigorous expansion of renewable energy.”
It is sad when a US Senator is so wedded to his ideology that he simply ignores facts, but this is the world we live in.