Problems With Green Energy

In theory, Green Energy sounds like a fantastic idea. Harnessing the power of nature to power our society is a very attractive concept. Wind and solar energy seem to provide an opportunity to produce clean energy that has a very limited impact on the environment. Sunlight and wind are everywhere, and being able to harness them is a worthy goal. However, there are real problems with the current state of green energy technology.

One of the first issues with solar power and wind power is that while they cleanly produce energy, the processes to manufacture the wind turbines and solar panels are not as nearly as friendly to the environment. The construction of both solar panels and wind turbines are dependent on rare earth minerals. These rare earth minerals mainly come from places like China, and many times the process used to extract these rare earth minerals result in ecological damage in China and are dangerous to surrounding people and wild life.

Another issue with solar and wind energy is they are not reliable like traditional sources or power. Unlike coal and gas power, wind and solar energy is totally dependent on outside sources. While power output from coal and gas plants can be adjusted to deal with demand, solar and wind cannot adjust meet increased demand.

While there is potential in wind and solar energy, right now the technology is not advanced enough to truly compete against traditional sources of power. Large government subsidies, roughly $24.00 per megawatt hour (compared to $0.44 per megawatt hour for coal and natural gas), are used to encourage the use of wind and solar power despite their huge cost when compared to traditional, proven sources of energy.

The free market should be allowed to take its course and should be used to promote innovation in the field of energy. Right now government subsidies are discouraging innovation and holding back progress in this promising field of energy production.