Under Obama, solar energy was promoted as the best, most practical solution to preventing the release of green-house gases such as carbon dioxide.
A federal report just released by the Environmental Protection Agency shows the production of solar panels has led to a substantial increase in in a compound that is 17,200 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. - Leslie Eastman
Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.
Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. -Mark Nelson
State renewable-energy policies, such as those encouraging solar use, are creating a kind of "energy inequality", one that benefits wealthier Americans at the expense of the poor. While solar power itself may be a good thing, government-sponsored sweetheart deals for the solar industry—like "net-metering," for example—are increasing energy costs for low-income households across America.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Oops, Energy, Waste
A leading activist has raised concerns over the ecological impact of solar panels — a renewable energy technology widely considered to be harmless to the environment.
Michael Shellenberger — the president of Environmental Progress, a nonprofit organization working to promote clean energy — detailed the real life impacts of discarded solar installation. Solar technology typically contains cadmium, lead and other toxic chemicals that can’t be extracted without taking apart the whole panel, resulting in entire solar panels being considered hazardous, Shellenberger noted...
In Virginia, for example, a group of locals are pushing back against a proposal to construct a 6,350 acre solar farm in Spotsylvania County.
“We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake stated to Shellenberger. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.”
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Energy
Britain's biggest solar farms receive more cash from green subsidies than from selling the electricity they produce, figures reveal. Energy producers were encouraged to start solar farms with generous handouts funded by a ‘green levy’ on taxpayers’ bills.
But many of them now make the majority of their cash from the subsidy – instead of the electricity they produce.
The total subsidy provided to all generators of solar electricity last year is estimated to be about £1.2billion. This was part of the £5.6billion subsidy paid to green energy producers, which critics say inflates household energy bills...
The payouts were offered to help increase the amount of ‘green’ energy produced in the UK.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Narrative, Oops, Energy, Waste
Clean energy may not be so clean after all. A new study by Environmental Progress (EP) warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat. The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear power plants.
Discarded solar panels, which contain dangerous elements such as lead, chromium, and cadmium, are piling up around the world, and there’s been little done to mitigate their potential danger to the environment.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Narrative, Oops, Energy, Waste
Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of electricity generated than nuclear power plants, according to a Thursday report from the pro-nuclear group Environmental Progress (EP). The report found that solar panels use heavy metals, including lead, chromium and cadmium, which can harm the environment...
Terry said that solar panels use hazardous materials like sulfuric acid and toxic phosphine gas in their manufacturing. Recycling these materials is extremely difficult and the panels have relatively short operational lifespans. “The chemical processing involved in manufacturing solar panels is significant,” Terry said. “Right now, we’re just offshoring it and placing the waste problem onto other people.”
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Crime, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops, Energy, Debt, Jobs
Abound Solar, the defunct solar-panel manufacturer, is under criminal investigation for possible securities fraud, consumer fraud and financial misrepresentation, the Weld County district attorney's office said Thursday.
Loveland-based Abound closed its Colorado plant in July and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in a move that left 125 workers without jobs and taxpayers holding the bag for up to $60 million in defaulted loans. Abound has become the subject of political controversy over its failure after the U.S. Department of Energy approved up to $400 million in federal loan guarantees for the company.
Environmentalist, Government, Incompetence, Obama
SpectraWatt, the solar-cell manufacturer that began operating here in early 2010 to great acclaim, only to close a year later, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Crime, Government, Obama, Financial, Fraud, Narrative, Oops, Greed, Debt
Three of the country’s most prolific installers of residential solar panels are under federal investigation to determine if they inflated the cost of their work to increase the payments they would receive from the government...
SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity have received subpoenas from the Treasury Department’s office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits the firms tapped for performing work. The probe seeks to determine whether the companies accurately reported the market value of their costs when applying for federal reimbursement, which was calculated at one-third of the costs.
