Picture of Dorian Gray and Renewables

The picture of Dorian Gray is a story about a young man who commits heinous crimes, but never seems to age. Unknown to all who know Dorian Gray, there is a portrait of him stored in an empty upstairs room that records every crime as a blemish on his body. The face becomes increasingly hideous as each scar, worm and deformity is added to the portrait with the commission of each crime.

Meanwhile, Dorian Gray goes through life looking as he did when he was twenty years old.

He retains his youthful look and zeal while the painting relentlessly records his true grotesque soul.

1890 magazine cover with Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
1890 magazine cover with Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The picture of Dorian Gray is an apt metaphor for today’s drive for renewables.

There is a constant stream of information describing renewables, such as wind and solar, as providing profound benefits to mankind.

It’s the image of a young Dorian Gray.

The picture is always of a youthful technology, without blemishes, that is beguiling people with promises of an everlasting environmentally pure future. It seeks out new followers, just as Dorian Gray did as he cast around the streets for his next victim.

But the real picture of renewables is hidden from view, just as Dorian Gray’s picture was hidden in the upstairs room.

In this instance, the picture is hidden behind rhetoric and a lack of technical knowledge among the audience being beguiled with fanciful stories.

The huge cost of developing storage and other facilities required to accommodate renewables is not mentioned by Dorian Gray’s protégés as they expound upon the benefits of renewables.

Similarly, the future cost of electricity is brushed aside as not important, when in fact, reports, such as by an independent advisory panel, project higher electricity costs, over and above those estimates made by the advocates of renewables. See https://ethree.com/documents/Advisory_Panel_Report_on_the_CA_RPS_Study_FINAL_1-2014.pdf

The huge new capital costs and the much higher electricity rates are monstrous blemishes on the picture hidden from the public.

The potential eventuality of privately run utilities being replaced by a government monopoly, run by bureaucrats, is never mentioned, and hidden from public view. See, The Duck Speaks.

In the old days, people were taken in by snake oil salesmen brandishing magic elixirs with a shill in the crowd to stimulate sales.

Today, the story is more sophisticated, relying on glitz and glamour, superficial and misleading promises, and fawning acolytes, today’s shills, such as was the case with Tesla’s introduction of the Powerwall and Powerblock batteries.

It’s time for people to start asking about the hidden picture, the one with all the blemishes and distortions, and learn about the added costs, the need for higher taxes for government operated utilities and the loss of freedom that renewables, and their related activities, such as demand response and mandated efficiency requirements, are bound to bring.


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