Is renewable energy sustainable? Public opinion would say yes because each day we get up to sunshine and air movement (wind or breeze). But can this be backed up with facts?
Why this question? Because with the EU countries pushing sustainable energy forms and key car manufacturers heading down the road with electric vehicles (EVs) we need to keep questioning the source of energy and its sustainability. As mentioned previously in Talkmotorsport, EVs may appear fine, but in reality they are transferring their energy production to power stations.
Here’s a TEDx talk by Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and energy expert, Michael Shellenberger. In it he explains why solar and wind farms have the potential to destroy the environment and that they require so much land for mining and energy production.
Shellenberger has been a life-long environmentalist, initially promoting renewable energy. However, he came to realise that their sustainability was questionable.
He questions the impact on the natural environment particularly the land required, the affect on animals, bird life and vegetation. Technological innovation doesn’t help. Wind and solar are dilute ‘fuels’, so in order to produce large amounts of electricity you have to cover a very large land mass with them.