Not So Green

By Viv Forbes

Solar energy is very dilute, so solar collectors usually cover huge areas of flat arable land, stealing farmland, starving wild herbs and grasses of sunlight and creating “Solar Deserts”.

A Solar Desert expanding at Gannawarra in Victoria, Australia. Picture Credit ARENA

Wind turbines steal energy from winds which often bring moisture from the ocean. These walls of turbines then create rain shadows, producing more rain near the turbines and more droughts down-wind. Turbines work best along ridge lines where eagles also seek thermals, so birds and bats get chopped up by these whirling scythes. They also annoy neighbours with noise and increase bushfire risk.

They even spread their wall of wind towers offshore, so that less wind and rain even reaches the shore. Not green at all.

Wall of Wind Towers stealing energy from the Winds. Picture Credit Pixabay

Then we have the biofuels scandals. This is UN-promoted stupidity where forests are logged in America and shipped across the Atlantic to burn in a British power station; where native forests are cleared in Indonesia and Brazil to grow palm oil for bio-diesel; and where food grains are distilled to make ethanol fuel for motor vehicles. Nothing green about any of this.

Now green dreamers want to use our precious water to manufacture hydrogen in a round-robin electrolytic process that consumes far more energy than it can ever produce.

Electrolysis consumes nine tonnes of water plus heaps of electricity to make one tonne of hydrogen. This processed water is not recovered until the hydrogen is burned (unlike water in steam turbines where most water is reused and some escapes to the atmosphere via cooling towers.)

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”
Terry Pratchett

Hydrogen is a low-energy explosive gas. Collecting, storing and exporting it will be a hazardous business and producing it will consume scads of Australian water and electricity to generate trendy “green” fuel for Asia. Burning this fuel will release pure Australian water into polluted Asian skies. But the Australian Government is funding hydrogen speculation with $70 million.

Green Energy isn’t green. It has a huge cost in rare metals; it creates toxic waste problems; solar panels create solar deserts; turbines chop birds and steal wind and rain from inland areas; and now they want to steal fresh water and energy to export low-energy explosive hydrogen.

In contrast, coal is fossil sunshine. Burning it releases new energy for industry and its combustion products bring great benefits for the green world – water vapour, carbon dioxide plant food, and valuable plant micro-nutrients.

Why export our sunshine, wind and fresh water via hydrogen while leaving our abundant fossil sunshine locked underground as “politically stranded assets”?

All that is not green – it’s green stupidity.

Further Reading

Monumental, Unsustainable Environmental Impacts of Green Energy:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/05/monumental-unsustainable-environmental-impacts/

Hydrogen Strategy to nowhere:
https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/energy/hydrogen-strategy-to-nowhere%E2%80%A8/

Wind farms bring the Egyptian vulture to near-extinction in Andalusia:
ttp://savetheeaglesinternational.org/new/an-extinction-in-progress.html

Why Wind Won’t work:
http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/why-wind-wont-work.pdf

The Environmental Cost of “Renewable” Energy:
https://carbon-sense.com/2019/03/25/environmental-cost-of-renewable-energy/

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is set to gift $70 million to hydrogen speculators:

https://arena.gov.au/news/seven-shortlisted-for-70-million-hydrogen-funding-round/

 

6 thoughts on “Not So Green”

  1. Of course the other irony Viv, which I don’t think you mentioned, is that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (an aerial plant fertiliser) has in fact been responsible for the evident “greening” of the planet since satellite records began in 1979. Fossil fuels are therefore truly the “green” energy! Cheers, Philip Wood.

  2. Hi Viv,
    I have just received my emailed copy of the article featured here.
    Excellent work. A great article with great photos that drive the point home, as words cannot.

    You might like to include a link to a recent, very much on this topic, article at Stop These Things. The link is:
    https://stopthesethings.com/2020/09/12/how-green-is-this-millions-of-toxic-solar-panels-wind-turbine-blades-destined-for-landfill/
    As this STT article elaborates only too well, as the wind turbines and the solar panels wear out,
    as far as waste generation goes, the reality is that the noxious waste stream is in the billions of tonnes annually, is extremely toxic, and, unlike radioactive waste, has no means of decay.

  3. Not Green, it is a Brown Out……………………
    Try telling residents of Stirling North near Port Augusta South Australia, their houses are covered in dust every North Wind which is blown off the large solar farm North of Port Augusta.

  4. Viv: Reflecting on your comments about wind shadow and turbines, I don’t know if you are aware of a recent study into German wind problems, regarding spacing of turbines. The study says:

    “Offshore wind power needs sufficient space, as the full load operating time may otherwise shrink from currently around 4,000 hours per year to between 3,000 and 3,300 hours. The more turbines are installed in a region, the less efficient offshore wind production becomes due to a lack of wind recovery. If Germany were to install 50 to 70 GW solely in the German Bight, the number of full-load hours achieved by offshore wind farms would decrease considerably.”

    https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin2/Projekte/2019/Offshore_Potentials/176_A-EW_A-VW_Offshore-Potentials_Publication_WEB.pdf

    Turbine installation in Germany is declining – probably because they have finally come to the conclusion that it is inefficient. Despite the claims that turbines offshore always have wind, less than 10% of the rated capacity is achieved.

    https://notrickszone.com/2020/09/12/schizophrenic-german-wind-power-output-in-august-plagued-by-wild-volatility/

    Lower Saxony’s Minister of Energy and Environment says there is imminent catastrophe for wind power in Germany. He has noted that Germany now has close to the highest electricity price worldwide. It seems that the German electricity market is on the verge of collapse..

    https://stopthesethings.com/2018/08/13/germanys-renewable-energy-disaster-part-1-wind-solar-deemed-technological-failures/

    John Happs

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