CMHA solar array.jpg
More than 4,200 solar panels feed power to the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's new headquarters on Kinsman Road in Cleveland. With recent cost declines wind and solar power are the lowest cost new energy sources. The cost advantage widens considering "apples to apples" financing, environmental impacts, price stability and energy security -- and in twenty years their fuel price will still be zero, writes Steven B. Smiley. (Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer )
Guest Columnist/ By Guest Columnist/
on February 08, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated February 08, 2014 at 10:33 AM

This year marks a major turning point in energy in America. Wind and solar power beats natural gas “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing). With recent cost declines, they are the lowest cost new energy sources.

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Please understand I am not an advocate. In fact the conclusions here seem "Anti-Scientific"

You said it:  "In fact the conclusions here seem 'Anti-Scientific'". 

All of those very expensive solar cells will have to be replaced within 20 years, if not sooner.  Lets add the cost of replacement banks of deep cycle batteries every few years and not even mention maintenance.  Wind Power is also good, but very expensive and again relies on banks of batteries to save the power when wind is not blowing.  I am not against these forms of energy at all but, we taxpayers just paid billions for a conversion to this energy under our current administration and most of the start up companies failed.  This country needs fracing at least short term.  Natural gas in available, abundant and clean burning.

I may actually believe this. After United pulls out of Cleveland airport, the 184 people who still live there may be able to have their homes solar powered. If your city has an economy based on Lebron James anything is possible.

Classic selective use of data resulting in solar/wind mythology.

"Steven B. Smiley is the President and CEO of Heron Wind Manufacturing... Look at his Bio...

Does the CEO of ExxonMobil get to write a column next week?"

The article makes no sense at all! The initial investment in solar is of course very expensive. Here you have a gov't agency (housing authority) that can afford to put them up by spending our tax money. How many businesses in Cleveland have done this? The answer is none! The average homeowner would spend between $20,000 and $40,000 to have them installed and that is with tax incentives. The payback is about ten years at best. If it is so great tell the housing authority to unplug from the grid! They can't because solar is only in most cases a partial energy supply especially in our neck of the woods.

In the bio at the end of the article, it fails to mention he is an owner, Pres, and CEO of a wind energy company. Instead it states he is an expert in energy if he studies various energy supplies and computes which is the best.

We need to write to and demand a clarification and equal time.  People that live in NW Ohio should also write to the Plain Dealer and call local talk radio and shame into never doing this again.

Its garbage like this that get imbedded into society and the low information people will believe what lies this illusionist has spun.

This is an example of a typical article written by someone who is anti fossil fuel (the author is the head of a wind turbine company). The author uses (misuses) the info that helps his position and disregards that which actually destroys his contentions.

Firtst: The company that the author heads uses electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

The companies that produce natural gas do not receive subsidies. This is one of the anti crowds favorite misuse of information. The companies use tax deductions for drilling and production costs. These types of deductions ar available to all businesses, not just a certain few like the subsidies that solar and wind companies receive.

The installation of wind and solar are not cost effective. The initial costs are only the beginning. The life useful life span of turbines, solar panels and batteries is quite short 5-10 years. Then they must be replaced.

What about pollution ? These products require rare earth metals which are primarily produced in China. China has few if any environmental laws or labor laws. This results in substantial pollution in China including toxic emissions (greenhouse gases) from factories. It's well known that much of the labor in China is provided by convicts, children and under paid workers.

Oh, and lets not forget that wind and solar are only intermittent sources of energy (please don't start about batteries, they're a joke).

The author should have made the point that natural gas, wind and solar compliment each other and should be used together. So when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine there is clean burning natural gas.

... and what about transportation ? Shall we put sails on our cars, trucks and trains ? Will sunshine produce the chemicals we use in plastics etc.?

No, wind and solar may have their place in supplying our energy needs but it is not as the primary source of energy.

Is there sunshine in Cleveland?

good point booger. they built the Ravenna and  keystone ordinance T N T   plants ,where they did, in the early forties because of the cloud cover .less clear skies for german bombers.   I believe it was 75 days a year at keystone.  although some energy does get through the clouds. on a side note, Cleveland has been a leader in serial killers and other noted groups lately.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE   who will get the power from this project…are not the people who have worked the land all their lives , paid taxes on their land for generations….these are the AMERICAN PEOPLE who have just played the system since it was introduced….goverment handouts to the people who vote for the party who controls kinsman ave…cleveland…..notice the fence around the layout…. they better get about twelve  $10.10  security people there 24/7 or the scrapers will carry the fence  and the solar panels and connecting wires away before 6 months go by….Mayor Jackson knows there is a problem…all the copper pipes/eavespots on churches and building aluminum siding and storm doors come up missing every night in Clevelnd…. so to make it easy for those who steal we will provide fields of solar panels paid for not by Clevelanders …but paid by tax payers from all over the nation.


One of the points that pro-alternative people don't tell you is that wind and solar a less effective because they only provide power when the wind blows and the sun shines. Well, what if that isn't at peak need times ? If you read serious studies about sources of power (not the nonsense the anti crowd throws around? there will be a portion of the study dealing with backup sources of energy. Wind and solar require backup sources for the times that wind and solar are not available, natural gas does not require a backup. In fact natural gas, and coal, are the backups for wind and solar.

The real solution to using wind and solar is to use them in combination with natural gas. At the times that wind and solar are available a power plant can "throttle" back it's production of power from natural gas. When wind and solar are not available the plant increases power from natural gas.


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