No environmental benefit to solar power in British Columbia

Duncan – Much has been written about solar energy in the Citizen newspaper lately, and while most people are likely sincere they’re doing something environmentally beneficial by installing solar panels, in B.C. there is no environmental benefit. In addition to this I rather doubt the sincerity of advocacy groups such as Cowichan Carbon Busters and One Cowichan who are misrepresenting environmental benefits of solar energy in B.C.

We already have access to a clean, reliable, renewable, low CO2 producing energy source called hydro electricity. Hydro electricity is 93 per cent clean and renewable, is relatively inexpensive, is available year round with few if any interruptions and won’t cost $10,000-$30,000 to install like a solar system will.

While I realize solar panels have come down in price, this is simply because many solar panels are now manufactured in China. China produces more CO2 than any other country, 28 per cent of the world total. China has a terrible environmental record and solar panels are manufactured in coal-powered factories.

In addition to this, the manufacture of solar panels involves a witches’ brew of toxic chemicals and produces millions of pounds of toxic sludge and polluted water. Somehow Peter Nix of Cowichan Carbon Busters can rationalize the purchase of these solar panels; as long as the environmental pollution is somewhere else it’s okay.

One Cowichan wants you to sign a petition calling on local governments to implement a clean energy plan that will make Cowichan the solar capitol of B.C….why? We already have a clean energy plan, hydro electricity 93 per cent clean and renewable.

While some solar advocates point to Germany as a solar energy success story it should be noted that electricity rates in Germany are three times that of our own and vast tracts of land, forests and ecosystems have been destroyed to create this so called solar success with no reduction in their CO2 emissions.

There are no environmental benefits to solar energy in B.C. we already have clean, renewable hydro electricity.

Mark Williams