Letter to Editor: Go slow on solar



To the Editor:

Concerning the editorial on “Solar struggles” of Feb. 7, I think there are some additional comments to be made concerning A Climate to Thrive’s efforts and “success” in solarizing MDI.

The editorial addresses concerns for fair pricing of electrical power, and to some extent the impact of solar on the cost, when times of excess solar generation get sold back to the power companies.

Solar is not cheap energy. I believe the goal of ACTT is to get MDI off the grid via solar. But to do that is going to require storage, to prevent blackouts when the sun doesn’t shine, or the snow is too deep. If ACTT succeeds in getting much of MDI to solarize, and sells excess energy back to the power companies, it will mess up the grid and make that power more expensive.

I recently read an article that the cost of sufficient storage is in the range of twenty times the cost of solar. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that the “levelized” cost of solar is $59/MWh. So, until the technology for storage improves, there is no need to rush to solarize.

If MDI’s current electric rate is 16 cents a kilowatt hour, it’s 11 cents a kilowatt hour today in Southern Ohio.

A question I have is, what is the reason to go solar (or wind), if it is inherently more expensive than natural gas-generated electricity?

It really cannot be as an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions, or slow/stop climate change, as all the data shows there hasn’t been significant global warming for nearly 20 years, despite a continued rise in CO2 concentrations which has proven great for crops and feeding the population. And all the data shows that weather extremes have not increased in severity or numbers during the same period.

In a 2015 report, “Carbon Dioxide: The Good News,” Indur Goklany “presents carefully researched evidence showing the enormous benefits of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide to humanity and the environment.”

Another recent resource worth readers’ checking out is: “The Mythology of Global Warming,” by Bruce Bunker, Ph.D., 2018 (Publisher: Moonshine Cove).

One interesting calculation made was that our 7.5 billion people exhale 2.7 billion tons of CO2 each year which is almost 10 percent of total fossil-fuel emissions each year. That’s just humans, not the rest of the species on the earth. (I made the human CO2 contribution calculation myself several years ago, and I came out with 2.4 billion tons of CO2. So I think the author has made some good examples.)

Go slow on solar.

Tom Rolfes

Somesville and

Cincinnati, Ohio

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