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It’s Hailing on the Climate Crisis Green Energy Parade

It’s Hailing on the Climate Crisis Green Energy Parade

Signs abound that Green Energy is beginning to enter a winter of discontent…here and around the world.

It’s spring in the Great Plains of this nation.

While flowers are a sign of the season, so are thunderstorms (as well as tornadoes). And with thunderstorms, there is sometimes hail. In 2021, a Texas hailstone measured 5.9 inches in diameter.

What happens when a predictable weather event meets a solution offered by those pushing the theoretical “climate crisis?” Disaster:

Thousands of panels on a solar farm southwest of Houston, Texas, were damaged by a powerful hailstorm on March 15.

Aerial footage showed rows of cracked photovoltaic cells at the Fighting Jays Solar Farm near Needville in Fort Bend County, local news channel KTRK reported on Saturday. Baseball-sized hail stones were observed falling in the area overnight, as per the Houston Chronicle.

The solar project, which began producing power for Texas’s energy grid in 2022, generates 350 megawatts across 3,300 acres of land and is expected to power 62,000 homes.

It is one of many renewable energy installations across the state which has championed clean energy projects in recent years while benefiting the most from federal tax credits and incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.

It looks like the solar farm works as well as Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. But, I digress.

Residents are expressing their concerns about chemical leaks from the damaged panels.

An onslaught of hail in southeastern Texas that destroyed large portions of a massive solar farm is highlighting the perils of trading traditional power sources for vulnerable “green” alternatives and sparking concern about the potential for chemical leaks from the broken panels.

…”My concern is the hail damage that came through and busted these panels – we now have some highly toxic chemicals that could be potentially leaking into our water tables,” Needville resident Nick Kaminski told Fox affiliate KRIV-TV. “I have a family — two children and a wife. My neighbors have kids and a lot of other residents in the area who are on well water are concerned that the chemicals are now leaking into our water tables.”

Signs abound that Green Energy is beginning to enter a winter of discontent…here and around the world.

In Canada, Drake Landing, in the Calgary area, once led the solar heating community in North America. Now it might have to rely on fossil fuels as the aging system is breaking down and may be too expensive or impossible to fix.

ATCO’s Tim Corboy is a spokesperson for the Drake Landing Company, which runs the community and is an equal partnership of ATCO, the Town of Okotoks, homebuilder Sterling Homes and property developer Anthem United.

He declined an interview request but responded via email to a number of questions.

Corboy said the company has been working hard over the past year and a half to find “affordable and reliable solutions to the growing system performance issues.” He said this includes trying to find parts and experts to service the 20-year-old technology.

He said a number of components have reached their end of life, including the air handler unit, the solar collectors, custom-made fittings that connect the entire system together and other unnamed replacement parts.

European countries face warnings that the green energy facilities built with green promises of cheap, renewable, and reliable power cannot effectively be connected to the grid.

European power grids are largely underprepared for the expected surge in renewable energy capacities, both in terms of national targets for 2030 and in relation to market projections. As new clean energy capacities are already facing connection delays, curtailment, and higher prices for end consumers, this lack of ambition may seriously hamper the energy transition, clean-energy think-tank Ember warns in a new report. There is no transition without transmission, its energy and climate data analyst Elisabeth Cremona said.

In its survey of development plans for national grids, Ember found that 11 out of 26 are based on lower wind and solar deployment compared to national targets. This lack of alignment risks resulting in insufficient preparation to integrate wind and solar. Solar capacity is underestimated by a total of 60 GW across the 11 countries, and wind by 27 GW.

Finally, “green energy” is not the current hot commodity. Artificial Intelligence is.

A new report that indicates green energy cannot sustain AI power demands might be the tech-twister to sweep through eco-activist mandates related to power.

AI facilities may have to rely on….fossil fuels!

A March International Energy Agency forecast estimates input-hungry AI models and cryptocurrency mining combined could cause data centers worldwide to double their energy use in just two years. Recent reports suggest tech leaders interested in staying relevant in the booming AI race may consider turning to old-fashioned, carbon-emitting energy sources to help meet that demand.

Though precise figures measuring AI’s energy consumption remain a matter of debate, it’s increasingly clear complex data centers required to train and power those systems are energy-intensive. A recently released peer reviewed data analysis, energy demands from AI servers in 2027 could be on par with those of Argentina, the Netherlands, or Sweden combined. Production of new data centers isn’t slowing down either.

