To the Editor:
A recent letter writer has taken the Kendall County commissioners and the Record to task for supporting solar energy for the county. He wants the facts. The TV station he watches is not the place to get them. Two of the most powerful economies in the world have committed heavily to solar energy. China has committed about $1 trillion to install over 100 gigawatts of panels (that’s millions of panels) with the goal of energy independence within a generation. They are everywhere including the largest floating field in Huainan, with over 120,000 panels. China just scrapped plans for a coal burning power plant due to the pollution.
Germany installed solar on a million rooftops. It was so successful that six potential new nuclear power plants were scrapped. Both countries get much less sunshine than Yorkville. The writer complained of costs.
Sunlight is free and there appears to be no end of it in sight. The cost is for the setup, just like other utilities, and then minor long term maintenance. Does anyone really fret about their electrical system in their house? No moving parts and the panels are guaranteed to produce the rated power for over 25 years. They could last 100 years as they are virtually indestructible from the elements. There is an upfront cost but the energy price is then fixed for many years. Can you say the same about the price ComEd will charge in 10 years?
It is nice the writer is concerned about ComEd’s profits. In terms of subsidy, solar is subsidized. But so is oil. Imagine the cost if we didn’t use the U.S. military to fight wars in the Middle East and protect the straits where the oil comes from. Let’s not get into the long term damage to property and people due to smog or oil leaks. Solar is safer than the potential explosions from natural gas, coal, oil or worse if a nuke plant blows up.
If America wants to be a force in industrialized world we need to focus on energy that is cheap and abundant and not controlled by a foreign country. Plus it won’t contribute to climate change even though the writer doubts its validity. So while our writer goes off to answer his rotary phone, we can watch the 21st century energy being produced in our back yard.