Why Solar?

Why Solar?

Why Solar? I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.

Alternative energy needs are really starting to ramp up and according to Mike Nelson with Northwest Solar Center a part of WSU’s solar program through Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington we need to get there faster.

NELSON: Currently the world uses about a cubic mile of oil per year. According to the US Geologic Survey there is an estimated proven and proven 32 cubic miles of oil left, that means the oil runs out before Social Security goes bankrupt. We’ve got to replace oil. Climate change that is induced by oil consumption will solve itself in about 32 years at the current consumption rate.

There are a lot of options out there right now but Nelson says that solar is the only answer to replace that 32 cubic miles of oil.

NELSON: It would take 3200 new nuclear reactors; it would take 6400 coal plants; it would take 1.6 million wind turbines. There’s not enough ridges in the world to site 1.6 million wind turbines.

Even though Nelson says it would take 4.5 billion solar panels to offset that oil, solar panels can be placed almost anywhere but he also says that there are a lot of people who don’t believe solar can work in the NW.

NELSON: A lot of people assume that solar won’t work in Washington State and I like to point out that over 50% of the installed solar in the world is in Germany and Germany has a far worse solar resource than Western Washington. Now (either) the Germans have made a big mistake and don’t understand engineering very well or they’re aware of something that we’re not. You decide.

Companies like Northwest Solar Center have been working hard across the region to get more solar installed.

NELSON: Northwest Solar Center is committed to facilitating a more rapid transition to renewable technology. We do that a variety of ways, working with individuals, working with utility companies, working with local and state governments both on policy and technological fronts. We also work with the solar industry trying to grow it in Washington State specifically.

For additional information on clean energy, visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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