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

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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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