THE BENEFITS OF CLEAN ENERGY
IN A NUTSHELL (ONE THAT YOU CAN COMPOST)
Why don’t we start with Subsidies?
Wind & solar are subsidized by just
about every country in the world
The main rationale is that they
produce “POSITIVE EXTERNAILTIES”
which are benefits to society that are
not captured in their market price
Specifically, wind and solar power reduce pollution, which reduces
sickness, missed work days, and early deaths. Every wind farm or
solar field displaces some other form of power generation (usually
coal or natural gas). In our case we can replace the Site C dam…….
Subsidies are meant to remedy this market failure, to make the
market value of renewables more accurately reflect their total social
The question is, Are renewable energy
subsidies doing the job?
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab have just produced a detailed
report that contains all kinds of food for thought, both in its numbers
and its uncertainties. You can see this on our blog at novosolar.com
- 13 nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley lab
A quick side note!
Just about every country in the world also
subsidizes fossil fuels. Fossil fuels receive far
more subsidies than renewables, despite the
lack of any policy rationale whatsoever.
And now for the good news!
From 2007 to 2015, wind and solar in the US reduced Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen oxide, and Fine
Particulate Matter by 1.0, 0.6, and 0.05 million tons respectively;
reduction of those local air pollutants helped avoid 7,000 premature
deaths (the central estimate in a range from 3,000 to 12,700);
those avoided deaths, along with other public health impacts, are worth a
cumulative $56 billion (the central estimate in a range from $30 to $113 billion);
wind and solar also reduced CO2 emissions, to the tune of $32 billion in
avoided climate costs (the central estimate in a range from $5 to $107 billion).
wind and solar saved Americans
approximately $88 billion in health and
environmental costs over eight years.
According to the National Ready Mix Concrete Association
(NRMCA), Approximately 100 to 300 Kg’s of CO2 is
produced for every cubic meter of concrete (2400 kg’s)
According to the Site C website there will be
Approximately 32 million cubic metres of excavation for
structures, including the approach channel and tailrace
One can only assume that there will be 32 million cubic meters of
concrete poured for those structures.
This equates to approximately 64,000,000,000 (with a B) kgs of CO2
released into the atmosphere. (70,000,000 tons!) remember these
In fairness NRMCA says that as the concrete cures it absorbs about 33
to 57% of the carbon over 100 years
How much CO2 does solar produce
Let’s say the BC government offered $9 billion worth of grants
for solar installations and they gave them in increments of
$10,000.00 as long as the client matched that amount
That would be a total of 900,000 solar projects of 7kW or more
if the client wanted to spend more than $10,000 (it would take
665,000 systems this size to equal the output of site C)
When a solar panel is produced there is
approximately 5.4 grams of carbon
released into the atmosphere and there
would be 23,400,000 solar panels if
everyone did a 7kW system
That is 126,360 kgs (140 tons) of
carbon released into the atmosphere.
(93,366 kgs for 665,000 systems)
We haven’t even talked about the other issues?
- what if this happens?
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
I’m not against hydro power, in fact I
think it’s amazing. I just don’t think we
need another dam
What about the prime farm land that will be flooded?
What about the people and their homes?
What will the actual costs be when construction is done?
What about ongoing maintenance costs?
We need to consider our own footprint
on this planet!
What you don’t see in
the picture is this! I used
to burn 250 litres of gas
per month, now this
powers 80% of my car
It also powers 100% of this car, the offices and the shop
We received $16,000.00 worth of incentives for these 2 cars and $0 for
The BC government has announced they will provide a $5000
incentive for people top switch from Natural Gas heating to an
electric heat pump.
But no additional incentive for solar to offset the additional higher
cost of heating with electricity.
Even without incentives; solar energy, converting from gas
to electric appliances and electric vehicles make very good
financial sense and the benefit to our environment is huge.
Our company now saves an average of $800 per month in
electricity and fuel. We have dramatically reduced our
carbon footprint and it hasn’t changed the way we do
business. In fact it has enhanced it.
WHY DO WE NEED INSENTIVES FOR
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN BC?
Aside from everything else I have said,
The reality is that most people think
that solar does not work in BC. We
working against a stigma in this
Does solar work in BC?
This client didn’t pay
for electricity all year
and he received a
$630 check back
from BC Hydro at the
end of it.