Reality Check on Owen Brown Oct 22 Letter to Editor
Let’s review these claims and see how they hold up to reality.
- China is not going renewable
- Claim – China intends to meet its energy needs by building nuclear and coal plants until at least 2035.
- Reality – “China’s renewable energy sector is growing faster than its fossil fuels and nuclear power capacity”. While Mr Brown gave no reference I suggest you check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_China. This is only one of several sources that demonstrate that China is the world’s leading country in electricity production from renewable energy sources, with over double the generation of the second-ranking country, the United States. Could it be that Mr Browns finds it easier to just make up his claims?
- One is cheaper than two
- Claim – No one would want two power sources instead of one
- Reality – Many times we find that it is preferable to have two alternative solutions rather than one. Let’s consider owner-operator over the road truck drivers. Each one certainly has a semi-tractor that can be used as personal transportation when not pulling a trailer. However, most owner-operators also prefer to maintain a smaller personal vehicle they use when they do not need to pull a trailer. By Mr. Brown’s logic, they do not need the smaller vehicle. However, they have found the smaller vehicle cheaper to run when they do not need the capabilities of the semi-tractor. Solar and fossil fuel plants are much the same. During the day, because solar has no fuel cost, its electricity is more economical. Every KW-Hr produced by the sun saves fuel plus wear and tear on modern fossil fuel generators that respond quickly to demand changes.
- Solar causes electric to cost more
- Claim – Gemany demonstrates solar costs more.
- Reality – Comparing retail energy prices between USA and Germany is meaningless. Because Germany lacks our country’s bountiful fossil fuel resources, their retail energy has cost much more than ours. On Oct 22, 2021 95 Octane 5% ethanol gasoline cost $7.30 gal in Pforzheim, German. Just as comparing our gasoline cost to theirs tells us nothing about solar, neither does comparing their electric price. Energy costs more in Germany. My engineering friend told me that their electric rates have gone up in recent years, but that rise had nothing to do with solar. Rather Germany invested heavily in nuclear power, but after the Fukushima accident, the German government announced that it was phasing out nuclear power. Their electric price rise is paying to decommission those nuclear plants that did not produce for their expected life.
- “Many experts say”
- Claim – Long term solar dependant on becoming self sufficent
- Reality – “Many experts say” is a variation on “THEY SAY”, which often means the speaker is winging it. I notice Mr. Brown again fails to name these experts or tell us where we can review their supporting evidence and check their credentials. It seems Mr. Brown will favor solar if I can show him solar will be self supporting. Let’s first agree that we must base our decisions on current reality, not some hoped-for future. We could argue about which energy source has subsidies, but wishing does not make it so. Therefore let’s forgo debating energy subsidies.
- Reading this link will show solar is already the least cost in many states and will be the least cost in KY in 2022.
- Reading this link will show Wind and Gas Combined Cycle are the only sources whose average cost is less than solar.
In summary, Mason County needs to,
- protect our precious topsoil from the erosion of continuous cash grain and livestock on our soils in February and March.
- protect our agricultural land from being subdivided into house lots along road frontage or losing whole farms to subdivisions.
- protecct our watersheds from ag chemical polution
- replace income lost with the decline tobacco and dairy
- increase the income of our local taxing districts
- Produce a product that will encourage folks outside our county to send money to Mason County citizens.
Solar can do all of this unless we do not let a few folks “Stop-Solar” to protect their personal views. If you let them, they will run the same game plan they used with Wind. They do not want well-regulated solar. The Stop-Solar crowd lobbies for zoning rules that make solar uneconomical. Mason County’s future depends on you. Will you speak up at the Nov 16 and Nov 18, 2021, public meetings where the Joint Planning Commission gives you the opportunity to speak on the record?