Dave Elliott: There has never been any shortage of critical commentary on renewables. Indeed, as they succeed and expand more it seems to increase! Australia’s Salt Bush Club is a reliable source of invective in this area. In a recent post it summarised its environmental case against renewables as follows: ‘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.’ Some of this is old stuff- which is being addressed. That may often only require relatively simple modifications. For example, wind turbine impacts on birds are relatively rare if the wind farms are properly sited, but collision risks can evidently be reduced even more (by 72%) if one blade is painted black. The scale of water use from hydrogen production is a newer issue. No one is suggesting that there will not be local environmental issues to deal with. We have to take any environmental impact issues seriously. However, far from being a major environmental problem, as Salt Bush and others have claimed, renewables arguably offer good new positive environmental and climate solutions – and are a better bet than nuclear.
Renew Extra 31st Oct 2020 read more »