Just last week, Washington Square Journal reports, Amazon Web Service Vice President of Engineering Bill Vass told an audience at an energy industry event in Texas he believes a new data center is being built every three days. Other energy industry leaders speaking at the event, like Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, argued renewable energy production may fall short of what is needed to power this projected data center growth.

The “Iron Law of Electricity,” states that people, businesses, and countries will do whatever they must to get the electricity they need, for the win…again.


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Listen here, racist! If those rare earth metals are good enough for the little brown slave kids who mined them, they’re good enough for your wonder bread looking oyster crackers!

The Gentle Grizzly | March 28, 2024 at 7:31 pm

Which is more dangerous Raining cats and dogs?

Or, hailing taxicabs?

inspectorudy | March 28, 2024 at 7:32 pm

This event is so typical of liberals and their programs. They act for today with no thought of tomorrow. Just like the stupid push for an all-EV transportation world without the electrical infrastructure or consequences of the extra weight on all facilities. Transgender operations on children and no thought to their future lives are another today but not tomorrow program.

    randian in reply to inspectorudy. | March 29, 2024 at 4:10 am

    That’s because the actual goal isn’t an all-EV auto fleet, it’s a no-auto fleet for the middle and lower classes, who will be forced into public transportation and smart cities “for their own good”, and not coincidentally, for easier control by the elites.

    Dathurtz in reply to inspectorudy. | March 29, 2024 at 7:29 am

    The average street lefty is shortsighted and foolish, but the people indoctrinating them are not.

    Our problems aren’t due to elite incompetence, but due to their purposeful interventions to put corrupt/incompetent people in important positions.

Similar hail “event” happened to a solar installation in Kansas(?) last year. At that time, it was pointed out that the destroyed panels were toxic waste and the cost of dealing with that were substantial. It was also pointed out that in 15-20 years, more than 20 million tons of toxic solar panels will reach end of life….who’s going to pay for those disposal costs? Also mentioned that for every ton of the special glass needed for solar panels, 2-3 tons of toxic waste are produced….;the whole solar power fraud is an environmental disaster in the making…at least CO2 is biodegraded.

Climate cultists in my state want to plow under huge swaths of forest to install a bunch of these solar panels. We only get around 6 hours of direct sunlight in the middle of winter, and 2-3 feet of snow from a single storm is the norm. Even in summer, heavy clouds abound.

Try to explain these basic facts to these people, and they act like you’re suddenly speaking some foreign language. Try to talk to them about photosynthesis and the wisdom of cutting down all of those trees, and it’s shut up, or be shown the door.

    alaskabob in reply to SField. | March 28, 2024 at 9:02 pm

    But but … in summer there is more sunlight. My neighbor put in solar panels. They are on the “dark” side of the valley with no battery installation. This is above 60 degrees latitude … even in summer direct `sunshine is limited. Just doing their part.

    Suburban Farm Guy in reply to SField. | March 28, 2024 at 9:04 pm

    You are, quite unfortunately, dealing with religious fanatics. Nothing can prevail against The Vision. Not facts, not logic, not common sense. It is their salvation. Nothing in this life is as all-consuming, not even close.

    Them trees? LOL. Doomed.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Suburban Farm Guy. | March 29, 2024 at 6:32 am

      But, what happens when the tree sprites are displaced? Aren’t they just as important as snail darters and owls?

      Yep, they are absolute fanatics, totally impervious to logic and reason.

      There’s a reason I’ve chosen to live in a remote region in the middle of a pristine wilderness. It’s because I love the damn mountains and wilderness. Some of the best hunting and fishing in the world is right out my back door. And along with these “solar farms” they’re also going to destroy some of those mountains by planting a bunch of those worthless f-ing windmills on the peaks.

      Funny how all the tree-hugging environmentalist wackos are suddenly OK with destroying the environment.

    DaveGinOly in reply to SField. | March 28, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    Theologians call prophesies that fail to come true “self-disconfirming.” The fact this term is so fitting for the many failed predictions of climate alarmists over the decades helps demonstrate that “climate change” is a religion, because even failed prophecies fail to shake the faith of the true believers. Real scientists would look at these failures, and determine from them that there’s something wrong with their theories.

