Letter to the Editor: Writer urges Mecosta County residents to reconsider solar panel purchases

To the editor:

With regard to the Aug. 17 article on “renewable energy,” if you are thinking about installing solar panels on your property here in Mecosta County, first consider the following: solar power is neither “renewable” nor “green.” Rather, solar power is an economic parasite and an environmental disaster.

The construction, installation, maintenance, back-up and ultimate decommissioning of solar panels consume much more energy then the panels themselves can ever produce, especially in northern states like Michigan. That’s why solar power companies always lose money, unless they are given government subsidies and set-asides.

In addition, the rare-earth metals and chemicals used by solar panels are produced in child-labor mines in Africa and in open-pit operations in China, which pollute vast amounts of ground water. Solar panel chemicals are extremely toxic, which makes them difficult and expensive to decommission. Many people simply abandon their old and broken panels rather than dispose of them properly.

If, after all this, you remain intent on solar panels ownership, then at least purchase a guaranteed advance disposal contract for the panels. Don’t make future Mecosta County residents pay for the clean-up of your toxic mess.

Gary Raffel

Big Rapids

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