With hazelnuts, when you add up all the parts of the process, it’s worth growing hazelnuts as a luxury food for human beings—but as fuel for the high-powered machines of modern life, it is a disaster. The same is true for solar and wind.
Just as it’s a mistake to assume that because the sun is free, solar-powered hazelnuts will be cheap, so it is a mistake to assume that solar-powered energy can or will be cheap. Whether that’s true or not depends on all the materials, manpower, and machines involved in the entire process of harnessing the sun’s power.
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