At the July 13, 2020 Summerland council meeting concerning the proposed Summerland solar project, I raised the topic of the environmental consequences of solar power versus hydro power and unfortunately council received misinformation and obfuscation. Strong words, I know, but there is no other way to describe it.
Research reveals that solar power creates five times more greenhouse gases than Summerland’s current and future electricity supply.
Furthermore, the Friday before this meeting (not in time for anyone to read and comprehend it), council released a less redacted version of the financial analysis, which showed that the net present value of the solar project was negative $1,631,413. According to this analysis it would cost $3,155,000 to produce $1,523,587 worth of power. And this is without considering the $2 million value of the land.
How is this justified? Especially when solar power produces more greenhouse gases than Summerland’s current and future hydro electricity supply? Are not governments everywhere in a financial crisis due to the pandemic?
The last seven years have been the seven hottest years on record. This is due to greenhouse gases. How many people today doubt this? Should not reducing greenhouse gases be our first priority, not adding to them?
Some might argue that hydro has its own drawbacks but that is irrelevant because with Site C, B.C. has a surplus of power until into the 2030s.
Others try to claim it adds resiliency or is a distributed energy generation system, which sounds like a good thing. The fact is a solar system that could only supply power for a few hours during a sunny day to a few buildings that were specially wired in provides no practical redundancy.
Nor is it a distributed energy generation system. These are premised on providing power at either a lower cost or with lower environmental damage than other sources.
The problem is that solar has an aura of being cool and environmentally friendly.
If you do not support this project, please email, and let council know. If you do support the project, please also let us know. I am interested in knowing what justifications could possibly outweigh the cost and environmental damage this project would have.
Coun. Richard Barkwill
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