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We need more solar energy

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We need more solar energy

Postby Beaver » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:14 am

I wish we had more solar energy. Interesting comparison to fossil fuels here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... e=1&ref=nf
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Rich Schultz » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:48 am

"Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the “world wind-energy champion”). Germans pay three times more than their American counterparts.
Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.
Using solar, Germany is paying about $1,000 per ton of CO2 reduced. The current CO2 price in Europe is $8. Germany could have cut 131 times as much CO2 for the same price. Instead, the Germans are wasting more than 99 cents of every euro that they plow into solar panels."
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/project_syndicate/2012/02/why_germany_is_phasing_out_its_solar_power_subsidies_.html
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Peanutbutter » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:20 am

"Alternative" energy is like health food.

Tastes like crap, doesn't do as good of a job of filling you up, cost three times as much as the normal stuff, but liberals still love it because it makes them feel special!
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby jonnygothispen » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:52 am

Solar looks very promising... http://presskit.ditd.org/2008_Davidson_ ... m_Yuan.pdf
In his project, “A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light,” William invented a novel solar panel that enables light absorption from visible to ultraviolet light. He designed carbon nanotubes to overcome the barriers of electron movement, doubling the light-electricity conversion efficiency. William also developed a model for solar towers and a computer program to simulate and optimize the tower parameters. His optimized design provides 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than the cutting-edge, three-dimensional solar cell.
http://www.katu.com/news/28432984.html
"Solar, it seems underused, and there are only a few problems with it," Yuan said. Encouraged by his Meadow Park Middle School science teacher, the 12-year-old developed a 3D solar cell. "Regular solar cells are only 2D and only allow light interaction once," he said. And his cell can absorb both visible and UV light.

"I started to realize I was actually onto something," Yuan said. At first, he couldn't believe his calculations. "This solar cell can't be generating this much electricity, it can't be absorbing this much extra light," he recalled thinking.

If he is right, solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells.
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:33 am

Anybody who thinks this technology is fully developed today and thus is proven once and for all to be inadequate is plain foolish.

I think we'll finally arrive at workable solar (and other clean energy) solutions to many of our energy needs, but the transition period is going to be rough and, I think, might involve a reassessment of nuclear energy as a bridge. And that reassessment could go either way. I'm talking decades, not just a few years.

The idea of collecting energy from spectra other than visible light is just one of the many possibilities we'll start exploring. The Chinese are already ahead of the US, of course, because they're not burdened by an ideological resistance to incentives for moving beyond carbon-based energy.

This is a competition we will lose.

Don't pretend technology just stops with 2012.
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Meade » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:47 am

snoqueen wrote:The Chinese are already ahead of the US, of course, because they're not burdened by an ideological resistance to incentives for moving beyond carbon-based energy.

They're also not burdened by the EPA.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/world/asia/china-shuts-solar-panel-factory-after-anti-pollution-protests.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/08/AR2008030802595_pf.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14963354
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:53 am

To those who oppose solar energy development, what is your solution? Is it "drill, baby, drill" or "frack, baby, frack"?
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Comrade » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:57 am

Snoqueen is actually pretty much on mark here.

The simple truth is that neither solar nor wind is developed to the point of being economically feasible. It is just not there at this time.

Could the technology be further developed? Yes, it could and is in the process. Nobody wants that halted.

The biggest mistake that could be made however, is to force the issue and implementation before it is ready. That would be disasterous. We most likely will need nuculear as a bridge. Also natural gas is a tremendous resouce that is not being utilized. Since it burns cleaner than coal or diesel, it should be used to power our trucks and buses as well as replacing coal for electricity production. We could do that right now and eliminate the need to import oil, but it is not happening. This is yet another example of extremely bad leadership from both parties. Nobody is looking out for the best long term interest of the people.
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Meade » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:58 am

Henry Vilas wrote
To those who oppose solar energy development, what is your solution? Is it "drill, baby, drill" or "frack, baby, frack"?

To those who oppose mothers' milk, what is your solution? Is it "die, baby, die" or "cry, baby, cry"?
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Comrade » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:01 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:To those who oppose solar energy development, what is your solution? Is it "drill, baby, drill" or "frack, baby, frack"?


Henry, you really need to learn how to look objectively at things and stop being such a blind partisan.

There are advantages and disadvatages to each and every source of energy. Lets stop the cliche's and start being honest about those things and find ways to meet our needs and with which we can live.
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby rabble » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:07 pm

Comrade wrote:Could the technology be further developed? Yes, it could and is in the process. Nobody wants that halted.

Oh, bullSHIT. Google it a little bit, kid. See who wants it stop.

In fact look up there at the beginning of the thread. You're gonna tell me calling it crap means "I want it to keep going?"
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:09 pm

Comrade wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:To those who oppose solar energy development, what is your solution? Is it "drill, baby, drill" or "frack, baby, frack"?


Henry, you really need to learn how to look objectively at things and stop being such a blind partisan.

Tell that to the naysayers (see Rich Schultz).
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Rich Schultz » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:14 pm

Think Globally, Drill Locally.
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby Beaver » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:41 pm

Rich Schultz wrote:http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/project_syndicate/2012/02/why_germany_is_phasing_out_its_solar_power_subsidies_.html

The user comments make this article by Lomborg sound not trustworthy.

"the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty deemed Lomborg's book to be "Scientifically Dishonest", but decided Lomborg was not guilty, basically because he had no expertise in what he wrote about and fabricated and distorted much in his writing (paraphrasing, they said he was a just a lying and manipulative baffoon).

"The DCSD cited The Skeptical Environmentalist for:
Fabrication of data;
Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
Plagiarism;
Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results."

So basically Lomborg is the Glenn Beck of environmental science, never letting facts get in the way of his B.S., just spewing forth some fromt-the-gut, uninformed, conservative talking points as "fact" to an unwary audience that wants desperately to believe them. It's not even "Truthiness", as there is nothing resembling truth in it...
Germany supplies 30% of it's energy from solar, if the author of the article got his facts straight (it's not 0.3%). By the way, the vast majority of cost of solar is up front, meaning power production cost is minimal, consisting primarily of maintenance and administration, for the next 20 years once the infrastructure is built out. Contrast with Coal, Oil, and Nuclear which require constant consumption of expensive and polluting material each and every day. These materials are polluting twice, once for extraction, and then again when consumed."
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Re: We need more solar energy

Postby rabble » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:21 pm

According to Wikipedia it's 3% and expected to be 25% by 2050.

However, this article says the phasing out isn't going well and they've set another world record for solar energy production.

Though recent cuts to the country’s solar energy policies and initiatives have been made by the government, the German solar energy industry seems to continue to pick up momentum. Solar energy production has now reached an all time high in the country.
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