Letter: Solar not a bright idea

Dear Editor

Re: Langley Advance, March 17, Our View: What if LNG is a bust.

It appears Mathew Claxton is touting wind and solar again, and relating it to B.C.’s proposed LNG exports.

LNG does not have to effect our energy needs or efficiency ‘if’ it is handled properly.

Site ‘C’ dam is being financed by us B.C. taxpayers and increased BC Hydro electricity rates. Once Site ‘C’ is operational, we will have an adequate supply of electricity to promote industrial growth to support jobs into the future.

If LNG goes ahead, it will need (in preparation for offshore shipping at Kitimat) to freeze/liquefy the gas received via pipeline. But Kitimat won’t want the pollution problem.

This energy could and should be self-sufficiently generated by natural gas generators at the gas field source in northeastern B.C.

Then transmit the electricity to Kitimat and it should all be paid for by the developers who stand to make a profit from our resources.

Those costs should not be dumped on us ratepayer/taxpayer and the developers should not be entitled to use Hydro’s baseline grid or Site ‘C’ power at discount rates.

M. Claxton’s assertion that “China is indeed reducing its reliance on dirty coal-burning power plants” is misleading as they approved 210 coal-fired plants in 2015.

Wind and solar are both intermittent and at best supplemental. You can’t run factories, hospitals and schools only when the wind blows or the sun shines.

In order for China to include more wind and solar, it has to be heavily subsidized, so they just announced a 27 per cent increase in electricity bills.

China has a monopoly on the production of wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels many of which use rare earth metals only found in China.

PV solar is not efficient with a 17 per cent median capacity factor of the nameplate rating.

The most efficient system to date is the Spain, Andasol (parabolic trough) solar plant with a capacity factor of 37 per cent.

It has a nameplate capacity of 150 megawatts.

Actually only produces 57 MW and consumes 1,483 acres of land. Compare this with clean hydro Site ‘C’ dam 1,100 MW project.

I suspect China has a huge inventory of inefficient PV and wind products on hand (they were dumping at cost) and will put them to use with cheap labour.

Wind and solar are poor inefficient choices, all things considered, as they cannot exist without huge taxpayer subsidies. This feeds crony capitalism as governments get sucked in to bad business deals with the green lobbyists.

It happened right here in B.C. with the run-of-river projects that turned B.C. hydro into a financial basket case. Result is we consumers get hammered with exorbitant rate increases for years to come.

Roland Seguin, Langley



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