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Solar Cells 23,000 Times Worse for Environment Than Carbon Dioxide
| Monday, June 25, 2012
Posted on 07/15/2012 7:00:09 AM PDT by dennisw
New Book: Solar Cells 23,000 Times Worse for Environment Than Carbon Dioxide
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 by Staff Report
Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than According to New Book, Green Illusions ... Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California - Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless. PR Newswire
Dominant Social Theme: Say what? Tony the Tiger says solar cells are just Grrrrrrreeat! And Tony never lies.
Free-Market Analysis: Hoo boy! Whom can you trust anymore? For decades, we've been hearing about the promise of solar power and now it turns out that solar cells may be terrible for the environment.
Bottom line according to this new book, Green Illusions: Hexafluoroethane has a potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2.
This isn't just some statistic with a dubious genealogy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes this assessment. And it gets worse. Hexafluoroethane is "100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere."
Here's some more from the press release:
Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening. The solar photovoltaic industry is one of the fastest-growing emitters of these gases, which are now measurably accumulating within the earth's atmosphere according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A NOAA study shows that atmospheric concentrations of SF6 have been rising exponentially. A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters documents that atmospheric NF3 levels have been rising 11 percent per year.
"If photovoltaic production grows, so will the associated side effects," claims Zehner. "Even worse, there's no evidence that solar cells offset fossil fuel use in the American context." Zehner explains that alternative energy subsidies keep retail electricity costs incrementally lower, which then spurs demand. "It's a boomerang effect," remarks Zehner. "The harder we throw alternative energy into the electrical grid, the harder demand comes back to hit us on the head. Historically, we've filled that demand by building more fossil fuel plants, not fewer."
Zehner advocates shifting to energy taxes and other conservation measures. He claims that even some of the most expensive options for dealing with CO2 would become cost competitive long before today's solar cell technologies.
"If limiting CO2 is our goal, we might be better off directing our time and resources to those options first; solar cells seem a wasteful and pricey strategy," says Zehner. "It is hard to conceive of a justification for extracting taxes from the working class to fund installations of Stone Age photovoltaic technologies high in the gold-rimmed suburbs of Arizona and California."
Green Illusions highlights and author biography are available at: http://GreenIllusions.org.
A friend of the Daily Bell adds the following:
"Subsidiary irony here is that solar hot water is a much better investment than solar PV. For that matter, so is insulation, envelope and duct leak repair, new windows, appliances upgrades. All these pay off faster than either solar, in NPV $$s or CO2 avoided ...
"But try to sell solar hot water in California. Fat chance. Why? Bad rep from last round in the 70's is one reason, the first greenie push. The sexy front end of the green push has been until recently on solar PV... to go along with their and Agenda 21 theme."
Conclusion: Ban solar cells! We won't hold our breath. At least not until the oxygen runs out ...
TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: carbon; co2; epaoutofcontrol; greenfraud; greenillusions; greenscam; ozziezehner; pages; solar; solarcells; sourcetitlenoturl
posted on 07/15/2012 7:00:14 AM PDT
The best thing would be to turn off the sun.
At least all the lefties would flash-freeze.
posted on 07/15/2012 7:05:12 AM PDT
(http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Obama Kills))
posted on 07/15/2012 7:06:56 AM PDT
Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening
Nice to have handy for an ice age.
New Book: Solar Cells 23,000 Times Worse for Environment Than Carbon Dioxide -- but that is more than offset by the liberals' intent to make things better, say pundits.
posted on 07/15/2012 7:22:58 AM PDT
(If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
Greed. It’s all about greedy manufacturers of solar panels not caring about our precious environment.
posted on 07/15/2012 7:28:02 AM PDT
(My tagline is in the shop.)
No mention of how much of those various chemicals are actually released. Even if they are tens of thousands of times worse than CO2, if only a tiny amount is released the total effect will be small. A better comparison would be the total amount of CO2 that is "saved" by using photovoltaic cells over their lifetime versus the total greenhouse effect attributed to chemicals released in their production. Also, can better production methods prevent their release into the air.
Instead of careful analysis this article just give the chemicals are given attributes like "virulent" or "treacherous". Emotional sloppiness like this is what I expect from the left trying to play to people's hearts rather than their brains.
posted on 07/15/2012 7:43:57 AM PDT
(You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
Even off by a factor of 23,000, the libs have a huge reserve margin of good intentions saved up. Their reserves won’t be exhausted unless the factor gets up to 500,000, at least.
It’s greed coupled with stupidity and arrogance.
posted on 07/15/2012 7:52:12 AM PDT
Book description from website:
We dont have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about whats wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energymore solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuelsalternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why cant engineers solve wind powers biggest obstacle? Why wont contraception solve the problem of overpopulation, lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will?
This practical, environmentally informed, and lucid book persuasively argues for a change of perspective. If consumption is the problem, as Ozzie Zehner suggests, then we need to shift our focus away from suspect alternative energies and toward improving social and political fundamentals: walkable communities, improved consumption, enlightened governance, and, most notably, womens rights. The dozens of first steps he offers are surprisingly straightforward. For instance, he introduces a simple sticker that promises a greater impact than all of the nations solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes wont solve our energy challenges (and presents two taxes that could). Finally, he explores how future environmentalists will focus on similarly fresh alternatives that are affordable, clean, and can actually improve wellbeing.
