Help us protect agricultural-forestry zoned land from large, industrial-scale solar developments
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Voices of Culpeper
Culpeper's History and Environment
Susan Ralston, CEO, Citizens Responsible...
Culpeper: Our poll finds the majority oppose industrial solar on agricultural-zoned land
Susan goes through the poll findings, and conveys that the majority do not want utility scale solar panels on our beautiful land. There are so many environmental dangers. Let's work together to put in a solar policy that balances the rights and needs of residences.
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Solar and Renewable Energy Industry
Nobody expected 'very left-wing' Michael Moore to issue a film 'critical of renewables'
Michael Moore's new film 'The Planet of the Humans' marks the beginning of a "grand awakening" to the impacts of renewables on the natural environment says Environmental Progress founder Michael Shellenberger. Mr Moore has garnered fame and accolades for his documentaries over the last two decades, and has himself been an activist for broadly left issues including environmental protectionism. In his new film he exposes the renewable energy sector as not being entirely green or clean as well as criticising large corporations for virtue signalling on this issue. Mr Shellenberger said Moore is a "very left-wing person who people did not expect to issue a movie that was so critical of renewables". He told Sky News host Chris Kenny, the problem with renewable energy is its fuel is "very energy dilute, you have to spread a huge amount of energy collectors," be it solar panels or wind turbines, over a huge area, "so the land requirements are absolutely enormous". Many people have politicised the issue of energy and environmentalism, but Mr Shellenberger said the problems with renewables exist "whether you have a capitalist society or a socialist society". "They have to do with the inherent physical nature of renewable energy … the better energy sources have more energy, they're higher energy density that means you use less of the natural environment". "It's impossible to just dismiss the people who are raising these concerns anymore as climate deniers or as right-wingers". Image: Getty
What's Wrong with Wind and Solar?
Are wind, solar, and batteries the magical solutions to all our energy needs? Or do they come with too high a price? Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, analyzes the true cost — both economic and environmental — of so-called green energy. FOLLOW us! Facebook: 👉https://www.facebook.com/prageru Twitter: 👉https://twitter.com/prageru Instagram: 👉https://instagram.com/prageru/ SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a new video! 👉 https://www.prageru.com/join/ To view the script, sources, quiz, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/whats-wrong-with-wind-and-solar Join PragerU's text list to have these videos, free merchandise giveaways and breaking announcements sent directly to your phone! https://optin.mobiniti.com/prageru Do you shop on Amazon? Click https://smile.amazon.com and a percentage of every Amazon purchase will be donated to PragerU. Same great products. Same low price. Shopping made meaningful. SHOP! Love PragerU? Now you can wear PragerU merchandise! Visit our store today! https://shop.prageru.com/ JOIN PragerFORCE! For Students: http://l.prageru.com/2aozfkP JOIN our Educators Network! http://l.prageru.com/2aoz2y9 Script: Have you ever heard of "unobtanium"? It's the magical energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie, Avatar. It's a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they've found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power. They think all the energy we need can be supplied by building enough wind and solar farms; and enough batteries. The simple truth is that we can't. Nor should we want to—not if our goal is to be good stewards of the planet. To understand why, consider some simple physics realities that aren't being talked about. All sources of energy have limits that can't be exceeded. The maximum rate at which the sun's photons can be converted to electrons is about 33%. Our best solar technology is at 26% efficiency. For wind, the maximum capture is 60%. Our best machines are at 45%. So, we're pretty close to wind and solar limits. Despite PR claims about big gains coming, there just aren't any possible. And wind and solar only work when the wind blows and the sun shines. But we need energy all the time. The solution we're told is to use batteries. Again, physics and chemistry make this very hard to do. Consider the world's biggest battery factory, the one Tesla built in Nevada. It would take 500 years for that factory to make enough batteries to store just one day's worth of America's electricity needs. This helps explain why wind and solar currently still supply less than 3% of the world's energy, after 20 years and billions of dollars in subsidies. Putting aside the economics, 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. Consider some sobering numbers: A single electric-car battery weighs about half a ton. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving, and processing more than 250 tons of earth somewhere on the planet. Building a single 100 Megawatt wind farm, which can power 75,000 homes requires some 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete, as well as 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the huge blades. To get the same power from solar, the amount of cement, steel, and glass needed is 150% greater. Then there are the other minerals needed, including elements known as rare earth metals. With current plans, the world will need an incredible 200 to 2,000 percent increase in mining for elements such as cobalt, lithium, and dysprosium, to name just a few. Where's all this stuff going to come from? Massive new mining operations. Almost none of it in America, some imported from places hostile to America, and some in places we all want to protect. Australia's Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global "gold" rush for energy materials will take miners into "…remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven't yet been disturbed." And who is doing the mining? Let's just say that they're not all going to be union workers with union protections. Amnesty International paints a disturbing picture: "The… marketing of state-of-the-art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks." And then the mining itself requires massive amounts of conventional energy, as do the energy-intensive industrial processes needed to refine the materials and then build the wind, solar, and battery hardware. Then there's the waste. Wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries have a relatively short life; about twenty years. Conventional energy machines, like gas turbines, last twice as long. For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/whats-wrong-with-wind-and-solar
Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy?
