RealClear Energy posted an entry by Robert Bryce titled “Solar Energy Rejections in 2022 that refutes mainstream media’s assertion that the rejections are due to energy companies “misinformation. The following comes from Bryce’s entry:
“You won’t read about this in The New York Times or The New Yorker, but 2022 was a record year for the number of solar energy projects that were rejected by rural communities in the United States.
As I show in the Renewable Rejection Database, nearly 80 rural governments either banned or restricted solar energy projects last year
In all, more than 40 Ohio townships adopted measures last year that prohibit the construction of large solar or wind projects, or both. Across the U.S., about 106 communities have rejected or restricted solar projects since 2017. The number of wind rejections also jumped last year, with 55 communities enacting ordinances or other measures that prohibit the installation of large wind facilities. Since 2015, about 360 communities across the U.S. have rejected or restricted wind projects. (Note that last year, I published numbers that were slightly higher than that. In my continuing updates to the database, I found some entries that were duplicates and deleted them.)
To be sure, these facts, and these numbers, don’t fit with the narrative being peddled by legacy media outlets. Last year, National Public Radio ran an article claiming that rural Americans were peddling “misinformation” in their efforts to prevent wind and solar projects from being built in their neighborhoods. Last month, an article published in The New York Times claimed that opposition to wind projects in Michigan included “anti-wind activists with ties to groups backed by Koch Industries.” But the reporter who wrote the article, David Gelles, didn’t provide any proof of any Koch connections. (Gelles did not reply to two emails asking him for substantiation of his claim.) Last month in The New Yorker, climate activist Bill McKibben claimed that “front groups sponsored by the fossil-fuel industry have begun sponsoring efforts to spread misinformation about wind and solar energy.” But like Gelles, McKibben didn’t provide any proof for his claim.
In all of the years I’ve been reporting on these issues, I have seen no evidence of Koch funding or “front groups” sponsored by the hydrocarbon sector. What I have seen is an increasing effort by the wind and solar lobbies and their claqueurs to discredit people who stand in the way of these projects. Perhaps that’s not surprising. Tens of billions of dollars in federal tax credits are at stake. Companies like Apex Clean Energy can’t feed at the federal trough if they don’t build projects.
Land-use conflicts are the binding constraint on the growth of renewables. The fundamental limitation isn’t money, it’s physics. Wind and solar energy have low power density. That means that attempting to use them to displace large quantities of hydrocarbons will require staggering amounts of land. For instance, last year, Jesse Jenkins and several of his colleagues at Princeton University produced a model to predict how much new wind and solar capacity could be built due to the supertanker of cash that Congress earmarked for renewables in the Inflation Reduction Act. In a Q&A published in these pages last year, Jenkins told me that the land required to accommodate the hundreds of megawatts of new wind and solar under the IRA would require a land area about the size of Tennessee. Here’s a newsflash: we don’t have any spare Tennessees lying around.
Rural Americans are fighting back against wind and solar projects because they want to retain the character of their townships, ranches, farms, and villages. And no amount of spin from The New York Times will change that fact.”
To read the entire posting click here.