The image above is similar to the ‘Topaz Solar Farm’ which is located in California. Construction began in November 2011 and was completed in November 2014. It has 9,000,000 solar panels within it’s boundaries and came at a cost of 2.7 billion dollars. It is called a 550 Megawatt facility. During it’s construction it created approximately 400 direct jobs. It is an amazing place and if you are interested in knowing more about what we need to be doing or at least planning right now just type in Topaz Solar Farm. This particular facility is among the largest in the world, with many more of these projects planned or under way. The company that maintains and operates the Topaz site is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway which is run by Warren Buffet. This ‘farm’ produces enough energy to power 160,000 homes for a year, reduce the number of cars by 73,000 and would reduce the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by some 377,000 tons each year. This is just ONE farm. The really interesting part of this is that the cost of energy to homes is or would drop by 30-50%. The technology is developing so fast that in ten years time the size of panels would decrease markedly thereby lowering the cost of energy even further but also allowing room for more panels to power more homes and businesses–with NO pollution–clear air renewable energy. This is the future. The question is when will this become our reality.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, some contrasting information that is quite remarkable and not in a particularly good or positive way. Our provincial government has just spent over a billion dollars getting us out of a bad deal and got zero for our investment. That money could have built a farm, at the US rates, containing approximately 3,600,000 panels powering approximately 61000 homes for a year. It also would have provided jobs for 150 folks for at least 2-2.5 years. Why aren’t we doing this-now? Why aren’t we using provincial lands for solar farms? There will be a place for wind power at some point to be sure but not now and not where they are presently being erected. Kathleen Wynne insists that windmills are still the way to go. I’d say the recent examples of how to create solar power south of us say otherwise. We continue to recirculate old ideas with a `fresh coat of paint on them`and think that we are really doing something. Much time poorly spent trying to re-invent the wheel is making us physically more ill and placing more and more burden on a health care system we are told is working to capacity.We are dying because of the money that is being made at our expense.
Let’s also consider that, in the US it costs the US people close to 9,000,000 $/day to wage war in the Iraq region. Apparently this is a conservative estimate and, as well, they have spent upwards of 3 trillion dollars (no one can say for sure how accurate that figure is or if it’s more) since it began. Three trillion would build a few of these solar farms and put many people to work able who could then purchase goods and services without government assistance. Approximately 40,000 world wide jobs are connected to the Topaz Solar Farm when considering manufacturing panels, installing, servicing, shipping and so on.
What would it be like if the great deserts of the world became giant solar farms creating no pollution and cheap power that is unlimited in terms of resources needed to produce the power–no coal, no uranium, no oil. Ah and there is the problem. All those businesses would take enormous losses because demand for their product would be greatly reduced. Imagine the shift in the global balance of power. Because the cost of energy would continue to drop more of the poorer nations could become producers of goods and would be able to compete in the world marketplace. They could grown their own food, feed their poor and enjoy more of the earths’ abundance. Health care would be more affordable around the world and the overall quality of life would increase dramatically. The only thing that stands in the way of this happening is the obscene amounts of money that are currently being taken in by those who crave it and have the means to take it but don’t share much of it with others who could use it.
If the production of solar power became our focus we could train some of our human resources such as those currently unemployed or youth who can’t find work to build and install the panels. Now the recipients would be receiving less social service dollars and still making a much greater wage as well as working in an industry that only has an upside. The money governments would save in benefits would pay for much of the cost of building the farms–win-win.We have the solutions to many of our problems staring us in the face. Why aren’t we moving toward creating something we can all benefit from.
I`m certainly not against capitlaism. It is the driving force of innovation and progress and all the good things that help the world to continue to spin on its axis. However, we need to make things like this our first priority and we need to do that NOW. It takes 7-10 years to plan and create a nuclear plant at a huge cost and we still have some pollution and waste to deal with. With things like the Topaz Solar Farm more countries would be able to share in the true human experience and could offer that to their constituents instead of the misery that currently exists for the bottom third of the worlds economies.
Anyways, that`s how I see it, all the best Jim
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