RALEIGH – The Solar crowd loves to sing the praises of their favored alternative energy, and not least among the tunes is how ‘green’ it is. This feeds into the save-planet-from-people mentality that permeates the environmental Left in their defense of Bigger Government for a cleaner world. It took hold in North Carolina, leading to mandates and subsidies that created an industry of solar cronies.
According to some utility data, though, the entire ‘green’ allure of harvesting sunshine in North Carolina maybe a myth. Worse than that, solar power in the Old North State maybe INCREASING pollution.
“[…] It appears there is hard data clearly demonstrating that solar power is contributing to higher levels of air pollution in North Carolina, which has the second-most solar of any state in the country.
This probably sounds counter-intuitive at first, but after further investigation in makes sense. Solar power ramps up and down based on the sun, as a result, natural gas plants need to ramp their output up and down to make sure the grid isn’t overloaded.
This constant ramping increases the amount of pollution emitted by the natural gas plants to a level that is at least 44 percent higher than if there were no solar panels on the grid at all and the natural gas plant was simply allowed to run at a steady pace.
Adding solar to the grid is like forcing a car to drive in town with the constant start and stop of traffic instead of allowing it to drive in cruise control on the highway. […]”
And this isn’t coming from some computer model projections, the data comes from actual air emissions data. The entire premise for environmentalists pushing Big Government Green Energy paid for by taxpayers is bust if these data are accurate.
It is a classic example of proponents of Big Government solutions being blind to unintended consequences of policy. On this issue, Democrats live in such a fantasy world that they pass resolutions to make North Carolina 100 percent ‘Green Energy’ with a straight face. Imagine all of the unintended consequences that would burden the people of North Carolina if they had complete legislative control.
Inevitably, though, solar fans will have a difficult time accepting such data, especially when it comes from those evil utilities. They will parade around their own studies that shroud green energy diktats in rainbows and unicorns and continue their push.
But the the next time someone waxes poetically about the environmental friendliness of solar power, you can chime chime in and say, “Actually,…”
Read more detail about how emissions data point to solar resulting in more burning of fossil fuels here.