Comments on: Solar heads to developing world Global environmental challenges Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:14:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nerea Sun, 31 Jan 2010 23:00:51 +0000 What we should learn from our historical experience with energy is that we shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket. There is no reason that we can’t develop multiple energy generation technologies in wind, solar, biomass, and whatever else we develop that is truly clean and renewable.

I think it’s important that renewable energy allies don’t squabble between solar and wind. Even if it’s just because the technologies are too immature to declare a winner. Support renewable energy and don’t mudsling other technologies.

@ Ricardo: I think you’re blinded by your love for wind. There are many solar options that scale from low-tech to high-tech designs. Try to inform yourself before condemning and entire industry with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of derivative designs.

@ Robert. Solar thermal (i.e eSolar) is incredibly efficient. In direct heat applications, it can reach over 90% efficiency. Standard solar panels available commercially are only 15% efficiency, but high-performance ones reach 45% (but are more expensive). Furthermore, until we find a way to reflect the true cost of coal and other fossil fuels, it’s unreasonable condemn solar. And do you really think that there aren’t “subsidies” for coal and natural gas in the form of inequitably cheap access to mining rights, tax breaks, and other forms of government support. Just because solar subsidies are more transparent doesn’t mean there isn’t tax payer money going into traditional forms of fossil fuel based energy.

Solar technology is still on an aggressive learning curve and as production increases, costs will drop with economies of scale. So will other renewable energy technologies. With advances in our economic system, such as a carbon tax, we may also find a way to better reflect the value of renewable energy systems such as solar.

By: Ricardo Wed, 28 Oct 2009 23:25:29 +0000 Big business.

I see these investments in solar as a business opportunity rather than an effort to provide power and cut CO2 emissions.

The output on solar, isn’t enough to justify this strategy. Business driven options.

Wind is far more productive and cheap than solar and when alied to hidric resources a faster and economic way to pull some MW and cut CO2.

Wind can be installed away from the grid also, or even attached to it, giving some small communities an extra income.

Wind can be high tech or low tech, with more expensive 1/2 MW turbines or smaller community turbines.

Business, business, business…

By: nimbu pani Tue, 27 Oct 2009 08:00:14 +0000 Every year the advance in technologies will make solar more cheap. This will tip the scale in favour of solar energy.
Secondly u don’t have to connect to the grid for the power.
People who install solar or other re power don’t have to worry about increased power bills.

By: Robert Fri, 23 Oct 2009 17:02:48 +0000 Solar, while clean, is still incredibly inefficient. It is only “profitable” for companies at the present time because of massive taxpayer subsidies. Once those subsidies are gone (which will be soon), solar will not be viable until the technology improves exponentially (decades away). Until then, carbon and to a lesser extent, nuclear will be the least expensive and most efficient.

By: Mark Montgomery Fri, 16 Oct 2009 09:29:17 +0000 You failed to mention India’s proposed gigantic solar power project which will produce over 200 gigawatts of power, enough energy to supply 200,000,000 Indians with electricity and clearly the largest solar power project on earth. We are seeing the Indian government proactively taking the world lead in solar power development. Mark Montgomery