We believe that true “green” energy solutions do not involve destroying farmlands, forests, wildlife habitat, families, and homes.
Rural communities are under attack from big, corporate solar developers (some foreign) who want to build large-scale, industrial solar power plants on agricultural-and forestry-zoned land to take advantage of lower development costs. Citizens for Responsible Solar (CfRS) is dedicated to protecting the environment, historical landmarks, and landowners.
When you hear “solar,” you think “great".
But things are not always as they seem.
There is a dark side.
Good and effective use of solar
We promote the responsible use of solar energy, on commercial or residential rooftops, industrial-zoned land, marginal or contaminated land, and land that is sparsely populated.
Most American cities’ surfaces are 35-50% composed of pavement, and 40% of that pavement is parking lots. What a great use of solar and space!
An airport in Tennessee is now generating enough renewable energy to meet all its energy needs - a model that could be replicated by other airports.
In mid-June 2019, the southeastern Virginia parish flipped the switch on a 142-kilowatt solar energy system that will generate 100% of the parish's energy use from the sun. Read full article.
Bad and devastating impacts of solar
Industrial-Scale Solar power plants, which take up so much land and require a lot of resources to build, can have devastating impacts on the environment and nearby residents. Renewable energy policies can have unintended consequences.
The week before, the project was celebrated by officials. Only a half inch of rain caused this environmental disaster, feeding into the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay watershed, in Virginia. Watch video.
WIRED explains how solar panels are tricky to recycle. As the oldest ones expire, get ready for a solar e-waste glut. Read full article.
Millions of Californians were denied electrical power. Electricity from solar goes away at the very moment when the demand for electricity rises.
Let's look at some different types of energy efficiencies
Different energy types produce varied amounts of maximum Megawatts (MW) at any given time. The higher the MW, the more energy to power things. Look at solar - a lot of land, for little energy only during sunlight, so we need to consider the impact on the environment.
Lake Anna’s (Virginia USA) nuclear power plant produces 1,790 Megawatts (MW) of power with 2 generators.
Nuclear energy contributes a very small amount of emissions into the atmosphere.
Compare to Solar:
To produce the same amount of energy (MW) as Lake Anna's nuclear plant, you would need:
14,320 acres of land covered in solar panels.
An average natural gas-based power plant is around 800 Megawatts (MW).
Natural gas's combustion are much lower than those from coal or oil. Natural gas emits 50-60% less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant.
Compare to Solar:
To produce the same amount of energy (MW) as the average-sized gas-based plant, you would need:
6,400 acres of land covered in solar panels.
An average coal-based power plant is around 600 Megawatts (MW).
Coal-fired plants produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to produce steam. Air pollution from coal-fired power plants is linked to global warming, and other impacts.
Compare to Solar:
To produce the same amount of energy (MW) as the average-sized coal-based plant, you would need:
4,800 acres of land covered in solar panels.
Solar energy systems/power plants do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases. Using solar energy can have a positive impact, but when destroying natural vegetation and in the wrong areas has huge negative impacts on the environment, people, society, destroying history forever and the land.
A proposed 1,800 acres industrial solar project in Culpeper, Virginia
(see below), is only 80 Megawatts (MW).
If you care about the environment then please watch the video below
10 reasons industrial-scale solar isn't right for agricultural-rural areas
1. Industrial-scale solar power plants should not be placed on land already zoned for A-1 (agricultural) and RA (rural area) use.
The local planning commission and boards of supervisors should vote to reject large-scale solar plants based on this reason alone.
2. The land (forest, farmland, vegetation, soil) is
forever destroyed. Read more.
3. Solar projects should not be placed near wetlands, rivers, streams and tributaries to avoid immediate damage to water quality, and possible contamination-ecological disasters.
4. Solar power plants destroy wildlife habitat. Read more.
5. Solar power plants threaten preservation and should not destroy historic sites.
How did Citizens for Responsible Solar begin?
In 2018, beautiful and historic Culpeper, Virginia was targeted by solar developers (including a foreign company from Germany, Cricket Solar). We are still tirelessly united to stop large, industrial-scale solar projects from destroying our USA land and community.
In Culpeper, we are faced with
3 different proposed industrial solar plant projects,
= 4,500 acres of rural land to be destroyed, which is the size of:
The worst part, its all for little energy:
Greenwood Solar - 1,067 acres (100 MW)
Maroon Solar - 1,700 acres (149 MW)
Cricket Solar - 1,800 acres (80 MW)
5 things you need to know about solar
1. Industrial-scale solar power plants on rural land negatively impact our ecosystem and contribute to climate change.
Industrial-scale solar on agricultural land puts pressure on farming and food supply.
It isn’t “green” to cut down thousands of acres of trees to build large solar plants. Trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and slow global warming. Deforestation contributes to climate change.
2. Industrial-scale solar development is driven by
Big Tech demand and subsidized federal tax credits.
Big Tech companies buy RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) and claim their companies are powered 100% by renewables, while still being connected to electric grids that use fossil fuels. In reality, only a fraction of each company’s energy comes directly from solar or wind installations.
Lucrative federal tax credits and subsidies, paid by US taxpayers, incentivize the solar industry to build solar power plants. These incentives add cost and harm reliability.
3. Solar energy produces large amounts of toxic waste.
Solar waste is toxic. You thought the plastic landfills were bad; you wait for solar waste landfills. With current plans, the IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) calculates that by 2050 the disposal of worn out solar panels will constitute over double (x2) the tonnage of all of today’s global plastic waste.
4. Solar Energy is unreliable.
Solar panels do not produce electricity when it is dark or in bad weather. This makes solar unreliable and solar plants require 100% back up all the time by fossil fuels. Battery technology doesn't exist to store even 1 day of energy in the USA.
5. Solar Energy is NOT clean or free from CO2 emissions.
The sun is free, but harnessing the sun’s power into usable energy requires industrial processes to make cement, steel, glass and other components. These processes emit CO2. If your motive is to protect the environment, you might want to rethink wind, solar, and batteries because, like all machines, they're built from nonrenewable materials. Where’s all this stuff going to come from? Massive new mining operations, destroying more land that should be protected, and in places hostile to the U.S.