Have we done the work necessary to move toward Green Energy?
WASHINGTON: Yesterday’s global warming is today’s climate change. That is because after the term global warming was kicked around, the earth actually was proven to be cooling in many scientific studies. No matter which you believe, or don’t believe, no matter which you call it, green energy is the solution. But we have to be careful to not create new environmental problems as we move forward.
Green energy is a term whereby a person’s ‘carbon footprint’ is reduced as they go about their daily life. Someone might well ask you, “How green are you living?” Or, “What is your carbon footprint?”
What many liberals do not understand about conservatives is conservatives care as much about the planet as they do. They just do not want to jump to any conclusions that can haunt us in the end. In other words, don’t make the solution worse than the problem. Nor do we need another Obama era scandal where the green in green energy is taxpayer dollars. (Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs – Washington Post)
Illinois Environmental groups want to decarbonize the state’s power sector.
Negotiators want all coal-fired power plants in the state to close as early as 2032. The insanity of that is Illinois is rich in coal and coal-fired plants have been made relatively clean in recent years. (Illinois Clean Coal Initiative)
The other insanity is they want nuclear plants to close despite nuclear plants have been relatively good neighbors in the State of Illinois. Two Illinois plants that were almost shut down by politicians were stations at Byron and Morris. Nuclear stations generating 2,347 and 1,845 megawatts respectively.
The Exelon Corporation is positioned to receive as much as $1 billion over a five-year period for two of its nuclear power plants. This was part of ongoing talks to complete major energy legislation in Illinois, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. (Exelon Won’t Shut Down Two Plants After Ill. Senate Passes Last-Minute Energy Deal – NPR Illinois)
On Monday the 13th, new legislation was signed to shore up nuclear power for at least a while, until 2028. (Illinois Senate approves bill designed to keep three nuclear power plants running – Reuters)
ClearView Energy Partners LLC research analyst Timothy Fox and others say support for these two facilities could be determined by the use of ‘carbon mitigation credits’. Such credits value would be reactor-specific and based on nonpublic financial information.
Wind and Solar in Illinois
Illinois has allowed both wind farms and solar farms to pop up all over the state with little regard to the existing power grid provided by coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
The problem has not just been how the new kids on the block can learn to play nicely on the power grid sandbox already established by the older kids on the block. There is also the fact that sometimes the new kids just do not want to play at all.
It has been reported in scientific studies that wind and solar are only 10-30% efficient.
That would be the percentage of time the sun is out or it is windy in Illinois.
We all saw what happened in Texas this year as wind and solar power failed the state. (Green energy works, except for when you need it the most – The Washington Times) Texas’ reliance on Green leading to many deaths. (At least 111 people died in Texas during winter storm, most from hypothermia)
While the goal is full ‘decarbonization’ for Illinois if we do what Dr. Anthony Fauci says and ‘follow the science’, many of these efforts present themselves as an utter hoax.
For example, just like nuclear plants, these other newer forms of what is termed ‘renewable energy’ systems have a lifespan where they have to be taken out of service and replaced.
Not so Green Wind Power as Turbines are not recyclable and rely on oil to work
Looking at the wind turbine industry, while the industry does employ over 100,000 Americans installing them, China actually takes up 7 of the world’s top 10 spots as wind turbine manufacturers. The Vestas company of Denmark is the world’s largest wind turbine maker representing over 16% of the world wind turbine market.
What is most interesting is most green energy initiatives are unsustainable left to survive in the free market without government subsidies (handouts of taxpayer dollars). An automotive professor at a college actually opened my eyes about green energy the year after the Toyota Prius came to market. He said,
“You know, if you had to pay for that car at full market value, you and most other Americans would not be able to afford it! Government subsidies make the car affordable for the average person.” ‘Don’t Subsidize My Car’ – CATO Institute
In an article titled, ‘Big Wind’s Dirty Little Secret’ the Institute for Energy Research concludes the article that puts the problems of wind energy in concise terms.
“All forms of energy production have some environmental impact. However, it is disingenuous for wind lobbyists to hide the impacts of their industry while highlighting the impacts of others. From illegal bird deaths to radioactive waste, wind energy poses serious environmental risks that the wind lobby would prefer you never know about. This makes it easier for them when arguing for more subsidies, tax credits, mandates, and government support.”
There are pictures on the Internet of toxic discarded wind turbine blades being buried underground to dispose of them as they are not recyclable. (Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills – Bloomberg) (see lead photo)
Another concern is ocean wind farms and the potential effects – good and bad – that the construction and then the creation of electromagnetic fields that could disrupt marine life. As the article
How do offshore wind farms affect ocean ecosystems? explains there are some unexpected benefits of ocean based wind farms. However, it also expresses that there are some “Unexpected effects”
“But the long-term consequences of wind turbines on marine life are still unclear.
