The Truth About Solar Energy

Sep 17th, 2009 |

Will it lead us to the promised land?

I have written about solar energy as it relates to large solar arrays and the huge amount of land that is needed.  Here is an update.

Secretary of the Interior  Ken Salazar announced plans to blanket 1,000 square miles of land in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, and Utah with solar collectors.  He also dropped a bomb and said he wanted to generate 20% of our electricity from wind!  That translates to oh say about 186,000 50- story wind turbines which will cover the size of the state of West Virginia and about 19,000 miles of new high voltage transmission lines.  Way to go Ken,  sounds great until you really try and make it work.  Where are the environmentalist when you need one?    This stems from the Cap and Trade bill that passed the House. If you recall it requires electric utility companies to generate 20% of their electricity from wind and solar by 2020.  And this is supposed to create some jobs along the way.

products_wind1First concern is what in the heck will we do to the environment.  Take wind turbines.  You put that many blades in the air, you won’t see large populations of birds in the country ever again.  They will chew through every migration that we have ever witnessed in one season.  Second, solar maintenance.  You have to put them in gosh awful places to start.  Build the transmission lines and then… maintain them.  On a commercial site the panels have to be cleaned once a month (if the dust doesn’t blow) with water and a solvent, at night.  One, where are we getting the water ( it will turn up someplace) and two, how are we going to stop the chemical waste from leeching into the groundwater (oops… we forgot about that one).  And three, any animal that wanders to close gets baked from the heat.

It takes a 7 by 7 miles square piece of land to generate enough electricity from solar to equal the amount of one million megawatt hours. One square mile is all a  nuclear plant would need.  A solar plant is only good for certain hours of the day mind you.  Geothermal requires about 3 square miles, and bio -fuels require up to 500 square miles to produce the same amount of energy a nuclear plant does.  Coal eats up about 4 square miles, Solar-thermal takes 6, Natural Gas takes 8, Oil 18, Wind Farms 30 square miles to produce one million megawatt hours to power 90,000 homes.

So where is the concern about the new energy sprawl that will take place in these western states?  So lets line up all the wind turbines and put it into perspective.  Take 300 miles of turbines, line them up on some mountain range and let them rip.  Net result?  One quarter of the electricity generated by the TVA Watts Bar Nuclear plant.  One Quarter!!!  For 300 miles, the expense, the damage to the environment, etc… are you getting the picture?

Back to the solar array.  It will generate a paltry 35, 000 megawatts of electricity and only during the day.  For 1,000 square miles!  And this is how we become energy independent?  What in the hell is Ken Salazar smoking!  A 5th grader could see through this smokescreen.

We just cannot wish or dream our energy needs away and come up with plans I have mentioned above.  If we are going to invest the billions into energy independence, then by golly it better produce more than a stinking 35,000 megawatts!

nuclear_plantLet me be plain.  Nuclear, Oil, Natural Gas and Clean Coal.  The other types will only be supplemental to the goal, not the whole solution.  I am not trusting 20% of my future electricity needs to some solar panel array in the desert and either should the country.  Why don’t you put one in the outskirts of NYC and see how quickly the masses would protest.

This is a bad idea, bad policy and just bad for the country.  With China, and India, building nuclear and oil plants, how much longer will it be until we have to have brownouts as a daily routine, while they enjoy full power.  We must be the biggest putzes in their eyes.  I am one guy, but we just cannot get behind any further in the energy game.  Time for a new direction.

Paul Smith

Former Republican Candidate for the 5th Congressional District (Sacramento)

Delegate- California Republican Party

Owner:  WWW.SmithHeggumReport.com




Short URL: http://www.smithheggumreport.com/?p=321

Posted by on Dec 16 2010. Filed under Energy, Paul Smith, United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “The Truth About Solar Energy”

  1. excelent web. Good info congrats. This is one the best Aricles and advice I have read lately

  2. This gives you a whole new relationship with a kilowatt hour.

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