With crude at $30 and natural gas at $1.70 (down from $14 in 2007), news pages are full of stories about tough times in the Oil Patch. But the media have been almost conspiratorially quiet on the financial collapse of green energy for the same reason.
Consider a just-released study by University of Chicago researchers on the impact of low gasoline prices on the electric car market, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. It found that current battery costs for Teslas and other electric vehicles are roughly $325 per kilowatt hour.
And at that price, the study amazingly concluded, the price of oil would need to exceed $350 a barrel before the electric vehicle was cheaper to operate.
In other words, without massive additional taxpayer subsidies to companies such as Tesla, the price of oil would have to not just double or triple, but rocket more than 10-fold before battery-operated cars make financial sense.
Small wonder why Tesla stock is 32% off its highs, and solar energy shares are down 50% from where they were a year ago.
So why is the government still dropping money down this rat hole?
With the new financial reality of a world awash in cheap oil and natural gas, wind and solar can only survive, if they survive at all, by the government forcing people to buy them and jacking up electricity and home heating prices to families and businesses.