This editorial, by Liam Sigaud, discusses how silicone has a profound impact on Americans’ energy use, including the benefits of energy generation from both wind turbines and solar panels. In fact, about 90 percent of solar panels have at least some silicone components, which act as lubricants, sealants, coatings, and insulators. Silicone compounds are also used to bond wind turbines’ rotor blades and lubricate rotating machinery, enhancing performance and allowing turbines to operate in the harshest weather conditions. In fact, by one estimate, every ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the energy production and silicone materials prevent 9 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted in other ways, thanks to the efficiency gains it delivers.
However, regulators in the European Union have recently taken steps to restrict the use of silicone on the basis that it poses a risk to the environment. How ironic. To read this op-ed, visit Real Clear Energy.