One of the problems living in a state completely dominated by like-minded ideological zealots is that the law of unintended consequences gets triggered on a regular basis. This has to do with the maxim that anything in excess can become a poison.
Let’s take solar energy as an example. How can solar energy present problems? On the surface, solar energy appears to be free, natural, ubiquitous and completely clean. That may be true of the source, but there are many devils in the details with respect to what it takes to capture and utilize the sun as an energy source, and therein lies the poison. Literally.
Whereas most solar panels are made of glass and plastic, there are other chemical components, such as copper, lead, cadmium and antimony, built into the panels that comprise a hazardous waste stream coming and going. That is, hazardous waste streams are created while manufacturing the panels and in the disposal of the same once the panels are no longer usable. In fact, some of the harmful chemical constituents can easily leach out from exposure to rainwater if the panel becomes damaged. Our local environmental elitists are nevertheless sanctimoniously turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to these cradle-to-grave hazards. They know full well that the majority of these used panels are being unceremoniously dumped into third-world countries, but they obviously don’t care.
Here in California, there are a couple of other exigencies to consider now that the state has created a mandate that will require all new construction, up to three stories high, to be fitted with solar panels beginning next year. First of all, what happens to these solar panels if they are subject to one of our perennial wildfires? That is, will toxins be released? Have our firefighters been trained on how to safely shut off the power so that water can be applied safely?
Furthermore, let’s consider the cost of the panels. California has a big problem in that we don’t have enough housing and what we have is not affordable. Whereas the activists want us to believe that installing solar will pay for itself over time regardless of the up-front costs and subsidies, that claim is patently false.
All of us are going to be paying more for electricity due to the cost of maintaining all that is needed to serve and deliver what, in some cases, can be considered superfluous backup base-load energy. That is, some of our 24/7 base-load energy will not be needed during the day when solar is actually working.
Utility companies, by themselves, cannot foot the bill for all the equipment, including transmission lines, that must be ready to deliver power when the solar panels go dark. These costs will eventually be passed on to consumers, meaning even higher utility prices for all.
Additionally, California already utilizes over half of all the solar panels in the country. Moreover, we have to pay Arizona to take excess solar energy off our hands because we generate more than we can use during the day. This newest mandate therefore presents nothing less than yet another government-mandated hole in your pocketbook.