The energy portion of the utopian “Green New Deal” would require the U.S. to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Such a proposal shows a profound and dangerous ignorance of how things work. Let’s examine just one aspect of this. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts is quoted as saying: “Our energy future will not be found in the dark of a mine but in the light of the sun.”
Some simple questions for you Ed: Where will we get all the materials needed to construct the solar panels and wind turbines? Might they have to be mined? Might the metals and other materials used to build the equipment to manufacture the solar panels and wind turbines have to be mined? Might the copper for distribution lines have to be mined? By the way, electric cars use five times more copper than traditional fossil-fuel powered cars.
Manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines require mining minerals that currently are unavailable in the quantities required for this transition to 100% renewable energy. The U.S. is 100% dependent on imports from China, Russia and other countries of rare-earth elements used in the manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines. (Note: many of these elements do occur in the western states of the U.S. on federal land, but environmentalists and federal regulations prevent mining.)
Solar and wind are not as “green” as advertized. For instance:
Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants. (Source) PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. Nitrogen trifluoride, used in the manufacturing of solar panels, is a powerful greenhouse gas with a “global warming potential” of 17,200 times that of carbon dioxide. (Source)
Wind turbines chop up birds and bats and also affect human health due to the low frequency vibration.
Both utility-scale solar and wind installations use much more land than do similar capacity fossil-fuel generation stations, and thereby degrade the local environment.
The utopian “Green New Deal” if implemented, may become the dystopian green deal.
Note to readers: