WIND FARMS HAVE A BIG ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT TOO

Green Power – Concrete and Steel and Mining Too: Mark Mills has been skeptical of claims by green advocates about yet to be demonstrated improvements, such as greatly increased efficiency of wind turbines. In the Wall Street Journal, he discusses the need of concrete and steel and for mining to meet the envisioned “needs” for “green energy”, so-called “renewables.” Some of the specifics include:

“Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. [Size not specified.] Solar power requires steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.

The demand for minerals likely won’t be met by mines in Europe or the U.S. Instead, much of the mining will take place in nations with oppressive labor practices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 70% of the world’s raw cobalt, and China controls 90% of cobalt refining. The Sydney-based Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global ‘gold’ rush for minerals could take miners into ‘some remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven’t yet been disturbed.’

The enormous environmental damage done in China and the Congo from mining for lithium and cobalt needed for batteries is largely ignored by the western press and the green industry.

via climate science

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August 14, 2019 at 01:30AM

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