Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Massive Carbon Footprint Of Solar Energy

by JASmius

Looks like "green energy" turns out to be a lot "browner" than the eco-extremists wanted us to believe:

Barack Obama once praised it as a shining example of America's "clean energy" future. "With projects like this one," he said at the site of a solar plant just before construction started, "we're putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy."

And his Department of Energy showered $1.6 billion in loan guarantees, as well as $600 million in tax credits.

Because solar power isn't economically viable and there is no genuine market for it, and won't be for at least half a century,

The plant is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, a behemoth that uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors spread out over more than five square miles of the Mojave Desert. The mirrors all aim at the tops of three 459-foot towers, where the heat boils water in tanks held there, which generates steam to turn the electricity-producing turbines.

But a vanishingly small amount compared to overall American energy demand,

But that's not what makes this story this afternoon's palate-cleanser:

But it turns out that Ivanpah isn't so squeaky clean after all.

According to the Press Enterprise in Riverside, California, Ivanpah emits enough CO2 that it will "be required to participate in the State's cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions."

In its first year, Ivanpah emitted 46,000 metric tons of CO2. That's about as much as a Frito Lay plant in Bakersfield emits. [emphases added]

And how can it possibly be that a "clean energy" plant emits forty-six kilotons of carbon dioxide in its first year?

Drumroll please....

How is that possible? It turns out that the Ivanpah plant uses natural gas to function. [emphasis added]

Specifically, to (I swear I'm not making this up) pre-heat the water before it's heated by the vaunted, venerated, overhyped solar panels.  And, you know, heat the water at night, and when it's cloudy.  Which probably makes this "clean energy" facility a net energy user, not producer.

Jazz Shaw helpfully adds that the solar death rays fricasseed over 3,500 birds in that first year as well, which puts them in heavy competition with their "clean energy" cousin the windmill.  But I'm sure they were finger-lickin' good, no matter how many of them were from endangered species.

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