Renewable energy is cleaner than fossil fuel energy. No fuel is burned. There are no emissions from producing the energy itself. But there are still emissions in creating and then disposing of the technology. This is a recurring theme in sceptical dismissals of renewable energy: look at this stack of retired solar panels/wind turbines/electric car batteries – not as green as you thought!
The truth always lies with the comparison. Electric vehicles are cleaner than petrol, even if they’re not charged with renewable energy. If you threw your wind turbines into landfill at the end of their life, they would still do less damage than coal or gas power over the course of their lifetime. We can’t let perfection be the enemy of good, and rejecting renewable technologies because they aren’t 100% environmentally benign is hardly logical.
Naturally, we do want to process things properly at the end of their lives, and there is no excuse for waste. And so of course electric car batteries, wind turbines and solar panels can and should be
— source earthbound.report | Jeremy Williams | Apr 30, 2020