Is green energy, particularly wind and solar energy, the solution to our climate and energy problems? Or should we be relying on things like natural gas, nuclear energy, and even coal for our energy needs and environmental obligations? Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains. Donate today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2ylo1Yt Joining PragerU is free! Sign up now to get all our videos as soon as they're released. http://prageru.com/signup Download Pragerpedia on your iPhone or Android! Thousands of sources and facts at your fingertips. iPhone: http://l.prageru.com/2dlsnbG Android: http://l.prageru.com/2dlsS5e Join Prager United to get new swag every quarter, exclusive early access to our videos, and an annual TownHall phone call with Dennis Prager! http://l.prageru.com/2c9n6ys Join PragerU's text list to have these videos, free merchandise giveaways and breaking announcements sent directly to your phone! https://optin.mobiniti.com/prageru Do you shop on Amazon? Click https://smile.amazon.com and a percentage of every Amazon purchase will be donated to PragerU. Same great products. Same low price. Shopping made meaningful. VISIT PragerU! https://www.prageru.com FOLLOW us! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prageru Twitter: https://twitter.com/prageru Instagram: https://instagram.com/prageru/ PragerU is on Snapchat! JOIN PragerFORCE! For Students: http://l.prageru.com/29SgPaX JOIN our Educators Network! http://l.prageru.com/2c8vsff Script: Are wind and solar power the answer to our energy needs? There’s a lot of sun and a lot of wind. They’re free. They’re clean. No CO2 emissions. So, what’s the problem? Why do solar and wind combined provide less than 2% of the world’s energy? To answer these questions, we need to understand what makes energy, or anything else for that matter, cheap and plentiful. For something to be cheap and plentiful, every part of the process to produce it, including every input that goes into it, must be cheap and plentiful. Yes, the sun is free. Yes, wind is free. But the process of turning sunlight and wind into useable energy on a mass scale is far from free. In fact, compared to the other sources of energy -- fossil fuels, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power, solar and wind power are very expensive. The basic problem is that sunlight and wind as energy sources are both weak (the more technical term is dilute) and unreliable (the more technical term is intermittent). It takes a lot of resources to collect and concentrate them, and even more resources to make them available on-demand. These are called the diluteness problem and the intermittency problem. The diluteness problem is that, unlike coal or oil, the sun and the wind don’t deliver concentrated energy -- which means you need a lot of additional materials to produce a unit of energy. For solar power, such materials can include highly purified silicon, phosphorus, boron, and a dozen other complex compounds like titanium dioxide. All these materials have to be mined, refined and/or manufactured in order to make solar panels. Those industrial processes take a lot of energy. For wind, needed materials include high-performance compounds for turbine blades and the rare-earth metal neodymium for lightweight, specialty magnets, as well as the steel and concrete necessary to build structures -- thousands of them -- as tall as skyscrapers. And as big a problem as diluteness is, it’s nothing compared to the intermittency problem. This isn’t exactly a news flash, but the sun doesn’t shine all the time. And the wind doesn’t blow all the time. The only way for solar and wind to be truly useful would be if we could store them so that they would be available when we needed them. You can store oil in a tank. Where do you store solar or wind energy? No such mass-storage system exists. Which is why, in the entire world, there is not one real or proposed independent, freestanding solar or wind power plant. All of them require backup. And guess what the go-to back-up is: fossil fuel. Here’s what solar and wind electricity look like in Germany, which is the world’s leader in “renewables”. The word erratic leaps to mind. Wind is constantly varying, sometimes disappearing completely. And solar produces little in the winter months when Germany most needs energy. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/can-we-rely-wind-and-solar-energy
Why Are Utilities So Expensive?
