Steve MacDonald: Trying to replace fossil fuels with solar will require burning coal

The following article by Steve MacDonald has been republished with permission from GraniteGrok.

You may have heard me say this a time or two. Neither wind nor solar is clean or green. They can’t even scratch the surface of our power needs now. Forget adding more demand from EVs or whatever. It’s all a lie, and a very dirty lie.

First, there’s this:

President Joe Biden declared a 24-month tariff exemption for solar panel products from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and announced the use of the Defense Production Act to promote domestic production. The news was first reported by Reuters. The move comes as a Commerce Department investigation into the solar industry in Southeast Asia has added more hurdles to importing equipment.

There is a credible link between the components these companies will use and China/human rights violations, including slave labor (are we paying them reparations too?). And yes, it matters, but I don’t want to get too far from my point. Biden thinks solar will help ease the pain caused by his war on oil and gas. To get there, he’s opening up the Asian solar market. This will divert billion to China, which dominates the sector.

And it will cause millions of tons of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere (if that is supposed to matter):

Manufacturers of solar panels need lots of high-quality coal and a big industrial base to process the silicon, and Xinjiang (China) has both. Vast amounts of coal are consumed by the chemical process which reduces quartz to silicon, and further coal is required to fuel the furnaces which heat the raw materials to the temperature required to initiate and sustain the chemical reaction which refines the silicon.

Most of the other materials needed, including rare earth metals, are increasingly expensive and come from enemies or frenemies. But without silicon, you can’t build the things, and that manufacturing process has a massive carbon footprint (again, if that’s supposed to matter).

Scaling up solar will enrich our enemies, divert billions (trillions?) away from America, and make us more dependent on them for a fundamental necessity of modern life (electricity). And I’ve not even broached the impact on economics or national defense. You can’t defend America on “green” power.

Oh yeah, and it’s going to puke an insane amount of “emissions” into the biosphere from places with few, if any, controls. These bits will then need to be shipped to wherever they are processed, to where they are assembled, and then to their destination in diesel-powered freighters every leg of the way.

Trucked to solar facilities, trucked to installation locations, and then installed. And we will need to deal with the end-of-life solar waste nightmare — a toxic and carbon-intensive problem. All in the name of “green” energy that can’t even meet a fraction of our needs.

I guess that explains why Biden and Democrats love it so much. It does nothing to lower emissions (if that’s supposed to matter), hurts us, and enriches our enemies for less than nothing. None of which will impact their lifestyles, unless by ‘impact’ you mean improve them. And that sounds a lot like the accusations the left directs at supporters of fossil fuels. And maybe that still holds. But at least with big oil, we got American jobs, prosperity, national security, and affordable energy.

Wind and solar make us more vulnerable for less than nothing.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Rob Loftis/CC BY 3.0

4 thoughts on “Steve MacDonald: Trying to replace fossil fuels with solar will require burning coal

  1. And further.
    We hear very little about the recycling of solar panels and wind turbines.
    I know someone that installed solar panels for a living- and he said the things were a disaster in the works. (He did this because it was a good job-but as the years went on, he grew to see these are not good)
    He tells me that he remembers when solar panels were made in America, he never knew what high quality ours were until he started working with the ones from China.
    He’s telling me that we have no idea what is going on as the rain runs off these things into the ground water as they age out and degrade- look at what they are made up.
    The weather destroys ANYTHING and Everything eventually.

    Anyone remember what went on with the soil at the base of the eaves when we used lead based paints?
    Who says that we are not going to have that happen again.

    I predict that it took a loan to buy these solar panels and it’s going to take a loan to get rid of them.
    Further, I predict that this will become another thing like septic systems- old ones are required to be upgraded before a house can be sold.
    You watch, as we live and learn (if we do) we are going to see that if your solar array is aging out, it’s going to have to be disposed of by the homeowner.. then you’ve got a roof to fix.
    So look at the business that will grow… and what it will cost the unlucky schlep with the old solar array to deal with.
    We do a whole lot of bad things under the guise of doing “good things”.

    You live and watch this show long enough and things become very predictable.

  2. Based on our current electrical power grid –
    20% of the EVs on the road are coal-powdered
    40% of the EVs on the road are natural gas-powered.
    20% of the EVs on the road are nuclear-powered.
    (Wind and solar, when making power, might provide 1-3% depending on hour of the day.)

  3. Another Liberal Frenzy; accomplishing only waste and fraud.
    All electric? How is this magic electricity generated – no progressives care, or want to know.

    Electric is sacred, comes from God?!

  4. Here’s followup to the above article – “Enviro Dopes On Parade”….It happened a couple days ago, in Detroit, with GM showing off is EV vehicle:

    ““General Motors (GM) spokesperson Kristin Zimmerman has become something of an internet sensation for letting the cat out of the bag that their new “electric” car is charged by a power plant that runs on coal, so basically, their new car at the moment would actually run on about 95 percent coal….During an unveiling of the new Chevy Volt, Zimmerman demonstrated for the media how the supposedly “green” vehicle is simply plugged into a power source for energy. And this power source, at least in Michigan, is mostly (95% in detroit) burned coal…… Electric cars run off electricity, electricity provided by a power plant, a plant that runs primarily off coal, which actually is a worse pollutant than a gas-powered engine…..While some areas of the country are heavy on nuclear and hydro power sources, the fact remains that coal is still what powers America. Consequently, electric vehicles are nothing more than “greenwashed virtue signaling tools” to make climate fanatics feel as though they are better than everybody else.”

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