    “Religion is about faith, science is about doubt.”
    Biggs2021 (at the Barnes Brief 12/17/22)

    randian in reply to SField. | March 29, 2024 at 4:13 am

    Yes, they act like land use isn’t a huge environmental cost of solar. They say the opposite about living space for humans, which they call a blight.

    diver64 in reply to SField. | March 29, 2024 at 10:07 am

    Ever notice all these fields of glass and windmills always seem to be out in the country eating up forest and farmland? If they want it so bad why aren’t city parks being put into solar?

JohnSmith100 | March 28, 2024 at 7:58 pm

6″ hail will severely damage buildings and vehicles, everything.

It turns out that Bifacial solar panels perform better installed vertically, far better. and they would be easier to protect.

Biden green new deal is dumb. US has 100 year supply of natural gas.

    JimWoo in reply to smooth. | March 28, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    And we’re making more RNG all the time. The most clean burning sensible fuel. This fixation on toxic, heavy, and highly flammable EV’s is lunacy.

Point of use solar power with sufficient battery storage for a residence or small business may make some sense from a self reliance standpoint. If someone voluntarily chooses to pay full freight on it to have it installed then sure. Leave the rest of us out of this on any sort of a mandate. The commercial size, grid tied projects must be required to have on site reliable back up generation to their intermittent at best and unreliable at worst ‘green’ energy power delivery promises.

    alaskabob in reply to CommoChief. | March 28, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Exactly, installed solar primarily for backup/emergency with battery storage. Max output is about 5.5 kW in summer. IF it survived something bad, can power house and water condensers in a limited survival mode. Main risk…. inadvertent discovery by less “fortunate”.

      txvet2 in reply to alaskabob. | March 28, 2024 at 10:26 pm

      “Max output is about 5.5 kW in summer” Which is enough to run a few lights and some emergence equipment during a power outage. My propane driven unit puts out 24K and powers everything – including the heat pumps in the well house, the microwave and the electric stove. With the ridiculous demand for electricity from the heat pump during hard freezes, I’m better off shutting down the commercial electricity and relying on the generator, and not have to worry about the next hail storm like my solar powered neighbors.

        Paul in reply to txvet2. | March 28, 2024 at 11:56 pm

        What size tank do you have?

        rhhardin in reply to txvet2. | March 29, 2024 at 8:04 am

        The heat pump doesn’t demand more in hard freezes, it just fails to do anything, and draws correspondingly little power while running continuously. I.e., there’s no load on the motor that’s running. Jensen, I think it was, put the compressor indoors so as to capture even that waste heat indoors but it wasn’t worth it for the noise it brought in.

          CommoChief in reply to rhhardin. | March 29, 2024 at 9:20 am

          Many heat pumps have auxiliary hearing elements that activate in periods like you described. These elements, usually along the ductwork are not very efficient and draw lots of power running up bills. Much better in the South anyway is a heat pump paired with alternative/auxiliary heat like a gas/propane wall mounted vented heater and/or a fireplace. Using a heat pump where there are weeks or months of near freezing and below freezing is ….not very efficient or effective.

          JohnSmith100 in reply to rhhardin. | March 29, 2024 at 11:27 am

          The solution is a heat pump with water lines buried on average 4′ deep, depending on freeze depth. That kind of heat pump is very efficient.

      MontanaMilitant in reply to alaskabob. | March 29, 2024 at 8:59 am

      Covert operation is tough when the reflection of the panels looks like an arc welder.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to CommoChief. | March 29, 2024 at 6:38 am

    But I thought these were all renewable and sustainable. Are we being lied to?

    Dathurtz in reply to CommoChief. | March 29, 2024 at 7:39 am

    Yes. Solar is a “prep” if you are set up to use it (few) and not just feed the grid (almost all). It’s like people buying/storing food or ammo. You pay a premium for something you hope is never going to be useful.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Dathurtz. | March 29, 2024 at 11:34 am

      Solar doses pay from the start, People also need to consider that every dollar saved is worth 2 dollars earned. Few people consider this.

healthguyfsu | March 28, 2024 at 9:04 pm

No problem. We will just build a retractable dome over the solar farm that costs more power to raise and lower than the panels generate.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | March 28, 2024 at 11:12 pm

America needs to move into a major push to build tons of coal-burning power plants. Coal plants provide the cheapest, simplest and most reliable power there is. And we have enough coal for centuries.

If any of the green turds are bothered by the emissions they can wear cloth masks to protect themselves. and they can hire Cristo to put giant cloth masks on anything else they feel the desire to protect. The rest of us deserve cheap, plentiful, reliable power and the Earth will not be the worse for wear … and everyone knows that.

