We're doing it wrong : Renewable energy planning (or lack thereof)

A summary of a discussion with our resident environmental engineer Anna after her return from a meeting with people allegedly concerned with alternative energy:

  • There seems to be no awareness that renewable energy sources are made in factories using fossil fuels.
  • There seems to be no “plan” for renewal energy sector growth, the same mistakes as with fossil fuels are being repeated. There a “just use it” mentality without thoughts of the long-term environmental implications of their use (reallocation of global energy). What we take in wind and sun energy is lost elsewhere – we aren’t MAKING energy we are capturing and using it. We use it, something else loses it.
  • There is no coordination between projects concerned with the same issues, but if their windfarm is immediately upwind of yours, you have no wind for your farm - like a hydro electric facility built just upstream of yours cutting your flow. The atmosphere is like a river.
  • Windfarms and large scale solar projects affect the atmosphere (turbulence, heat island effect of solar arrays, etc.), and this can change the weather which cumulatively is called climate.
  • There is no plan for disposing dead batteries used to store wind/sun energy just like there is no plan for disposing nuclear waste. Many nasty chemicals mined (environmental disaster) and disposed of (yet another one).

And so on.

We need a coordinated National plan for the renewable energy sector (we actually need a Global plan, but that will be a cumulative series of National plans I think, politics being what they are). If we totally bugger up the atmospheric flow (which distributes the climate we end up having), we can’t fix it.