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Solar, solar everywhere  

Credit:  Wicked Local Carver, www.wickedlocal.com 16 March 2012 ~~

Let’s just keep industrial size arrays out of out bogs.

Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about the need for alternative forms of energy and our need to get off our dependence on foreign oil. More recently the subject has come to Carver with the proposed solar farms.

My concerns about these large “solar farms” and the “wind farms” in Nantucket Sound is the massive size of these projects and the adverse impact they will have on the natural environment (i.e. the open space/rural character) of the Sound and the town of Carver. A recent study put out by the town of Carver represents “a five-year-plan to maintain Carver’s rural character, protect its natural resources, and provide recreational opportunities for its citizens.” Does the construction of solar farms on cranberry bogs represent one of the ideas to help maintain the rural character of the town of Carver? Are they going to represent a new kind of recreational opportunity for Carver citizens? Jungle gyms for the kids, maybe?

Another concern is: What are the energy costs associated with the manufacture of the various components that make up the solar panels or windmills, the transportation of the components to the site and final installation of the panels and wind turbines, plus the cost of operating and maintaining these industrial complexes? I find it difficult to believe that over the life of the installation that that energy will ever be recouped. Throw in the fact that the wind and solar energy are not available on a steady basis, and I don’t see these large arrays as viable sources of energy that are worth destroying scenic area such as Nantucket Sound, Carver’s cranberry bogs, mountain ranges or deserts. What price do you put on the beauty and tranquility of these places?

From the little I’ve read, it appears that the only people benefiting from these projects are the large companies looking for subsidies and tax breaks. They get the gold while the taxpayers get the shaft (higher energy costs).

All that being said, I don’t have a problem with an individual taxpayer installing a windmill or an array of photovoltaic panels (as long as they are not negatively affecting the neighbors or destroying the rural character of the town). In this situation, any tax breaks and energy savings go directly to the homeowner. The individual makes the investment and reaps whatever benefits may accrue from this investment (and only he or she will have to deal with any loses associated with the investment). Maybe towns should offer some kind of financial incentive to install wind or solar; maybe a reduction in real estate or property tax for five-10 years. Another benefit here is the individual homeowner could rest peaceably knowing that he or she is helping to save the world from those evil fossil fuels, the energy source that has taken us to the moon and beyond, and to the depths of the oceans, expanding our knowledge of these amazing places. Fossil fuels have helped us live a lifestyle that our ancestors could not have even imagined.

If done properly, and with due diligence to protecting the environment, there’s room for all sources of energy, even nuclear.

—Bill Duggan, Carver

Source:  Wicked Local Carver, www.wickedlocal.com 16 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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