Targeted monitoring and studying of ecosystems could help minimize unwanted impacts on fish and marine mammals, said United Kingdom-based marine researcher Andrew Gill. He has advocated a holistic research approach that considers how all the species in an area function together.
Current policy focuses too much on studying single designated species in isolation, he believes. Ecosystem study can help determine for example migratory routes, and involve better planning on location selection.
Some effects may be unexpected. Certain species of sharks and rays, for example, use electromagnetic fields to navigate and hunt for food; and those animals react to electric energy leaking from offshore wind installations, including transmission cables on the seafloor, where the rays scuffle through the sediment in search of prey.”
What about solar power?
New research just coming out indicates all of those solar farms might be heating up the earth with reflected heat from the solar panels. Though the impact is still being studied, it does require that we have a firm understanding on how those solar panels affect the climate. (Surprising study finds that solar energy can also cause climate change )
Have you ever taken a drive on a hot day to the country, only to remark on how much cooler it is amongst the trees?
Or consider an asphalt parking lot full of closed-up automobiles on a hot day at the shopping mall. The sun reflecting off the roof of the car and the black parking lot increase temperatures. Have these solar panel advocates also advocated for the use of non-reflective ground surfaces?
Again, not creating a solution that creates another problem is extremely important.
“According to a report by Inverse, researchers have found evidence that only a certain percent of the sun’s heat is being transformed into reusable energy and the rest is being returned to our environment as heat, which helps increase the Earth’s temperature and contributes to global warming.” Feb 21, 2021 – Tech Times
Like wind power turbines that use fossil fuels and fill landfills, solar panels also have end of life disposal challenges.
The Solar Panel Lifespan
Solar panels, while they are invaluable for the environment, do eventually reach their end-of-life (EOL). Usually, a PV panel reaches this state after 25 years — sometimes less, sometimes more. Regardless, since solar panels are relatively new to this world, there will be plenty that reach their EOL in the coming years.
When they become obsolete, manufacturers do away with them and leave them in landfills. This expulsion, though, is harmful and wasteful. Solar panels consist of mostly harmless materials, like glass. Others, though — like lead — are harmful to the environment. If lead leaches into the ground or nearby water supplies, it can disrupt ecosystems and cause health concerns. – (What Will Happen With Solar Panels at the End of Life? – US Green Technology)
There are fewer and fewer climate change deniers.
We just lived through the hottest year on record and it is not over. The forest fires, hurricanes, and flooding rains are but a small portion we see on television news at night. The less-publicized effects will be higher food prices at the grocery store due to drought regions.
But nothing as yet presented definitively proves climate change is manmade.
Two other reasonable options are it could be a cyclical event by our God in Heaven, or, it could be occurrences of our burning out star, the Sun as our world gets ever closer to it.
Nevertheless, for those of us who do believe in God, He does call us to be good stewards of the land. And for that reason alone we should do better. Landfills are something that constantly bothers me. We could all be doing so much better at recycling. Even just picking up the roadside trash. Or not tossing it.
What about hydroelectric power?
For those who have visited Hoover Dam and seen other hydroelectric facilities of other countries, one has to ponder; Why are our green energy folks not getting more serious about damming up more rivers. This could both control flooding and promote hydroelectric power. But again, we need to consider impact vs. benefit. (The Nile River and Aswan Dam -Water: Science and Society – Penn State)
There are very few negative side effects to hydroelectric power whether in the ocean or in our rivers.
One can argue nuclear power in populated areas is a constant danger
But it would be a stretch to say it has a carbon footprint worth discussing.
Exelon holds Federal nuclear operations licenses of 20 years at Byron and 10 at Morris. In 2028 the two plants will be up for discussion again.
The Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan offered the most negative side effect of nuclear energy to the world when it was hit by an earthquake. Previous to that was the disaster at Chernobyl in Russia.
Nuclear waste lasts for 4,000 years by some estimates. And it needs to be stored somewhere safely away from water tables and where we grow our food. And a new wrinkle… stored away from extremist terrorists.
When operated correctly, away from fault lines, nuclear power is about the best option available to generate massive amounts of electricity for the world. The downsides are manageable with careful thought and consideration. Unfortunately in the political and woke rush toward ‘green energy’ careful thought and consideration is not always given.
The one thing most all people of Illinois can agree on, we don’t want to become like California with rolling brownouts and blackouts. Our power grid has been pretty consistent and that is the way we want it to remain.
Still, the people of Illinois do not want to be overcharged in their utility bills for the sake of green energy and some of the idiocy that is perpetrated by that hoax. For that reason, many people donate money to the Citizen’s Utility Board (CUB), which acts as a watchdog group for consumers.
This new Illinois legislation is said will raise the electric bill of the average homeowner $3.50 a month. That is not too bad if it helps the cause. Business and industry will be hit much harder.
About the author:
Mark Schwendau is a Christian conservative patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.” Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting.
His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech
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