Skip to comments.Solar power increasing lead poisoning
Posted on 09/04/2011 1:03:09 PM PDT by Twotone
Solar power plants stand as major culprits in lead emissions and lead poisoning in India and China, according to a study conducted by a University of Tennessee-Knoxville professor Chris Cherry. Solar plants make significant use of lead batteries.
(Excerpt) Read more at campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com ...
The law of unintended consequences rides again... maybe candles are the answer
A grid-tie system has no batteries and therefore no lead problem...but the cost of a photovoltaic system only makes sense if all of the subsidies are added in, therefore it doesn’t.
Exactly how do the lead-acid batteries poison people? Hell, I have them in all me vehicles. Are they blowing up or rupturing? Do they recycle them like we do here? Sounds like a lot of hype and BS to me.
Solar may be closer to the heart of the environmental movement than all others, but it, too, will never amount to a hill of beans. The story is similar to wind: solar just cant do any heavy lifting.
At the equator on a sunny day, 950 watts of power shines down on a square meter. Thats about 9 light bulbs worth. There is no way, short of violating the laws of physics, to enhance that number. In the U.S., the number is more like 400 watts over the course of a sunny day. Were down to 4 light bulbs. However, we cannot convert 100% of this energy into electricity. Current technology captures about 15%. Half a light bulb, more or less.
If we covered every roof top of every home in America with solar panels we could likely power the lighting needs of our homes, but only during the day when the sun is shining. During the night, when we actually need lights, panels are useless. As with wind, electrical power can’t be stored at large scale.
The basic problem here is that solar power isnt very, well, powerful. Sure, you can construct huge arrays like this
but they dont accomplish very much. For instance, lets say you went really big, and you created a solar array somewhere in the U.S. the size of five hundred football fields (roughly a square mile). How much power would you get? The answer is roughly 150 MW, and only during the day when the sun is out. A typical power plant produces about 750 MW. So supplanting one power plant would require five square miles of panels. This is not compelling.
Supplanting our entire electrical supply with solar would require turning the entire state of South Carolina into one large solar panel. Or...maybe we should stick them out in the desert. Seems logical. Senator Feinstein has proposed paneling over 500,000 acres of the Mojave Desert. But again, we run into mundane practical problems, even before considering things like the environmental impact of covering that much land. When solar panels collect dust and grime, they lose much of their effectiveness, so they must be cleaned frequently. Where, exactly, are we going to get the water needed for cleaning in the middle of the desert? And who’s going to be out there wiping down 500,000 acres of panels?
Furthermore, the more distant a source of electricity is from where it’s used, the more of it you lose during transmission, as much as 50% over 115 miles. Not a lot of folks living near the Mojave. Feinstein is nuts.
The batteries don't poison people.
Exactly how do the lead-acid batteries poison people?
But to make lead-acid batteries, you have to mine lead (which can leach lead into the environment and the drinking water around the mines), smelt the lead from the ore (which can release lead vapors into the atmosphere, which can be inhaled or fall with rain and contaminate the water around the smelter), and manufacture the batteries (again, processing the lead, leading to lead dust and other lead polution getting into the environment around the manufacturing facility).
Recycling also happens, and in that process, only the final manufacturing of the batteries has the potential to release some lead into the environment.
China and India don't have an Employment Prevention Agency, so manufacturers aren't held to high environmental standards we have here in the USA. If we were to make batteries here, we wouldn't have environmental lead issues because the environmental regs are so much stricter here. But the batteries would cost so much more, and one minor accident at a plant in the USA would result in the manufacturer going out of business due to fines and liability for poisoning and injuries from the mishap.
Better to poison the foreigners and buy from them than pay extra for Americans to do the work more safely and risk their health and our local environment.
The average house is going to need between 10-20KW of power at times, solar ain't going to cut it no matter how hard they wish.
It makes sense in Hawaii where you are paying 42-cents per kWh.
But generally, you are right.
Wait until the reports come out about Obomabulbs and mercury poisoning.
They're saving the environment by killing off all the humans.
Maybe they recycle them the same way we recycle our mercury light bulbs. They toss them in the trash.
1. Ask the greeny weenies (most are too ignorant to know better) how much lead or cadmium was used in the manufacturing of their awesome “green” solar cell?
2. Then ask them how much energy was consumed in their manufacture since it's an energy intense process.
3. Finally ask them, because it's a dirty and energy intense process where MOST of these solar cells are made?
Reality doesn't matter in America anymore. It's just about feelings and good sound bites. Like public transit, these things are in reality fads, often a leftist socioeconomic paradigm, that are not based on science or sound economics. These fads pick up inertia within the public and politicians through themselves out front of the issues and before long you get laws to regulate, subsidies, special loans, special government preference on contracts... And it's all based on bull$hit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-signs-an-Executive-Order-Focused-on-Federal-Leadership-in-Environmental-Energy-and-Economic-Performance
What it really ends up being is a gravy train for some, a tool for the politician to look good by embracing the fad of the times, at the expense of all others because like public transit these fads once codified persist and like a lead weight create market inefficiencies that don't go away even after the fad dies. Years later, like AMTRAK or EVERY PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM IN THIS NATION, you will have economically nonviable structures kept alive by constant money infusions from various levels of government that engage in a “shell game” to deny and hide the real costs of these dead businesses.
We are counting on China doing the lead-poison thing for OUR curly-Q lights THERE so we don’t have to HERE. It’s similar to us getting oil from swarthy peasants in the mid-deast with little in the way of pollution regulation, so we don’t have to drill it here (even though WE know how to do it without the pollution THEY experience). /sarc
The government should incentivize all in the energy sector.
The government should not engage in the game of picking winners and losers on the market place based on some “belief.”
Let the market decide: The market and capitalism appears chaotic and at times irrational, the present government has the belief that they literally know better than this chaotic and disorganized appearing market. In reality, the market place is a beautifully balanced place where efficiency, risk, mutually exclusive needs, the change in human taste are all balanced. Like a train station appears literally out of control but in reality you have thousands of rational people making decisions and moving along their way, so is a market. The more the government thinks they know better and meddle, the more they screw up “long term” by building into the system barriers and inefficiencies that end up dragging the economy down at the macro level. Most so called solutions politicians bring are no more than short term band-aid fixes intended to save their political future but they are in reality damaging the economy long run.
Too bad those jobs are created in China. lol Hey, is anyone in our “watchdog media,” the ones that do all those “investigative reports” holding GE's CEO, the Obama spiritual adviser on economics’s feet to the fire?
I’d say this pic is from the wind farm just north of Lafayette, IN., just based on how flat it is.
And automobiles were once the great hope to save cities from the pollution of airborne pulverized horse-@#$@.
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