The cost of producing electricity has dropped significantly in the last decade. So why haven’t we seen those price drops reflected in our electricity bills? Charles McConnell, former Assistant Secretary of Energy in the Obama Administration, answers this riddle. FOLLOW us! Facebook: 👉https://www.facebook.com/prageru Twitter: 👉https://twitter.com/prageru Instagram: 👉https://instagram.com/prageru/ SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a new video! 👉 https://www.prageru.com/join/ To view the script, sources, quiz, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/why-are-utilities-so-expensive Join PragerU's text list to have these videos, free merchandise giveaways, and breaking announcements sent directly to your phone! https://optin.mobiniti.com/prageru Do you shop on Amazon? Click https://smile.amazon.com and a percentage of every Amazon purchase will be donated to PragerU. Same great products. Same low price. Shopping made meaningful. SHOP! Love PragerU? Now you can wear PragerU merchandise! Visit our store today! https://shop.prageru.com/ Script: Why does your electricity bill keep going up when the cost of producing electricity keeps going down? Since 2010, the price of natural gas has fallen 43% and coal prices have dropped 11%. And yet, the price of electricity for residential users in the U.S. has risen 13% over that time. Why? Because almost all the money Americans should have saved (and we’re talking serious money) went to subsidize renewable energy. Wind and solar, it turns out, are more expensive than advertised. Perhaps if renewable energy was what made our air cleaner, or what caused the dramatic reductions in CO2 over the last decade, you could say it was worth it. But our air was already becoming dramatically cleaner long before wind and solar were identified as “environmentally critical.” Emissions of harmful pollutants have decreased 77% in the US since 1970. And that had nothing to do with wind and solar. It was almost entirely due to the switch from coal to natural gas. So if we’re getting no cost savings from wind and solar, and minimal benefits in terms of cleaner air or reductions in CO2, why are we so obsessed with it? The question becomes even sharper if we take a close look at your electricity bill. It consists of three main parts. Part One: Generation Cost. Part Two: Transmission Cost. Part Three: Taxes and Fees. Part One: Generation Cost The cost of generating and reliably maintaining electricity comprises about 50% of your power bill. ln order to keep the lights on, the demand for and supply of electricity must be satisfied at all times. Fossil-fueled electricity is inexpensive, and the fuel can be stored or sourced on site—the electricity is there when you need it. In contrast, wind and solar generate electricity based on the mood of Mother Nature. This is known as the intermittency problem. Here’s what it means in practical terms: For every wind and solar farm you build, you need a fossil fuel facility nearby to supply electricity on demand. This is what filmmaker Michael Moore and his team found out, much to their shock, when researching green energy for their documentary, Planet of the Humans. All that wasted money is reflected in your electricity bill. Part Two: Transmission Cost The cost to transmit electricity is determined by the distance between the power plant and your home or business. This is one of the reasons fossil fuel and nuclear plants are ideally suited to power our large, dense cities and industries. They require little land space and can be situated near or within population centers, so they need relatively few transmission lines. But wind and solar resources require large tracts of land and are therefore usually placed in remote locations. That remoteness requires expensive new infrastructure. Texas, for example, has already spent over $7 billion in new transmission lines to bring distant wind power to cities in the east and south. And billions more will be required. Texans are already seeing those costs in their energy bills. But Texas is not unique. It’s happening everywhere. Part Three: Taxes and Fees Most taxes are plainly stated on your power bill. State taxes, city and county taxes, plus a bewildering assortment of fees—those are bad enough. But what you won’t see on your electricity bill are the federal and, in many places, state taxes that you pay to subsidize wind and solar generation. Federal subsidies alone for the wind and solar industries totaled more than $70 billion from 2010 to 2019. Most state governments kick in their own incentives. The subsidies for wind and solar are in a class by themselves, and have been for decades. We are not incentivizing new technology, but are artificially supporting an industry. Take away the subsidies and, very likely, that industry does not exist. For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/why-are-utilities-so-expensive
Do We Have to Destroy the Earth to Save It?
