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Green Energy Truths

Green energy, what exactly is that? We hear the term green energy all the time. A search for a definition brings up many different answers. Basically it is energy from a renewable source (sun, wind, water, etc…) that does not harm humans or the environment. In theory that is great and I am all for it myself, in practice we are making strides in these technologies. It is the application on a large enough scale to change our country that is the problem. The real life daily use to replace fossil fuels is still in the future. Lets try look at the technology from a neutral position.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is derived from the sun, collected by panels (there are different types) and converted into an electrical supply for consumer use. Of course like everything there are pros and cons, lets look at them.

Pros: The energy itself is free once you have used enough to offset the cost of equipment and installation (the systems are relatively maintenance free).

As long as the sun is shining you are making electricity

Clean technology, no harm to man or environment, I list this one with many reservations. The industry and people pushing the green the agenda fail to explain that the manufacturing process creates many of the same toxic byproducts as those found in semiconductor production, including silicon tetrachloride, dusts, and greenhouse gases like sulfur hexafluoride.

Cons: The price is cost prohibitive for most Americans unless they are financing a new house (or a remodel) and include it in their mortgage. Some companies have lease programs, though I don’t see the logic in that.

You still need to be hooked to your local electrical grid for several reasons, you don’t always have sun (clouds and pollution have an effect). Depending on your needs (which vary with location in the US), your system may not supply enough for everything you want.

When it’s dark out you get nothing from the system.

The myth these systems are maintenance free is just that, a myth. They say because there are no moving parts, nothing to wear out, not true! There are components like power inverters, batteries, etc… that wear out.

Batteries are an integral part of your system, many toxins are produced in the manufacture of them, and what about the disposal issues involved at end of life? They themselves contain toxins hazardous to man and the environment.

This is an issue no one has brought up yet that I have seen talked about. But if they are mounted on the roof of your house, and you need to do roof or structural repairs, what then?

I am not for or against solar energy, I don’t believe the technology is quite ready yet (it is close though) for mass consumption, and the cost needs to be brought down to a more controlled level.

Wind

Wind energy is produced from wind causing movement of a set of windmills or turbines, this movement normally turns a shaft for a generatorthus producing power.

to be continued……

 

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