Green energy still more feasible
I appreciate John Lewis’ Aug. 14 letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper (“Facts about green energy”), in that he focuses on the often not mentioned cost in money and environmental damage involved in the solar and wind power industry.
That being said, I was unable to substantiate the accuracy of many of his statistics. As wind turbines come in many sized and used in many differing geographical and environmental conditions, the claim that “Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel (the number I found was 200-230 tons), 2,500 tons of concrete (which would be entirely dependent on location) and 45 tons of non-recyclable plastic” is a gross misrepresentation of the situation. He claims that electric car batteries weigh 1,000 pounds, but in truth, the average is 507 pounds and the battery is recyclable.
He further claims that “Wind and solar machines wear out and they are not renewable. Old equipment will create millions of tons of waste.” True, they will create waste, but the vast majority of the material is recyclable.
He goes on to state, “A wind or solar farm stretching as far as the eye can see can be replaced by a handful of gas generators the size of a tractor trailer” No mention of how big a “hand full” is, or “how far the eye can see.”
Totally missing from the letter is a comparative analysis of the true cost of fossil fuel generated electricity, which would have to include cost, environmental and health factors involved in drilling and transporting of fuel, plant construction cost, environmental cleanup costs, climate effects, pollution and disposal of waste products.
I am by no means saying that solar and wind power generation is not without negative consequences. What I am saying is that truly understand all the ramifications of any power source requires taking into account a myriad of factors in both the short and long term. No act stands alone.