Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

NYT,pg1: Solar Power Wins Enthusiasts but Not Money: Forget solar; it has no political clout.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU
 
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:58 AM
Original message
NYT,pg1: Solar Power Wins Enthusiasts but Not Money: Forget solar; it has no political clout.
Solar Power Wins Enthusiasts but Not Money
By ANDREW C. REVKIN and MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: July 16, 2007

....for all the enthusiasm about harvesting sunlight, some of the most ardent experts and investors say that moving this energy source from niche to mainstream last year it provided less than 0.01 percent of the countrys electricity supply is unlikely without significant technological breakthroughs. And given the current scale of research in private and government laboratories, that is not expected to happen anytime soon.

Even a quarter century from now, says the Energy Department official in charge of renewable energy, solar power might account for, at best, 2 or 3 percent of the grid electricity in the United States.

In the meantime, coal-burning power plants, the main source of smokestack emissions linked to global warming, are being built around the world at a rate of more than one a week....

***

Scientists long ago calculated that an hours worth of the sunlight bathing the planet held far more energy than humans worldwide could use in a year, and the first practical devices for converting light to electricity were designed more than half a century ago.

Yet research on solar power and methods for storing intermittent energy has long received less spending, both in the United States and in other industrialized countries, than energy options with more political support....

***

In the battle for money from Washington, solar lobbyists say they are outgunned by their counterparts representing coal, corn and the atom....Government spending on energy research has long been shaped by political constituencies....

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/16/business/16solar.html...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. It should continue to be about getting solar roofs... a personal level thing. But we need
better monetary breaks on the technology to even make that happen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. the money will be there eventually . . . it's inevitable . . .
regardless of what the corporate oligarchy may want, the move toward renewable energy is inexorable . . . it WILL happen, eventually . . . solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal will, at some point, become the only sensible alternatives to the wastefulness and destructiveness of oil, coal, nuclear, and biofuels . . .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. It would seem to me that using solar where it is most efficient is
a good idea. While it takes a more complicated system to produce electricity it is not all that difficult to use it to replace heating cost and water heating. Even passive solar heating works. I also assume that the study that says 2% is not looking at all the aspects of solar use but only its use for producing electricity?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I assume the same thing. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. In terms of World energy sources, hydro is 6% and other renewables are 1%
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 11:05 PM by Bread and Circus
that means the world gets about 7% of it's energy from the sun in one way or another. That is despite the huge industry bias towards fossil fuels. This actually exceeds nuclear contributions (6%).

The sun delivers about 1 exajoule of energy to the earth every minute. The earth's annual energy use is about 471 exajoules. That means the earth delivers that amount of energy to the earth in 8 hours or so. It's not that the energy isn't there, it's that it is just not being captured.

One of the problems is that alot of solar-energy-to-electricity use has thus far been built around photovoltaics that are inefficient and expensive. However, there are alot of projects going on that go past photovoltaics and supercede them in terms of energy capture efficiency.

100 square miles of sunlight in Nevada would provide us with all the electricity we need, by some estimates.

Mother nature gives us everything we need, if only we had the wisdom to use it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well said. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 03:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. In terms of solar efficiency, Boeing-Spectrolab made a cell last December that hit 40.7%
That's huge in comparison to the usual 12-18% most cells have.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/12/06/solar-cell-breakthro... /

http://www.energy.gov/news/4503.htm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. exactly... the author cites a lack of research, seemingly to have ignored this and other
improvements in photovoltaics and their production that will greatly increase the numbers he's using.

In short, it's a solar energy hit piece, IMO. :grr:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC