February 2022

Serious environmental issues arise at ten stages of RE production, from mining raw materials to the disposal of turbines, batteries and solar panels at the end of their working lives.

Critical issues at the phase of construction

RE facilities, including the poles and wires required to carry the power to market from remote locations, demand massive amounts of land, concrete, steel, and metals including the essential rare earths.

A single wind turbine contains around 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of

nonrecyclable plastic. Transport of the materials adds to the environmental impact, as does the disposal of the components when the facility is decommissioned.

The AEMO Integrated System Plan to double our electricity supply using wind and solar power calls for a ten-fold increase in large-scale wind and solar capacity and more than 10,000 km of new transmission lines.

Environmental impact is the dirty secret of the RE industry and when environmentalists realise what is happening many will not tolerate that amount of damage.

Recommendation. Legislate for comprehensive environmental impact statements to support applications for RE development, taking account of the ten stages from exploration to waste disposal.


For more information on the ten stages of environmental impact see the paper by Bill Stinson that can be accessed at this site. https://www.flickerpower.com/index.php/search/categories/renewables/21-2-environment-destruction-the-dark-side-to-renewable-energy

The ten stages

Phase 1 – Raw material sourcing – Environment Destruction.

Phase 2 – Raw material mining

Phase 3 – Raw material processing - Environment Destruction, Human Rights Abuse, Toxic Waste

Phase 4 – Approval – Supply Chains – Modern Slavery, Human Rights Abuse

Phase 5 – Fabrication – Large Scale Environment Destruction

Phase 6 – Transportation “Throughout the solar PV manufacturing process all of the materials and products must be shipped to and from more than a dozen countries around the world in large barges, container ships, trains or trucks – all powered by non-renewable oil.”

Phase 7 – Construction - Environment Destruction, Tenuous Supply Chain, Toxic Waste

Phase 8 – Operation - Environment Destruction, Flora and Fauna Destruction,

Phase 9 – Demolition and Rehabilitation

Phase 10 – Disposal - Environment Destruction, Toxic Waste




Back to the List of Notes