The Biden administration is ignoring the problem of waste and pollution in its pursuit of renewable energy, writes the Institute of Energy Research (IER).
“Electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines result in a massive amount of waste and pollution. China is responsible for half of the total electric vehicles in the world—a number that is growing rapidly. About half of its retired batteries are not disposed in an environmentally sound way, causing significant waste and pollution problems . . . .”
IER cites an article in the Epoch Times (a newspaper that focuses on problems caused by the Chinese Communist Party). It quotes Jiang Tianming, a Hong King :financial analyst, who criticizes Chinese policies that promote electrical vehicles. “These policies resulted in a fast-growing industry, However, if the retired batteries cannot be recycled effectively and environmentally friendly, the statement that new energy cars are ‘clean’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ is undoubtedly a false proposition.”
IER also discusses waste caused by solar panels and wind turbines.
On solar panels:
“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.”
On wind turbines:
“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 the capacity for the blades. Landfills that do have the capacity may not have equipment large enough to crush them. “
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.
5 thoughts on “Renewables: Oh, the Waste!”
Over $3 trillion has been spent on renewable energy projects in the US since 2004, and the figure has now stabilized at about $300 billion for each one of the last six years. For a cost comparison, nuclear power plants – another source of clean and green electricity and also heat – cost $4 million. Not billions, just millions. Hundreds of them could have been producing power for the money spent on renewables , making our country and the world cleaner and richer as a result.