The green energy act, no matter how well-meaning, is, at this point in time, technologically foolish and fiscally irresponsible. Wind turbines and solar cells are far too expensive for consumers due to the cost of the equipment combined with the intermittent nature of its power generation; and, in the case of solar cells, the inefficiencies of converting the output to usable electricity.
Both wind turbines and solar cells are machines – manufactured machines. They are made of silica, exotic metals, glass, aluminum, copper wire, plastics, steel, computer controls and generally set in concrete. All of these basic materials need to be mined, smelted, refined, transformed into usable materials, transported to the manufacturer, and finally transported again to the erection site. Like all machines, turbines and solar cells need to be maintained, repaired and, at some point in time, replaced. Solar cells last somewhere between 15 and 20 years, while wind turbines can last a little longer if they receive regular maintenance.
Recently, I’ve read much in the news about the erection of wind turbines in the County. Some people want them, and others don’t. I certainly wouldn’t want one next door to me for many reasons. What if there is a catastrophic failure of a huge wind turbine? (And they do happen in a very spectacular fashion.) What will it do to my property values? What will it do to your property values? If you’ve leased your property to a generation company, who is responsible for failures, clean ups, and removal of debris? What happens if the solar cell field has a catastrophic failure? (And they do happen.) What if the government quits using your money to subsidize these so called green energy projects? Who is responsible for the clean-up when it is defunct? Are there policies in place for end-of-life disposal to protect the environment from leaching of lead and cadmium?
People, companies, and manufacturers are making a tremendous amount of money off of this – right out of your pocket every month when you pay you power bill. We need to repeal this costly act and continue our research into all types of new energy sources. We need to develop energy sources that are truly the least harmful to the environment and economic.
The idea that these types of energy machines are green and economical is ludicrous. Wind turbines are not green, they are not cheap, they can be dangerous if improperly maintained or manufactured, and we shouldn’t need to subsidize them. Read your power bill.
André J. Douchane
Resident, Prince Edward County
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