Can We Renew Energy?
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Coal power plants can have a variety of outputs, but the average appears to be about 1500MW. But can energy be produced more cleanly by so-called renewable sources?
A calculation on wind farms in the state where I live suggests that the average wind farm has an output of 150MW. That means ten new wind farms would be needed to replace one coal-fired power station. Typically, a wind turbine has an output of 3MW, so each of these ten wind farms should have 50 wind turbines, making 500 new turbines in all. Most turbines will have three sails. You have probably witnessed turbine sails being transported slowly along interstates, on very large, low-loading trucks. Think of the amount of area required to erect 500 new turbines.
Even if there was enough space for such turbines, there is still a problem. The wind is not always blowing. If the wind is not blowing, then the wind farm gives out no power. So its capacity would need to be replaced by coal or gas-fired turbines.
A solar panel of 24 square feet produces 250W of power. This means 6 million such panels would be needed to replace a coal-fired plant. These panels would cover a plot of land 2¼ miles square.
God, in His grace, provided materials such as coal for us to use. As good stewards, we should find ways of using what God has given as efficiently as possible, for His glory.
Prayer: Thank You for Your provision, Lord. Help us to glorify You by the care and thought that we employ to subdue Your world. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Where the Grass Is Greener 2, documentary produced by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, < https://www.cornwallalliance.org >. Image: Wild Horse Wind Farm, WA; CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.
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