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Old 23rd June 2005, 10:29 AM   #1
Jon_in_london
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Arguments against solar power

What are the main (and not so main) arguments against solar power?

I am specifically interested in pollution caused and energy consume din the production of photovoltaic cells.

?
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Old 23rd June 2005, 12:24 PM   #2
c4ts
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I don't know. I'll guess:

1. It doesn't work at night
2. It's too dependent on clear weather conditions
3. It's not as efficient as fuel burning power
4. It's too expensive

But I have no idea what the real arguments are.
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Old 23rd June 2005, 12:30 PM   #3
shecky
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Unless you live far off the grid, electricity is cheap to buy from the power company (at least in the US), practically however much you need, whenever you need.

I would be curious about impact of producing the PV cells-how long it takes before they break even in terms of $$$.
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Old 23rd June 2005, 01:45 PM   #4
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
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Here's mine: We don't know the effects of covering the Earth with solar panels. The sun's heat doesn't end up in the ground. Could that have an environmental effect?

Of course, if we just put all the panels on existing structures, my argument is irrelevant. Well, unless we're already ruining the Earth with all the structures.

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Old 23rd June 2005, 02:07 PM   #5
Mosquito
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Re: Arguments against solar power

Quote:
Originally posted by Jon_in_london
What are the main (and not so main) arguments against solar power?

I am specifically interested in pollution caused and energy consume din the production of photovoltaic cells.

?
I don't know so much about PV-cells, but as has been said, they perform poorly at night.

An alternative that performs excellent even at night is solar towers. This is probably one of the better solar-power plant ideas we have (at least that I know of).

But what it basically boils down to when we talk arguments against solar power (any type that is earth-based) is AREA.

The sun gives about 900-1000W/m2 of energy at ground level/Equator, so in order to get enough energy, you need a LOT of land... Preferrably land that get's a lot of good weather too.

A 100MW plant (not very powerful, as power-plants go) would need 100,000m2, provided 100% efficiency, which we don't have. PV-cells can get up to about 20%, I think, which gives 500,000m2. This is an area of 500mx1000m, in order to have the capacity to provide 100MW during a couple of hours most days. If you need a lot of power in the morning and evening, you need more land. Possibly a LOT more land. Of course, if you live far away from the Equator, you just need more land...

With all this land needed, what this boils down to is that it is less intrusive to build a regular powerplant and surround it with a forest. Cheaper too...

Mosquito - Go Solar Tower! (but I'm not paying for the land...)
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