2GB broadcaster Ben Fordham claims solar panels have environmental issues

Radio host calls out solar panels for their environmental issues – with energy from the sun expected to power HALF of Australia’s homes

  • Questions raised about the cost and environmental efficiency of solar panels
  • Ben Fordham says ‘savings’ day for households continues to be pushed back
  • Says he’s been told by listeners who have them that they’re not saving money
  • NSW could generate 70,000 tonne / yr in solar panel and battery waste by 2035

One of Australia’s most high-profile radio hosts has reignited debate about solar panels, claiming the ‘clean, green energy source’ has environmental issues.

Sydney Radio 2GB host Ben Fordham raised questions over the ‘fragile’ and ‘flawed’ business case for panels after he was inundated with complaints from listeners now doubting a push to make the switch.

Solar power is expected to make up 50 per cent of Australia’s energy capacity by 2030, which NSW treasurer Matt Kean hailed as ‘critical in modernizing our electricity system’.

But Fordham says authorities can’t hide the fact that a lot of question marks remain about the panels, even though half a million NSW households alone have them installed, including himself.

A big question mark remains over the cost and environmental efficiency of solar panels, according to one broadcaster (pictured, panels being installed)

A big question mark remains over the cost and environmental efficiency of solar panels, according to one broadcaster (pictured, panels being installed)

It costs Australians an average of $ 10,000 for the panels on top of up to $ 16,000 for the battery to make the most out of the system, the host claimed.

‘People have installed solar panels in the hope of saving money in the long run,’ he said.

‘But more experts are pointing out that the’ savings day ‘is being pushed back further and further.’

‘We’ve had listeners point out to us that after making the switch- they’re not actually saving money.

‘It sounds like people are starting to have buyer’s remorse.’

One woman told Fordham her household is now paying $ 80 more a quarter than before going solar two years ago as they repay the cost of the panels.

Fordham quoted research from leading consumer groups to support his claims.

Review website Canstar Blue states there’s no black and white answer of whether solar batteries are worth the investment as it depend on individual circumstances

‘Despite the savings on ongoing electricity bills- it’s unlikely the unit will pay for itself… before the battery’s warranty expires,’ the site states.

Choice Magazine says results from an Australian-based multi-year trial of solar storage batteries weren’t encouraging.

At least half a million NSW households have solar panels, according to the state government.  Pictured is a new home with solar panels in Sydney's north-west

At least half a million NSW households have solar panels, according to the state government. Pictured is a new home with solar panels in Sydney’s north-west

Ben Fordham (pictured with wife Jodie Speers) described the business case for solar panels as fragile and flawed, despite having them installed on his own home

Ben Fordham (pictured with wife Jodie Speers) described the business case for solar panels as fragile and flawed, despite having them installed on his own home

Economist Judith Sloan warned this week a government push towards renewable energy won’t bring down power prices soon.

‘On sunny and windy days, the price can be low, sometime negative, during the day, but the price shoots up at night when the sun sets and the wind often dies down,’ she wrote in The Australian.

‘At this point, renewable energy is not useful and only reliable or firming generation can be used to meet demand.’

Fordham pointed out environmental factors are also a big concern as Australia braces for another chaotic La Nina system.

He added the vast majority of the world’s solar panels are made in China, which will increase to 95 per cent over the next decade.

Many household had solar panels installed in the hope of saving money in the long run but have seen their power bills go through the roof

Many household had solar panels installed in the hope of saving money in the long run but have seen their power bills go through the roof

‘So even though Australia played a key role in inventing solar technology… we rely on China,’ Fordham said.

‘Then you’ve got waste. By 2025, NSW will generate up to 10,000 tonnes of waste annually – from solar panels and batteries. By 2035 – this could reach 70,000 tonnes a year. ‘

Fordham ended the segment by conceding solar power could be a big part of Australia’s future.

‘But at present – the industry is suffering a branding problem,’ he said.

‘The sun isn’t shining… as much as we’re used to.

‘People aren’t saving money… as much as they expected.

‘And the so-called’ clean, green energy source ‘has environmental issues of its own!’

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