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    The ugly side of solar panels; 'Runaway Warming' Impossible
    Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2008 @ 20:08:08 GMT by vlad

    New research shows, albeit unintentional, that generating electricity with solar panels can also be a very bad idea. The manufacture of just 1 square meter of solar panels generates between 7,500 and 31,400 kilograms of greenhouse gases. An average household needs at least 8 square meters of solar panels for electricity generation alone, which boils down to a global warming debt of a whopping 60,000 to 940,000 kilograms of CO2. These numbers equate to 12 to 188 intercontinental flights. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal.

    Producing electricity from solar cells reduces air pollutants and greenhouse gases by about 90 percent in comparison to using conventional fossil fuel technologies, claims a study to be published this month in “Environmental Science & Technology”. Good news, it seems, until one reads the report itself. The researchers come up with a solid set of figures. However, they interpret them in a rather optimistic way. Some recalculations (skip this article if you get annoyed by numbers) produce striking conclusions.

    Solar panels don’t come falling out of the sky – they have to be manufactured. Similar to computer chips, this is a dirty and energy-intensive process. First, raw materials have to be mined: quartz sand for silicon cells, metal ore for thin film cells. Next, these materials have to be treated, following different steps (in the case of silicon cells these are purification, crystallization and wafering). Finally, these upgraded materials have to be manufactured into solar cells, and assembled into modules. All these processes produce air pollution and heavy metal emissions, and they consume energy - which brings about more air pollution, heavy metal emissions and also greenhouse gases...

    More: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

    ===============

    Researcher: Basic Greenhouse Equations "Totally Wrong"

    New derivation of equations governing the greenhouse effect reveals "runaway warming" impossible

    Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was.

    That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Langley Research Center.

    After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well. "I fell in love," he stated at the International Climate Change Conference this week.

    "Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.

    How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution....

    More: Greenhouse Equations

    (Via: http://www.keelynet.com/#whatsnew)

     
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    "The ugly side of solar panels; 'Runaway Warming' Impossible" | Login/Create an Account | 3 comments | Search Discussion
    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

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    Re: The ugly side of solar panels; 'Runaway Warming' Impossible (Score: 1)
    by undy on Sunday, March 09, 2008 @ 16:07:36 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Check out the arithmetic in the first article, it looks like the guy is out by a factor of 100.





    Moore's Law doesn't work for solar cells (Score: 1)
    by vlad on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 @ 21:54:24 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
    Al Gore makes over-optimistic comparisonBy Patrick Thibodeau Framingham | Monday, 28 July, 2008

    n pushing the US to produce all of its electricity from environmentally friendly sources in 10 years, former Vice President Al Gore points to the accomplishments of the technology industry, especially the dramatic gains in computing capability, as an example of what tech innovators can do.

    "Think about what happened in the computer revolution," Gore said on NBC's Meet the Press programme recenty. "We saw cost reductions for silicon computer chips of 50% for every year and a half for the last 40 years," he said. "We're now beginning to see the same kind of sharp cost reductions as the demand grows for solar cells — they build new, more efficient facilities to build these solar cells."

    Gore, who has formed a group, The Alliance for Climate Protection, for solar cell creation, was referring to Moore's Law, which explains the dramatic gains in compute performance. It stems from a 1965 paper written by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, which found that the number of transistors put on a chip doubles every 18 months.

    But does Moore's Law also apply to the solar energy industry? The short answer is no. As with microprocessor technology, the price and performance of photovoltaic solar electric cell is improving. And Gore can clearly point to price drops of solar cells to make his case. But the efficiency of those solar cells — their ability to convert sunlight into electric energy — is not increasing as rapidly...

    Full article: http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/tech/ [computerworld.co.nz]






     

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