- 64MW solar installation in Nevada will be switched on
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Looks good UNTIL you consider the amount of non-solar energy that went into it’s development. Sorry to pop your green bubble, but with only 1/3 hp/acre energy available at the ground, it’s just not cost effective.
This is like saying I can't eat vegetables unless I can grow all my own. Using energy from different areas that have more natural energy sources is the idea behind a distributed economy and specialization. Do what you do best. Trying to net out the energy going into the production of a energy producing device makes no economic sense.
son of parnas
March 17th, 2007 7:32pm
I bought me 5 million batteries. Now I'm permanently off the grid. Woopie. Cost doesn't matter. Yippee!!!!
March 17th, 2007 8:13pm
It's not zero cost - the mirrors have to be cleaned and maintained.
But I agree with sop - a minor investment with petrochemicals is worth a major return from renewable sources.
And as for "nuclear is the only way to go" jackass - that's the kind of crap that keeps us from doing anything. People act like we have to choose nuclear OR solar OR wind OR tidal - DO ALL OF THEM, YOU IDIOTS. Solar, tidal, and wind where they make sense, nuclear to balance the grid.
March 17th, 2007 8:36pm
Solar energy really isn't the way to go, though. Environmentally, it's at least as bad as coal.
March 17th, 2007 9:01pm
I'm not saying don't be green - just that solar isn't. Other forms of renewable power are much better.
March 17th, 2007 9:01pm
Why is solar bad?
March 17th, 2007 9:31pm
1/3 hp/acre energy? Someone can't do basic math. It's closer to 300 hp/acre.
March 17th, 2007 9:53pm
In grey England, solar is a shady investment.
March 17th, 2007 10:03pm
I still think solar panels on the moon are the way to go.
1. You can get corporate sponsorship by putting logos on the moon (think "Cha").
2. The sunny side is _always_ sunny.
3. No atmosphere to get in the way, more direct access to energy.
4. No weather to degrade the equipment.
Now all we need to do is figure out how to get the energy back to Earth. I propose we concentrate it & beam it directly into city centers as the moon passes overhead where it can be most directly put to use.
March 17th, 2007 10:11pm
> where it can be most directly put to use.
onto my jacuzzi.
March 17th, 2007 10:17pm
>>> I propose we concentrate it & beam it directly into city centers as the moon passes overhead where it can be most directly put to use.
It's an old sci-fi idea, and it'd be totally doable if the money spent on Iraq went into spaceflight instead.
March 18th, 2007 12:09am
Cheaper spaceflight, that is.
March 18th, 2007 12:09am
And there's absolutely no danger to the large nearby population! Nope. Absolutely none!
March 18th, 2007 1:07am
If they can focus a postage sized beam of laser on the moon, they sure can beam back enough microwave energy to steep up my cup of tea in the morning. jeez, a little logic please!
March 18th, 2007 1:11am
"I propose we concentrate it & beam it directly into city centers as the moon passes overhead where it can be most directly put to use."
once we can beam it back there is no particular reason to put them on the moon. just leave them floating in space. let the environmentalists whinge about a space farm of solar panels :)
I agree with geeky. Solar panels have a short, limited lifespan, and during that lifespan their output goes down. You get a maximum of 25 years out of them, but after about 10 years the output isn't worth even the maintenance, to say nothing of the energy inputs to get the thing started.
This is exactly the same as buying a box of batteries and claiming to be green and off the grid.
Don't forget also that the cell manufacturing process produces highly toxic industrial waste.
There is absolutely no benefit to this project, other than to channel some funds to the company that built the panels.
March 18th, 2007 9:24am
Feh, never mind, I take it all back now that I have actually read the article. This is a solar-thermal array driving an oil turbine. That's not s bad on the environment. Main issue is if they can keep the mirrors polished through desert sand storms.
March 18th, 2007 9:32am
"2. The sunny side is _always_ sunny. "
The moon always faces the earth, rotating once every 28 days. So each moon-day would last 14 days but then you would have an equally long night.
bob's your uncle
March 18th, 2007 3:31pm
"The moon always faces the earth, rotating once every 28 days. So each moon-day would last 14 days but then you would have an equally long night."
Well that's stupid, who the hell approved that design? That's 50% less useful to me.
I swear whoever architected this universe is a moron.
March 19th, 2007 5:19am
> I still think solar panels on the moon are the way to go
I'm going to need an extension lead to plug my TV in.
March 19th, 2007 10:26am