Get a Free Chapter Now by sharing GreenIllusions.org on Facebook.
posted on 07/15/2012 8:34:44 AM PDT
Agree with you that our side shouldn't be engaging in the feel-good game with the left. Problem is, most of their voters don't understand real numbers.
Unfortunately, even determining how much CO2 is "saved" by photovoltaics isn't straight-forward. In the current energy mix, their output still has to be backed up by conventional reliable generation, because our society isn't going to accept a power drop-out when clouds pass over a big solar farm, or a dust storm obscures what few panels the enviro's allow to be put up in the desert. A backup coal-fired plant has to keep its water boiling, ready to release steam as soon as it is able to pick up any slack, and that really reduces the energy being "saved".
Solar, and wind as well, are unreliable sources that are being shoe-horned into the energy game just to make their manufacturers(e.g. Solyndra, GE's Jeffrey Immelt) rich through sweetheart deals with politicians so that they can brag to their voters how they're "saving the planet", so that they can feel good about themselves. To me, that's the real emotional sloppiness.
posted on 07/15/2012 8:37:33 AM PDT
(Wisdom comes in two parts: 1) Having a lot to say, and 2) not saying it.)
I heard somewhere that in Israel, solar water heaters were mandatory and what they use works. My Dad had one installed in 70’s, thanks Jimma, but I don’t know if all the expense and ugliness of the system really helped much.
posted on 07/15/2012 9:34:33 AM PDT
("...The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God" Zech. 12:5)
posted on 07/15/2012 11:50:05 AM PDT
by Army Air Corps
(Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
NIMBY socialists (fascists all) each want to ban business and personal projects done by their social/religious competition, whoever their competition may be. Fine. We’ll shut it all down and see who survives.
Have fun. Enjoy the slide.
posted on 07/15/2012 12:09:01 PM PDT
("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
I heard somewhere that in Israel, solar water heaters were mandatory and what they use works.
I did see quite a few when I visited
posted on 07/15/2012 12:54:17 PM PDT
The payback for a fairly simple solar hot water system is the best out of all the alternative options but it still isn’t cheap. I looked at numerous things over the past several years, since my house is over fifteen years old and replacement of various systems will be in the cards. I’m not opposed to solar and would like to see it become viable, but government subsidy and related fraud certainly isn’t helping. Thin film solar is more affordable and more speasily installed, but has problems with premature failure, particularly certain Chinese manufacturers. Standard solar panels are more costly still and require some sort of rack mounting system. They all require a good, clear southern exposure. Several heatpump manufacturers have come out with models that afe set up to handle solar from the get go, with extensible arrays that can be added to as budget allows.
None of it would work for retrofitting into existing grid tied housing without very generous incentives and tax credits. It can’t really even be installed for backup power, in the event of a storm related power failure, shtf or what have you, battery storage with a net metered, grid tied system is a problem under most electric utilities and more costly still. You’re looking at something on the order of $40,000 pre-incentive, for your normal 3/2 1600 sf ranch if you wanted to try to be net zero, with solar input during the day paying for power drawn from the grid at night. Add $12,000 more for power storage, a flywheel is more reliable and durable than a battery setup.
I don’t have anything solar as a result of my research. It just doesn’t pay out even with generous incentives and tax benefits. If it did, I would have it.
posted on 07/15/2012 1:32:34 PM PDT
(Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
In the current energy mix, their output still has to be backed up by conventional reliable generation, because our society isn't going to accept a power drop-out when clouds pass over a big solar farm, or a dust storm obscures what few panels the enviro's allow to be put up in the desert. A backup coal-fired plant has to keep its water boiling, ready to release steam as soon as it is able to pick up any slack, and that really reduces the energy being "saved".
Putting aside the CO2 as a pollutant fantasy, photovoltaic make sense in isolated environments--on boats, rustic cabins, etc. Everywhere else they operate at a loss.
Solar hot water panels actually save money and therefore make a certain amount of sense. Even so, the amortization period is quite long.
Natural gas combustion turbine generators are efficient, quick start-up systems which handle sudden or peak energy demands.
posted on 07/15/2012 2:12:07 PM PDT
by Jeff Chandler
(I miss Harriet Miers.)
The Green label is a scam.
I agree - this is one idiotic article - it has inconsistencies and inaccuracies and plain stupidity written all over it.
Such as the following...
“Zehner explains that alternative energy subsidies keep retail electricity costs incrementally lower, which then spurs demand.”
Even with subsidies solar is more expensive and in california I sure as hell don’t see my electric bill go down. And in Germany, the capital of solar energy (but not exactly the sunshine capital of the world) the price of electricity is around 36cents a kwh - one of the highest in the world.
And this one...
“...gold-rimmed suburbs of Arizona...” Maybe he’s referring to gold-rimmed Buckeye or gold-rimmed Peoria.
posted on 07/15/2012 9:29:31 PM PDT
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