The solar companies received money through the Treasury’s $13 billion program, known as the 1603 program, which used funds from President Obama’s stimulus initiative to offer cash grants to clean-energy developers.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Financial, Brilliance, Oops, Energy, Waste
Rooftop solar panels installed at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa, Florida are producing less than half their promised power, county records reveal.
Rather than lowering electricity costs, as promised, the poor-performing solar panels are causing a dramatic increase in electricity costs... Government officials said the solar panels, costing $1.2 million, would pay for themselves in electricity cost savings...
At $27,000 per year, it would take 45 years to recover the solar panels’ costs. Accounting for inflation, it would take closer to 50 years to recover the costs. However, solar panels have a typical lifespan of only 15 to 20 years.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Funny, Oops, Energy, Protest, Metaphor
Greenpeace built a solar-and-battery microgrid for a village that had been waiting for decades to get access to central grid power.
The villagers were disappointed to find that solar power was both expensive and unable to provide enough juice for the village's needs. As the story says, "When the former chief minister of Bihar state visited to inaugurate the [solar microgrid], villagers lined up to protest, chanting, 'We want real electricity, not fake electricity!'"
Environmentalist, Oops, Energy
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors near the California-Nevada border, is capable of producing nearly 400 megawatts, but its roughly 350,000 solar-thermal, computer-controlled mirrors which reflect sunlight to boilers on the top of 459-foot towers, has apparently already killed dozens of birds. The intense 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit around the towers is burning birds flying through its path.
"Ivanpah is a bird sink - and an cautionary tale unfolding on public lands. It continues to operate as though there's an endless supply of birds to burn."
Environmentalist, Liberal, Oops, Energy
More than 100 birds have been injured during testing of a new solar power farm. Biologists say 130 birds caught fire mid-air while entering an area of concentrated solar energy created by the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Election, Character, Narrative, Oops, Crazy, Demagoguery, Energy, Academia
A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke against the blue desert sky. Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle: “Streamers.”...
Federal biologists say about 6,000 birds die from collisions or immolation annually while chasing flying insects around the facility’s three 40-story towers, which catch sunlight from five square miles of garage-door-size mirrors to drive the plant’s power-producing turbines.
Environmentalist, Hypocrisy, Liberal, Incompetence, Oops, Energy
Solar energy sites across California are harming animal habitats, wildlife and farms, according to a new study by the Carnegie Institution of Science.
Researchers found that 85 percent of solar sites are built on undeveloped natural landscapes and not already developed land. The Carnegie study claims more than 28 percent of solar plants are built on pastures or cropland. The study confirms concerns among environmentalists that solar farms are harming natural landscapes.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Energy, Greed, Jobs
Elon Musk’s energy company SolarCity used multi-million dollar state tax credits to fund prison labor for its solar panels. SolarCity is a top company in the U.S. renewable energy sector, raising questions about labor oversight in green technology... Instead of stimulating the local employment market, however, SolarCity went through an energy company named Suniva, a Goldman Sachs-backed vendor that builds solar modules in Oregon’s Sheridan Federal Prison through inmate labor. Grist reports that prisoners were paid less than a dollar an hour for their work.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Oops, Energy
An expensive solar road project in Idaho can’t even power a microwave most days, according to the project’s energy data. The Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project generated an average of 0.62 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day since it began publicly posting power data in late March. To put that in perspective, the average microwave or blow drier consumes about 1 kWh per day...
Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways has been in development for 6.5 years and received a total of $4.3 million in funding to generate 90 cents worth of electricity.
Environmentalist, Government, Financial, Oops, Energy
Once ballyhooed as the technology of the future bearing the promise of economic revival in Germany, solar equipment manufacturing has crumbled and gone the way of dinosaurs, all in a matter of a decade. So rapidly can economic evolution send subsidized industries into extinction.
Germany’s last remaining major solar manufacturer, Bonn-based Solarworld, led by a flamboyant Frank Asbeck, has officially declared it will file for insolvency after 6 years of red ink (operating results). The announcement was made Wednesday.