Glen Brand’s recent Earth Day OpEd and his passionate embrace of renewables fails to address the big problems associated with grid-scale wind and solar. Neither are dispatchable on demand, and their intermittent energy production cannot be stored, which means traditional power plants must be kept running to back them up.
Grid-scale solar installations don’t take into consideration the massive amounts of heat being generated by acres of black panels blanketing the earth, heat intense enough to incinerate birds flying overhead. The sprawling industrial wind “farms” being constructed along Maine’s mountains and ridge lines do not address the ecological and environmental impacts of blasting and road building at high elevations, clear cutting of forests, spraying of herbicides, building of large transmission corridors from remote mountain locations and the loss of critical habitat for our winged friends.
Three hundred miles of 500-foot tall blinking turbines stretching from north to south will impact 12,000 square miles of scenic viewsheds, which represent priceless economic assets in a state that relies on tourism as its biggest industry. Government-subsidized, grid-scale wind and solar do not pass the real cost-benefit analysis, and worse they siphon much needed funds away from finding truly clean solutions for a power-hungry planet.
Our energy policies should be based on science, not symbolism.
Registered Maine Master Guide