Sir, – Watching recent letters toing and froing in our Press and Journal, perhaps a sobering reality check for the deluded Greens, rushing to “save the planet”, is long overdue?
A small, ever-so-green, 100MW wind farm needs 30,000 tons of iron ore; 50,000 tons of concrete and 900 tons of non-recyclable plastic.
For the same power from an ever-so-green solar farm you need to increase that by 150%.
An electric car battery weighs half a ton; making just one requires shifting 250 tons of earth somewhere else on the planet.
All require what are called “rare earths”, so a phenomenal 200% to 2,000% increase in toxic mining, processing and shipping is required somewhere else on the planet, usually from unregulated regimes with very lax environmental standards.
Solar and wind have weather-dependent limits but we need energy all the time, so we have to have a permanent back-up. The giant Tesla factory in Nevada would take 500 years to make enough batteries to supply the USA with electricity for one day.
After 30 years and countless billions in subsidies, wind and solar supply less than 3% of the world’s energy. On top of that, like all machines, “renewables” are built from non-renewable materials – and have to be replaced time and time again, so definitely not a one-off cost.
The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar energy goals for 2050 to meet the Paris Accord will result in old-panel disposal, constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste.
The environmental cost?
To accommodate 2,000 MW of gas or nuclear power generation requires the same area of two 18-hole golf courses. Whereas, accommodating 2,000 MW of wind power requires an area the size of Belgium. The resultant habitat loss and wildlife slaughter is simply incalculable.
Then, of course, you still need 2,000 MW of gas or nuclear power to accommodate those hundreds of occasions each year when wind and solar power is producing absolutely nothing.
Instead of “saving the planet”, rampaging renewables are actually devouring it.
Yours, trying to protect our natural world, not destroy it,
George Herraghty, Lhanbryde, Elgin.
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