    It would be better for America to move to a major push to build Gen IV nuclear power plants. Cleaner than coal, and even some environmentalists are now agreeing that nuclear is the clean energy way to go.

BartE needs to explain why his GIGO computer models didn’t forsee this outcome. He’s an expert on The Science™️, so I need an explanation why over 4,000 acres of inefficient power was a good idea in the first place. It’s completely useless now and possibly toxic. Save da Erf.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | March 28, 2024 at 11:47 pm

The solar project, which began producing power for Texas’s energy grid in 2022, generates 350 megawatts across 3,300 acres of land and is expected to power 62,000 homes.

What do they mean by this? At peak production in full sun it produces 350 megawatts? But that only lasts for, at most, 5 hours a day (and that is pushing it to dream levels). But everyone is out of their homes working at that time so the electricity isn’t much useful to “power homes”. We know that this gigantic field of solar arrays generates ZERO power for more than half of the day. This figure really doesn’t make much sense . Of course, it is quite difficult to really qualify the general contributions of intermittent and unreliable power to the grid.

It is stupid and ridiculous to have intermittent and unreliable power sources being anything more than tiny experimental parts of the grid. The people who okayed any of this junk should be put in stockades for the public’s use as targets of derision and then run out of the country.

I have stated this here before, but shall repeat: Wind and solar projects only can work in temperate zones, the closer to the equator the better. Everywhere else has severe limiting factors, if not constant, unitarily destructive as was the case here.
Further, both perform a service that is far more in tune with small applications rather than large.
I suspect the County of Kauai, Hawaii has come close to the optimum by adding hydro and biofuel to the energy mix. Its performance is by no means perfect and it is subject to devastation by hurricane. Because it is far enough from the equator to get such.
If one wants energy independence, I think small nuclear plants such as the Rickover are the safest and most efficient. Each plant can serve about 40,000 households. Or an entire automobile plant or steel mill.

    henrybowman in reply to puhiawa. | March 29, 2024 at 8:48 am

    “Wind and solar projects only can work in temperate zones, the closer to the equator the better.”
    Yet this suffers from the irony that refrigerative loads are the biggest challenge for solar systems. One might instead conclude that no climate is optimal for solar.

      CommoChief in reply to henrybowman. | March 29, 2024 at 10:48 am

      As an adjunct or back up then Solar makes some sense in CA and the Sunbelt States. As the primary commercial producer of electricity at grid level? Hell no. The sheer volume of battery storage required to provide reliable delivery to meet demand makes it impossible today.

Starting with Governor Goodhair Texas spent about $13 Billion on windmills instead of shoring up the grid. Now we are told that an eclipse could cause blackouts. Pure insanity.

“Thousands of panels on a solar farm southwest of Houston, Texas, were damaged by a powerful hailstorm on March 15.”

Given the replacement cost vs. the cost and hit or miss results of attempting to repair a solar panel, those “damaged” panels should be written off as destroyed. There may be some salvage value of the frames and wiring, but not of the panels themselves.

For most, home/farm windmills are much more capable, reliable, and repairable.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some Westinghouse AP300 or ‘AP1000 plants everywhere? Doubt hail would damage them.

Chemical leaks are not the big problem with these destroyed panels. It’s the same problem windmills have, there is no plan to recycle or dispose of them.

As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts.” But nonetheless we do need electricity.

Whatever happened to those nuclear power plants I read about as a youth, that could supply virtually endless power at minimal cost? Were they politically incorrect or something? Didn’t grease the proper palms, maybe?

Where will all the used solar panels and lithium batteries go?

A hail storm? In Texas? In the spring/summer?
ZOMG! Who could have possibly foreseen THIS?

I spent 14 years working in coal-fired power plants.
There were plenty of outages and de-rates, but I can’t remember any of them being caused by hail.

”My concern is the hail damage that came through and busted these panels – we now have some highly toxic chemicals that could be potentially leaking into our water tables,”

The concern is cadmium telluride, but that hasn’t been used for solar panels much in many years. There is no cadmium telluride in the solar panels that were damaged. The storm damage will be covered by insurance. Insurance bases its premiums on the relatively low percentage of panels likely to be destroyed in a region in a given year. Disposal of old or damaged panels is covered by EPA rules, and they are usually disposed of through specialized facilities.