Will Breezes and Sunshine Charge Governor Jay Inslee’s EVs?
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, like California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, is mandating that his state become all-electric. In doing so, Inslee demonstrates serious myopia. He cannot see the ugly side of his wind-, solar-, and EV-mandated world.
Such comprehensive dependence on wind and solar requires vast acreage for turbines and panels. The result? The pathetic destruction of pristine landscapes.
Further, after decades of experience around the world, wind turbines and solar panels have been found to have a life expectancy of about 20 years. Yet no one has discovered a financially viable means of recycling them. As a result, today’s old wind turbines and solar panels are being dumped into toxic waste dumps -- in vast quantities -- from which they can leak toxic chemicals, endangering water supply and ecosystems.
Today, estimates are that by 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels, much of it non-recyclable, will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over three million tons per year of unrecyclable materials from worn-out wind turbine blades.
Inslee could enhance his energy literacy by viewing a one-minute video produced by Epoch Times TV about renewables that only generate electricity, but manufacture nothing for society. The video has already been viewed by more than 800,000.
Wind turbine blades are made of a tough but pliable mix of resin and fiberglass -- similar to what spaceship parts are made from. Decommissioned blades are difficult and expensive to transport. They can be anywhere from 100 to 300 feet long and must be cut up on site before getting trucked away on specialized equipment to a landfill that may not have adequate capacity. Landfills that do have the capacity may not have equipment large enough to crush them.
Solar panels are mostly made of glass, which has low value as a recycled material, but they also have small amounts of silicon, silver, and copper as well as heavy metals (cadmium, lead, etc.) that some governments classify as hazardous waste. Hazardous waste can only be transported at designated times and via select routes. Because solar panels are delicate and bulky, specialized labor is required to detach and remove them to avoid their shattering and polluting local areas.
Before committing to an all-electric state, Washington has the opportunity to seek decommissioning, restoration, and recycling down to the last dandelion of every wind turbine, solar panel, and EV battery, just like we have for decommissioned mine, oil wells, or nuclear sites in America.
Inslee fails to comprehend “the nameplate farce” associated with his “green” renewables.
The problem with renewables is that they don’t work most of the time. There should be financial penalties for wind and solar power plants’ inability to deliver at least 90%, not the typical 24%, of their nameplate ratings on an annual basis, as do their coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plant competitors do, providing continuous, uninterrupted electricity. Subsidies and tax credits for wind and solar power plants are based on “nameplate ratings,” so they should be penalized when they cannot deliver the energy assumed in the permitting process.
Practically every windmill or solar panel requires backup by coal, natural gas, pumped storage hydro, or nuclear. Thus, understanding electricity generation’s true cost is paramount to choosing and prioritizing our future electricity generating systems.
As a result of the intermittency of wind and solar-generated electricity, Inslee is mandating that homes, businesses, hospitals, and the military run on occasional electricity, not the 24/7/365 electricity they have been used to for the last 60 years or more.
Washington, like California, is also phasing out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Neither state has yet to answer the question, “Where are the buyers, outside the elite profile of existing EV owners?”
Current EV ownership profiles are dominated by the oligarchic elite -- highly educated (college degrees), highly paid (average income $150,000), multi-car families with low mileage requirements for the family’s second (or third or fourth) car. That their EV’s are driven an average of just about 5,000 miles per year indicates that they’re not the household’s workhorse vehicle(s). They’re more like playthings.
Mandating a change to EV ownership and forced austerity may spark a rebellion from those that need transportation.
Through his continuous support of subsidies and tax credits to go “green,” Inslee is providing financial incentives to the developing countries mining for those exotic minerals and metals to support the “green” movement to continue environmental degradation to their local landscapes, and impose atrocities on yellow-, brown-, and black-skinned workers, many of them slave laborers or children, and almost all working in critically unsafe conditions, exploited by in the name of “green energy.”
Inslee lacks energy literacy. That may be why he avoids conversations about the ugly side of his “green” mandates.
Ronald Stein, co-author of Clean Energy Exploitations: Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses that Support Clean Energy, is a physical engineer and founder of PTS Advance, a business serving staffing solutions to businesses in the energy industry.
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