Thank you, Patricia Martin, for your June 15 letter (“Think harder about utility-scale solar”) in which you underscore to readers how Dr. Fred Ward’s June 3 letter to the editor (“’Utility-scale’ solar? Just think about it”) confuses efficiency with capacity. Good catch and I would like to add more to the argument in favor of renewable energy.
Dr. Ward writes, in an earlier op-ed dated May 20, “Renewables aren’t reliable enough to generate that much power,” that the sun and wind cannot possibly provide us with the electricity we need given that they are both intermittent energy sources. Not once did Dr. Ward explain battery storage. With battery storage, we are able to store the renewable energy we produce and use it later — for free no less.
For an example of how this is possible, I turn to my friend, who installed an 8.4-KW solar array on her roof for her family of four. She has made use of batteries she has installed at her house instead of sending her excess electricity back to the grid. She stores up electricity during the day then uses the stored energy at night.
She and her family have been living with the clean energy from the sun, which hasn’t sent her any bills, for the past 11 years and she has never run out of power even when downed power lines have caused outages for us.
Maybe the utility companies do not like that a free-market system, which should allow for competition to protect consumers, may benefit us, the consumers. Maybe it is tough on utility companies to have to compete with a “company” called “the sun,” which charges nothing.
Climate change is real and it is not just something we will be leaving to our children. We are living with its effects now. The sooner we stop depending on fossil fuels for our energy, the better for us, the consumer, and the better for everyone who needs a stable climate in which to live. And that would be everyone.
P.O. Box 267