Gastonia, NC Correspondent– It’s a bit hilarious to me that we’re still talking about the border wall. After all the campaign statements Trump made that have not come to fruition, we still believe he’s going to have Mexico pay for a gigantic physical wall that will be nothing more than a symbolic gesture?
And now we’re talking about putting solar panels on it. While I’m a firm believer in alternative energy, these panels work better when they’re tightly clustered, not spread over more than a thousand miles. These panels will be hard to maintain, the wiring required to channel the energy collected will be fragile and that’s not even taking into account the vandalism that is bound to arise from hurt feelings over the wall’s existence. Unless we give the Border Patrol a huge increase in funding and manpower, the solar part of the wall will be indefensible … and if we do grant the increase, that will more than balance any savings from energy generated by the solar wall.
We’ve already gone of the pros and cons of the wall at length in other forums, so I won’t belabor the point here. Suffice it to say that putting shiny solar panels atop an insult to intelligence doesn’t make it any smarter.
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– There are benefits to the addition of solar panels to the wall being considered between the American southern border and Mexico, and they will not only help border states and Mexico but will likely go a long way in resolving economic issues between Mexico and the United States.
In a recent rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, President Trump said, “We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy, and pays for itself. And this way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good. Is that good?”
One of the contenders for the construction of the solar wall, Thomas Gleason of Gleason Partners, has said that his design will be cost saving as the solar aspect of the wall will pay for itself. Precast concrete will go under the ground to give the wall stability and the next eight feet will be made of tight mesh fencing that cannot be accessed through climbing or hooking into it. The solar feature will be above that from eight to 24 feet, which will be made of a solar curtain wall.
A solar curtain is comparable to the glass that is used in high rises, but it contains solar energy producing capabilities within it. Though solar curtains produce less energy than panels do, they are capable of turning an object like a border wall into an energy producing mechanism, so that aspect of the wall is a definite plus to those receiving and using the energy produced.
The solar curtain would also be reinforced to make it unyielding and indestructible. The top of the wall would contain a solar actuator that would enable the panels to track the sun along its vertical path from east to west. The panel on the U.S. side would be vertical with electronics concealed in aircraft-grade aluminum so no thieving or tinkering could occur with any copper or other metal connections. This would be another cost saving benefit.
The solar panel on the Mexican side would be angled in order to balance the weight of the panel as well as make for a better positioning toward the sun during the winter months. Gleason estimates that his solar wall design would produce 2megawatts, or enough to power between 500 and 1000 homes, for each mile of the wall, which is of benefit to the populations on both sides of the wall.
The benefits of a solar wall on the border are obviously its impenetrable nature, its energy efficiency and production and its safety aspect. No illegal crosser would be able to mount protests or claims of injury. At 30 feet, the wall it is unclimable. As the contractor has said, the wall is safe but still meets construction criteria, and those trying to cross from the Mexican side will be unable to scale the wall because of its height and lack of access for hands and fingers.
Even if a climber was able to get beyond the first 24 feet of the wall, they would have to reach another seven to nine feet to get to the lower area of the tilted panel, and then scale that section. Gleason has hopes that his solar wall design will dissuade any crossers without any actual harm coming to them, as anyone trying to scale the wall would actually slide back down it with limited to no possibilities of injury.
Of course, biologists and other environmentalists don’t see the benefits of the solar wall, other than its energy producing capacity for humans, as they complain that the wall will be penetrated no matter its construction, and they further capitalize on the fact that both smaller and larger wildlife would not be able to cross into areas they utilize for habitats, though the solar contractor has incorporated small gaps of up to a foot on select parts of the wall, which would not accommodate crossers but would allow smaller animals access for crossing, but environmentalists are not happy with this plan either as larger animals, like big cats and antelopes would not be able to pass. Wild animals are adaptable and they will accommodate and adjust to their surrounding and protecting and securing a country from invaders from across the borders and other countries is significantly more important, particularly when these invaders have left biological messes and non biodegradable litter in their travels that are dangerous to the desert ecosystem.
Other concerns with the wall include the passage of water in locations along the wall and the connection of solar power to those in the area that would utilize the solar energy. Those processes would involve additional construction for connection to any existing electrical grids and water sources, and it is not clear at this point where funding for those projects would materialize.
As of now, the benefits of the solar wall outweigh the disadvantages and with President Trump overseeing the operation, and inputting his construction expertise, even from a distance, the construction of the wall will likely exceed anyone’s expectations.
Owatonna, MN Correspondent– The obvious benefit to a border solar wall is the solar energy it would collect. If the world is serious about dealing with the effects of a warming climate and, more importantly, reducing pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, then developing and expanding solar energy collection and storage needs to become a top priority.
Building a solar wall presumes American companies construct the panels and American workers install them as the wall is built. But I’ve seen no specifics on which companies and whose workers will build any wall that might go up on that border. Construction jobs in the Desert Southwest are often filled by migrant workers from Central America. Some of those are likely illegal aliens. It seems ironic that someone who helps build a wall may represent the people the wall is designed to keep out. Nevertheless, a solar wall might boost the economy to a small degree, assuming it’s mostly American-made.
Unfortunately, those are the only benefits of a solar wall on our southern border. While it’s a good theoretical idea, practically speaking, a 2000-mile-long solar panel farm will be incredibly inefficient to maintain, service, and protect. Vandals on the Mexican side of the border will be enticed to destroy chunks of the wall. Repairing damaged sections will require long miles of driving or flying to the exact location (mostly in remote and rugged land) which will add to the net cost of producing that solar power.
And we can’t forget that the highest, strongest, most impenetrable wall ever built will not stop illegal aliens from getting into our country. They will either climb over it, tunnel under it, or go around it. The only solutions to illegal immigration are making legal immigration faster, easier, and fairer; and helping poor countries improve their economies enough so their workers will have no reason to leave for better opportunities.
Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent– The mighty Trump has spoken again. Oh boy! Let’s see what he’s up to this time around and whose clock he’s ticking (or about to).
In a recent speech in Iowa, Trump made it quite clear that the wall (yes that one) he initially proposed WOULD be built. After stating his intention, he later dashed the icing on the cake, by stating that the border might even host solar panels. Wow! How awe-inspiring (I hope you sense the sarcasm, right?)
I had to ask, but is Trump being paid for his inventiveness? I mean, the man is just kicking out ideas like an angry horse galloping around a ranch.
According to Trump, “we’re thinking of something that’s unique”. Let’s give Trump mad props. I’m not fond of the guy, but as much as I hate to say it, there’s much sense to his proposal.
Yes, the solar border is beneficial. As there’s a lot of heat and sun in that area, it could do well in generating enough solar energy. According to Trump, with the solar border idea, the wall would pay for itself and Mexico would need to pay less. I get the ‘wall paying for itself ideology’ but does Trump seriously think that Mexico will pay for a wall he decided to erect? HA! I’m on edge waiting to see how that plays out.
In the meantime, Trump’s idea has much substance, as electricity isn’t cheap. If he can get a lot of it from the sun, why not?