Many a myths that one happens to hear or occasionally read about Alternative Energy Sources have been either intentionally floated or else are a bi-product of imaginative ignorance.
In mid May 2014, National Report (web site given to satires) published an article headlined, “Solar Panels Drain the Sun’s Energy, Experts Say.” An excerpt:
“This week, a scientific research facility in Wyoming made a startling discovery that is certain to change the way millions of Americans look at the environmentalism movement, after they found conclusive evidence that solar panels not only convert the sun’s energy into usable energy, but that they are also draining the sun of its own energy, possibly with catastrophic consequences far worse than global warming.”
Shocking, yes- but this was in media- and to top it up—a hot share ! BUT ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT ANY SCIENTIFIC LOGIC.
PV Solar panels are not like a vacuum cleaners- they merely capture the light that strikes them. They can’t physically suck out the Sun’s energy. The Sun consistently emits solar radiation (light and heat), regardless of whether we use it or not. It isn’t a feedback system whereby our actions can alter the amount released. It’s a system that we tap into for our benefit; we have no influence over it.
The urban-legend investigation site Snopes.com also DEBUUNKED the above story on May 25, 2014. A former disclaimer by SNOOPS.COM said, “National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.” (Snopes also debunked the solar panels story on May 25, 2014.)
People who shared it didn’t even give it a second (scientific) thought ! Were they scientifically so naïve ? It was later found that the agency who floated the story, did so, as a satire and all references were fictional. But it created a wave, which multiplied in intensity due to ignorance.
Another interesting myth that I came across dates back to the introduction of hydel ( hydro ) power in rural India. The rumor is that construction of dams was vehemently opposed by the farmers because they believed that the water from the dams was not fit for irrigation since the “electricity” was drawn out !!
Its an endless list of myths.
But I wonder if myths are “created” by vested interests ?
Some interesting articles
As per the above story, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, found that between 2010 and 2013 the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) has donated just under $4.5 million to groups like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, which have worked to impede state-level policies that promote clean energy.
The report, How The Walton Family Is Threatening Our Clean Energy Future, resolves the contradiction by pointing to the multibillionaires’ main motivation: profit.
According to the report, “The Walton family—majority owners of Walmart—are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future. They are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power.” What’s Walmart’s dog in this fight? Let the report explain:
“A Walton-owned solar company, First Solar, was instrumental in helping APS win in Arizona, backing the utility even as the rest of the solar industry joined environmental and consumer groups in opposing the new fees. First Solar builds solar arrays for utilities and, as such, stands to benefit if households are blocked from generating their own electricity, even if it means slowing the overall growth of solar.”