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LETTER: Concerns about going green are weak

LETTER: Concerns about going green are weak

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Writer’s concerns about going green are weak

A letter by John Powell of Stafford [“Going green has many unsolved problems,” June 10] listed several weak concerns. Among them that windmills and solar panels are inefficient and most producers are in China.

He also listed his concerns about the sustainability of rechargeable battery components, followed by the statement: “Have you ever tried to drive an electric car to Florida?”

Thousands of electric vehicles travel the coast every day. I own one and assure you that the charging infrastructure is robust, improving daily, and long road trips are not a problem.

Regarding U.S. capacity for renewable energy manufacturing, recycling and sustainable supply chains, achieving these is a matter of intelligent trade and industrial policy, a problem recognized by good leaders and vigorously attracting federal attention.

Solar and wind efficiencies are low? That’s also true of fossil fuel electricity: losses to generation and transmission make the efficiency about 35 percent.

And consider that the daily solar energy hitting an average home in Virginia could power that home for 15 to 20 days. At 20 percent efficiency and good exposure, a home covered one-fourth to one-third with panels will be self-sufficient. At current solar costs, the panels will pay for themselves in about eight to 12 years.

I also own a solar system and can tell you that although the panels are guaranteed 90 percent performance after 20 years, I have seen no decrease in performance after seven years. Many industry experts expect panel lifetimes of 30 to 40 years.

Mr. Powell’s “unsolved problems” are either not real or are solvable with a positive, forward-looking attitude.

Charles Sharpless


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