Do wind turbines and solar farms hold the keys to saving the environment? Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress and noted climate activist, used to think so. Now he’s not so sure. He explains why in this important video. FOLLOW us! Facebook: 👉https://www.facebook.com/prageru Twitter: 👉https://twitter.com/prageru Instagram: 👉https://instagram.com/prageru/ SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a new video! 👉 https://www.prageru.com/join/ To view the script, sources, quiz, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/do-we-have-to-destroy-the-earth-to-save-it/ Join PragerU's text list to have these videos, free merchandise giveaways and breaking announcements sent directly to your phone! https://optin.mobiniti.com/prageru Do you shop on Amazon? Click https://smile.amazon.com and a percentage of every Amazon purchase will be donated to PragerU. Same great products. Same low price. Shopping made meaningful. SHOP! Love PragerU? Now you can wear PragerU merchandise! Visit our store today! https://shop.prageru.com/ JOIN PragerFORCE! For Students: http://l.prageru.com/2aozfkP JOIN our Educators Network! http://l.prageru.com/2aoz2y9 Script: Do we need to destroy the environment to save it? That's the question I faced a few years ago. I co-founded a movement that was the precursor to the Green New Deal. It was called "The New Apollo Project." If we could send a man to the moon, we reasoned, surely we could save our own planet. All we had to do was harness the power of the wind and the sun and get rid of fossil fuels. Compared to the original Apollo mission, how hard could that be? Well, it turned out to be very hard—practically impossible, in fact. The basic laws of physics and chemistry proved to be very stubborn. But, as I did more and more research, something else began to trouble me: the prospect that pushing the planet toward wind and solar energy would actually cause more harm to the environment than good. There's no better example of this than what wind and solar energy do to birds. Industrial wind turbines—those giant generators of wind power—are the greatest new threat to golden and bald eagles. But the eagles are hardly the only ones threatened. Condors, owls, hawks and falcons all fall prey to the turbines’ mighty blades. Big Wind—and believe me, there's a Big Wind industry now, just like there's Big Oil and Big Pharma—claims that house cats kill more birds than wind turbines. That's true. But whereas cats kill small, common birds like sparrows, wind turbines kill big, threatened-with-extinction and slow-to-reproduce species like bald eagles and condors. Indeed, industrial wind farms are killing fields for birds. The more turbines you put up, the more birds you're going to slaughter. According to the American Bird Conservancy in 2017, "Research shows that hundreds of thousands of birds and bats die every year when they accidentally collide with the…turbine blades. That number grows with each turbine built." The Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds reports that wind farms built off the coast of Britain could be the "final nail in the coffin" for endangered sea birds. The Center for Biological Diversity calls the Altamont Pass wind farm in California "a population sink for golden eagles as well as burrowing owls." As for solar farms, they produce an entirely different set of problems, although they also are very harmful for birds. In California, according to a federal report, massive solar arrays produce heat up to 900 degrees. When birds fly into those arrays, they simply burn up. Building a solar farm is a lot like building any other kind of massive industrial facility. You have to clear the whole area of wildlife. For example, in order to construct the Ivanpah solar farm in California near the Nevada border, developers hired biologists to pull threatened desert tortoises from their burrows. The tortoises were then loaded on the back of pickup trucks and caged in pens where many ended up dying. Solar farms also need millions and millions of gallons of water to clean the mirrors and to generate power. Since most solar farms are built in the desert, we're talking about a precious resource already in short supply. "When push comes to shove, water could become the real throttle on renewable [solar] energy," according to Michael Webber, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Then there's the issue of what to do with solar panels that wear out. The panels contain lead and other toxic chemicals that can't be removed without breaking up the entire panel. Since it's far cheaper for solar manufacturers to just buy the raw materials than recycle old panels, those old panels end up in landfills—or, as the New York Times discovered in a 2019 investigation, dumped in poor African nations. For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/do-we-have-to-destroy-the-earth-to-save-it/