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Climate

Biden’s Green Energy Plans Require Covering The American West In Solar Panels

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Environmentalists say they want to preserve the natural world in its original, pristine state.

Yet the climate change activists among them would instead cast a solar panel shroud of human fabrication over parts of the great American West.

President Biden has given them the green light. [emphasis, links added]

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management last month updated its Western Solar Plan, detailing options to open public land for large solar projects.

The bureau’s earlier blueprint allowed 16 million acres of public land to be used for solar development, which has now been enlarged to 22 million acres across 11 Western states. That’s more than 34,000 square miles — about the size of Maine.

Only portions of this land would be used. There are exclusions for steeply sloped terrain, tracts containing sensitive environmental and cultural resources, and land beyond a 10-mile distance from current or planned transmission lines.

Altogether, about 700,000 acres would be used to support the administration’s plan to convert the entire electric grid to intermittent sources such as solar and wind by 2035.

The scheme would add to the more than 11,000 megawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal energy the administration boasts it has already approved, which will provide electricity for more than 3.5 million homes — unless it’s a cloudy or windless day.

The Interior Department’s period for public comment on the revised plan ends April 18.

In addition to the massive human footprint blighting the natural environment, solar energy development has other downsides.

Most obvious is that even in the sun-drenched West, the sun doesn’t shine at night, which means backup power must always remain on standby.

And while solar panel manufacturing has exploded to meet growing world demand, it is not the United States that stands to benefit from Mr. Biden’s green energy policies.

In the past decade, China has grabbed a more than 80% market share of panel manufacturing, according to the International Energy Agency.

Increasing U.S. supply chain dependence and China’s export profits is hardly what the president has in mind with his “build back better” agenda.

Also, solar panels lose their capacity to transform sunlight into electrons in the course of an estimated 30 years of use. What to do with the expired sheets of glass and metal that no longer generate power?

According to the Department of Energy, the cost of recycling runs up to $45 per panel, which is far more than the $5 cost of disposal. That means most are destined for a landfill.

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