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Subject:  Re: SOLR Date:  2/25/2011  8:15 AM
Author:  anuragupta Number:  243 of 1287

There is one thing that should not be ignored:

Oil has insignificant practical impact on Solar. It is the politicians who make that noise but just think about it. Solar produces electricity and where oil used for producing electricity other than tiny generator sets during emergency?

Solar is the answer to a different problem: one that of environmental pollution caused by coal plants and the fact that coal is a non renewable source. But we have enough coal reserves to last for centuries. The second issue is if Solar is really non-renewable? The rare earth minerals that solar panels need are rare indeed. Rarer than coal and rarer than oil. And far more toxic too to extract and to process. Although the amount use in a solar panel (for an average house) is tiny. Final issue is the cost. Solar is expensive. More expensive that nuclear (except thermosolar which require large piece of land, huge capex, poor efficiency but after that it is relatively maintenance free). The problem is we just don't have a viable technology to tap energy from the sun and even if we did we don't have the viable technology to convert that energy into a form that can be used to power trucks, airplanes and ships to make a difference on the oil situation. Even if consumer autos become all electric - which will put a dent on oil consumption - that need can still be fulfilled by coal/nuke fired electric plans at a far cheaper rate.

Solar industry is thriving only due to subsidies and not because it is a viable technology that is or can reduce oil dependence.

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