18 thoughts on “New Jersey NIMBYs move block 55-acre solar farm”

  1. There’s probably some of each going on here. Based on NJ’s politics, though, my money is that NIMBY is more important in this case than good policy.

  2. We seem to have run the comment chain out for layers! I’m actually responding to Gamecock at 2:32 — yes, it’s a subsidy to Big Farm, as kenw says. The pocket that’s picked is mine, three ways — ethanol costs more than gasoline so I pay more per gallon, ethanol has less energy than gasoline does so I get less travel per gallon, and the farm products in ethanol would otherwise be food so I pay more at the grocery store.
    The term “rent” might be more correct since the government is not actually writing a check to the farmers. The economic effect is about the same, though. It’s easier to hide with a requirement than with a direct subsidy.

  3. The gasoline companies receive no benefit, nor do the electric utilities. It is neither a grant nor gift of money.

  4. If they are actually against solar power, especially ineffective solar power, then it’s not technically NIMBYism. It is a bad idea to build a solar plant in New Jersey, so there may be some opposition because they don’t want their electric rates to go up and their tax dollars wasted to support solar panels in a bad environment..

    It’s only NIMBY if you want it or require it (say, a sewage plant), but refuse to have it nearby.

  5. Gasoline companies make gasoline. The government forces them to put %10 ethanol, that they don’t make, into the gasoline they sell. They charge the customer for the product. The government forces them to do it; they charge the customer for it.

    Do you call that a “subsidy?”

  6. If the state creates a situation that distorts market forces, putting money into one pocket by taking it from another without an equivalent value exchange, it’s a subsidy even if it gets a different name. Or one can just call it “rents”.

  7. I would be delighted if the solar farm was replaced by the Whooo Whoooo of a wind farm. I hate NIBY. I really do.

  8. Yes, but in NC it is my subsidy and therefore good, even if electricity from landfill gas gets 2-3x the typical electrical rate.

  9. Meh, if you raise the panels high enough, you could rent the area below them as covered parking. Works for me.

  10. I know you know this, but I’ll say it: a renewable requirement is a form of subsidy; it just means it comes out of everyone’s electric bill instead of taxes.

  11. NJ ! Really!! Is that where any sane person would cite a solar facility. Have they looked at a solar radiation map? The sweet spot is in Southern Nevada and California and even there solar requires a subsidy to break even. If someone were to look into the NJ deal I bet some money is changing hands under the table.

  12. Dunno. In North Carolina, utilities are compelled by law to have some “renewable” component of the electricity production.

    What ever the costs, they are just passed on to the rate payer.

  13. It seems like New Jersey, a place noted for lots of cloud cover year-round and with short daylight in winter, would be a questionable place for solar to begin with. Is there a subsidy involved that is now conflicting with the zoning?

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