Not knowing both sides of the issue means any decision made is uninformed

In last post I gave examples of the very one-sided arguments used pro wind and solar energy. One could say: what is all that fuss about? Renewable sources are definitely not perfect, but could be used in our electricity needs. When we tell about the disadvantages, policy makers may be not as keen to invest in them. Kind of throwing out the good with the bad.

On the other hand, what if our policy makers only hear this:

  • Renewables are cheap
  • They are clean
  • Using them prevent emissions
  • They can be treated as fossil fuel energy sources
  • They can be fitted in our current grid
  • They can replace fossil fuels
  • We can switch now with the current technology
  • We have to subsidize them in order to promote their use

and do not hear this:

  • Wind and solar have low energy density and the devices that catch them are very expensive
  • There are emissions in all stages: production, transportation, construction, producing electricity and scrapping.
  • One also needs to account for the backup power needed and that backup plant will probably use conventional fuels
  • It is intermittent, so the statement that “windmill x can provide electricity for y number of people” is flawed
  • It can destabilize a grid when for example production of renewables is high and consumption is low. Or vice versa
  • Renewables have a low energy density and can not replace a fuel with high energy density
  • Our current society is highly dependent on fossil fuel
  • Subsidizing can disrupt the other power sources in our grid by making them unprofitable

How could you expect them to take well-informed decisions on integrating intermittent power into our society? They need to know the pros and cons to be able to balance them. If they don’t know both sides of the issue, any decision they make about it is uninformed.


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