Recently, over 2.5mW of solar generating capacity has been added to the Cheq Bay area: Xcel's 1mW of community solar now almost complete, Bayfield Electric's 300kW of community solar installed in 2016, CBR's 552kW in last year's group buy and the ongoing group buy that is currently close to 300kWs and growing, and the various municipal projects like the Ashland County Courthouse (36kW), the Greater Bayfield Waste Water Treatment Plant (100kW) and others that will be started in the next month or so, like the Washburn WWTP, Bayfield County Jail and Washburn Elementary School, each at 100kW. So, with all this solar, where do we stand?
The Global Carbon Project compiles CO2 emissions data annually and the most recent numbers are quite frankly not good. Global CO2 emissions rose 1.6% in 2017 after being relatively flat the few years before. Was this an anomaly? Doesn't look like it as 2018's Global CO2 emissions were up 2.7% and predicted to increase again in 2019. Is this the fault of China and India? Not really, emissions rose 2.5% in the U.S. between 2017 and 2018.
Here's another enlightening statistic: The carbon emissions in the last 25 years is about half of the total that humanity has ever produced. And this while we have known for about 75 years that global warming was taking place. Basically, we have made no significant progress in reducing our consumption or production of energy and taken the necessary steps to protect ourselves. Alarmist? You tell me.
So, where do we stand? We have a long way to go, but at least locally we are trying. We need to keep up the momentum. Please support renewable energy in every way you can; your own home, your workplace, the way you vote. Together, we can make a difference!