Where do we put billions of solar panels? Plus, report says Arizona audit confirms Biden win.
By Gary Abernathy
Where’s the available land for billions of solar panels?
In my latest Washington Post column I discuss the solar energy picture as it pertains to areas like rural Ohio, where opposition is steadily growing to the spread of solar modules on cropland. Similar opposition is documented in many other parts of the nation as well.
President Biden says he wants to double, and then redouble, solar capability by 2030 in order to provide nearly half of the nation’s electricity from solar by 2050. Right now, solar generates only about 3 percent of electricity. So, with growing opposition and a “not in my back yard” attitude taking shape, where will the millions of acres of land be found that are necessary for billions of solar panels?
In my Post article, I ask some additional questions — and supply some answers:
The growing doubt nationwide among landowners and their neighbors over whether shiny solar modules are what they want sprouting from fields in their communities raises a question: How much land will be necessary to reach Biden’s goals? One estimate from Axion Power, a pro-solar site, suggests that meeting all U.S. electric demands using only solar energy would require 10 billion solar panels covering 21,913 square miles, or 14 million acres — an area larger than several of our states. It will take nearly half of that to reach Biden’s objective in the next nine years. Again, where’s all that property coming from, and at the cost of how much other land use or development? When it comes to land, as Mark Twain noted, they’re not making it anymore.
These obstacles may ultimately be resolved. Someday, scientists and engineers will almost certainly find a way to make solar modules more compact and efficient. In the meantime, we’ll still need reliable energy — meaning no one should be rushing to close the coal mines or dismantle the oil rigs anytime soon.
Some of the emails I’ve received so far in response came from people claiming that they had done their research and found that 14 million acres amounts to only one percent of U.S. farmland. “We have plenty of land!” they exclaim. What they ignore is that only a portion of U.S. farmland is suitable for placing solar panels (according to what solar companies say when they’re convincing local governments to let them build), and that just because land exists doesn’t mean everyone is going to sell or lease it to the solar companies — unless people want to invoke eminent domain and take it by force. It’s that growing resistance to solar expansion by landowners and neighboring residents that I document in my column.
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Report: Arizona vote ‘audit’ confirms Biden’s victory
The Washington Post is reporting that a draft version of the Arizona review — or “audit” — of the 2020 presidential vote not only confirms Joe Biden’s victory, but actually adds to his winning margin.
The process has long been one that doubters of the election outcome — including Donald Trump — have pointed to as something that would finally prove the election was fraudulent.
The Post reports:
After nearly six months and almost $6 million — most of it given by groups that cast doubt on the election results — the draft report shows that the review concluded that 45,469 more ballots were cast for Biden in Maricopa County than for Trump, widening Biden’s margin by 360 more votes than certified results. The draft report found the count to have “no substantial differences” from the county’s certified tallies… If included in the final report, that finding would puncture unsubstantiated claims made by Trump and his allies that vote tabulating machines had miscounted paper ballots or been hacked to flip thousands of Trump votes to Biden.
The final report was scheduled for release Friday afternoon. As the Post story hints, it will likely include bits and pieces of “evidence” of things that need to be corrected going forward. In other words, after all this time, attention and money, those who pushed for the audit can’t let it come up completely dry. But the bottom line appears to be a vindication of the accuracy of the official outcome.
Can we put this all to bed now? I hope so.
Biden ‘press conference’ turns into lengthy filibuster
President Biden appeared to be holding a press conference Friday morning after making a few remarks about covid-19. He began reading down his always-handy list of reporters to call on. I think he perhaps made it to a third reporter before he launched into a lengthy filibuster in which he primarily commended himself for his negotiating knowledge and skills. Then he walked away. That was it.
Will the media ever start demanding that Biden spend more time answering questions?
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