The Biden administration recently approved a massive solar project in California that’s meant to produce enough energy to power 90,000 homes. The bad news for Biden is that producing these solar panels in China will involve using so much coal-powered electricity in their power plants that every bit of C02 that’s meant to be replaced by the solar panels will be emitted in their very making.
Making solar panels is a Mike-Rowe-level dirty job. It starts with raw mineral quartz, which is refined through an energy intensive process that creates a byproduct called silicon tetrachloride. The highly toxic byproduct is often dumped out carelessly, causing pollution in addition to the huge amounts of energy and heat required to manufacture the solar cells.
Since most solar cells sold in western markets are manufactured in China, that means that they are also primarily produced in plants electrified by coal-generated power. But Democrats never stop to question their ironic efforts. More pollution is takes place in the production of a solar panel than it saves, so why not simply stay with the ‘cleaner’ route of fossil fuels?
The Wall Street Journal reported the words of Mr. You who warned that a Chinese produced solar panel involves twice as many emissions as one made in Europe for example.
It’s true that a solar panel, if placed properly, can in several years’ time become net-negative for carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel methods of energy production, but is the long game worth it?
Global efforts to combat climate change have to square with the fact that many of their green initiatives rely on Chinese produced photocells, batteries and aluminum, all of which are produced using fossil fuels. Emissions in the west are simply being exchanged for emissions in the east.
Global leaders expect to coax China into using low-emission power production in order to counter this, but the odds of that happening is very grim.
Clean production of solar cells was possible in the U.S., but American producers have already shut down as unfair trading practices with China have created a massive disadvantage to domestically produced panels. These unfair trade agreements keep Chinese panels price artificially low, killing a once-vibrant American solar industry.
Despite solar’s enormous cost relative to natural gas and oil, there’s still incredible demand and momentum to produce ‘sustainable’ energy. But efforts to develop those sources should be questioned and examined carefully, as they may be causing more pollution than they save.
Author: Rochelle Keller