Letters: Painful truth is, solar costs on many levels

Dear Editor,

Contrary to Mathew Claxton’s naïve assertion that “solar energy is cheap in California” [Future of solar spreading from south, Jan. 15 Painful Truth, Langley Advance], it has been a disaster. 

California has among the highest energy rates in North America (surpassed by Ontario) and it is heavily subsidized by the same taxpayers whose rates are skyrocketing.

California ambitiously mandates that 33 per cent  of the state’s power must come from renewable sources, which leads to gross manipulation of energy markets and invites crony accomplice hustlers. 

The Solyndra solar scandal and dozens of others burned taxpayers for many billions, while the cohort shills laugh to their champagne bank accounts.  

This has also happened in Ontario with intermittent wind energy, and right here in B.C., mostly with intermittent run-of-river private sellouts of our water resources causing our rates to double.

Ivanpah, the world’s largest solar thermal plant, is only producing about a quarter of the power it is supposed to. The excuse is that there is not as much sun as was assumed in the design. 

Not enough sun in the Mojave Desert location?

Remember, this is intermittent power only produced when the sun shines – January through August – and it consumes thousands of acres of land.

Ironically, to compensate for the failed solar production, it is using 50 per cent more natural gas base fuel to make steam, which the solar design concept was to replace.   

 Ivanpah is owned by Google, JP Morgan and renewable energy giant NRG, who secured a $1.6 billion government loan guarantee to construct their pet project, and now these billionaires want a half-billion-dollar federal bailout to help them pay their loan. 

They never want to use their own money, but they don’t want the taxpayer to benefit in any way, either.

The failed design uses large mirrors to concentrate reflected sunlight radiation beams directed at “power towers” which heat water to turn steam turbines to generate electricity. 

It is a huge environmental disaster for birds that the alternate green energy lobby have been neglecting and avoiding, just as they have been with wind turbines. The problem is the birds see the mirrors as water, and get roasted in flight by the 800ºF solar death-ray beams.

A recent study released by the California Energy Commission called Ivanpah a “mega-trap” that will kill up to 28,000 birds annually. 

Politicians need to smarten up, quit trying to interfere with market equilibrium, and quit trying to cherry-pick green winners and losers with absurd subsidy programs. 

Don’t hold your breath.

Roland Seguin, Langley

Just Posted

VIDEO: Mark Warawa undergoes cancer surgery

Doctors told Langley-Aldergrove M.P. the goal is ‘holding it at bay’

Update: Langley cupcakes against cancer fundraiser a sellout

Supporters rally behind Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, who has suffered a relapse

Police campaign swoops in on speeders on Fraser Highway in Aldergrove

The roads are getting too ‘busy’ for just one lane, says RCMP volunteer.

PHOTOS: Aldergrove’s aquatic areas partially reopen

Discounted prices in effect until leisure pool construction finished

WATCH: Aldergrove single mother given ‘brand new’ start

Hardworking mother and volunteer is the one helped – for a change

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Four rescued from Golden Ears mountain

Hikers from Surrey started out for Evans Peak at 6 p.m.

Most Read