Solar power: why hasn't this improved

Discussion in 'Energy' started by bill5, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. bill5
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    bill5 Member

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    I remember them talking about this and it even getting a little "trendy" in the 70s. 30-40+ yrs later and it's still a fringe source of power at most. What the hell? There's this ENORMOUS source of power for billions of years to come and we haven't figured out how to make this cost-effective yet? ??
     
  2. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    oil and coal is still too cheap to make us use more solar.
     
  3. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    Its called a plant Bill. The darn things are efficient as all get out in turning the sunlight into useable sugars.
     
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  4. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    It has less to do with efficency than to do with storage issues. power from fossil fuels is easy to store. you keep your coal/oil/gas ready to use, and burn it when you need it. Solar, like wind is more "here now, gone for a while, here again, WHOOPS! gone again!) and our power grid wasn't really designed for it.

    The materials have become cheaper, and the efficienies better, but on a large scale the intermittent and storage issues are still a problem, and on small scale, the equipment needed to safely tie into the grid for when you need to draw extra power is still expsensive.

    The needed improvements are in grid regulation, and two way power transmission.
     
  5. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    That's a lie, kitty with groucho glasses, and you know it. Solar panels are subject to the laws of physics and you need the sunshine from an acre of (ugly) panels to make a couple of amps of current. I'd buy the junk and put it on my roof if it worked ....but it don't.
     
  6. bill5
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    bill5 Member

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    Nice recap, thanks!
     
  7. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    thanks for that. we agree.

    it has always seemed to me that alternative energy is not only a fuel issue, but a security issue. as things stand, we funnel money into countries that funnel that money into groups that hate us and try to damage us and our interests. so aside from my huggy, feely, left-leaning environmental concerns, it seems to me that this is something we should, left/right and middle, be concerned about.

    in the 1970's, jimmy carter said this. i can't stand him for other reasons, but on this issue he happened to be correct. he put solar panels on the white house and had hoped this country would start funding, investing in and finding alternative energy sources. then ronald reagan became president and one of the first things he did was remove the solar panels from the white house. then followed decades of right wing derision of anything that smacked of environmental responsibility.... culminating with sarah's "drill baby drill" crowd.

    so yes, there are needed improvements. but they don't have a high profit margin... which is why private companies are lagging behind. that's where government comes in.

    and you know how far that gets in this climate.

    so we continue to do business with terrorists and their supporters.
     
  8. bill5
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    bill5 Member

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    Gee someone digressing this into political BS, what a surprise, never saw that before on this site. You go wingnut. :rolleyes:
     
  9. signelect
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    signelect BANNED

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    This is not about politics, it is about free enterprise. People don't want to use solar power because it is expensive and inefficient. Fox those two things and solar power will be the vogue. Government is not suposed to fix things, it is to provide for the common defense, every thing else it does is mess up. If the gov took over the beer industry a 6 pack would cost $50 in a month.
     
  10. GHook93
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    GHook93 Aristotle

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    That is a half truth. Coal, natural gas, hydro and nuclear are relatively cheap, but solar and wind just don't produce enough energy for our needs!
     

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