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Friday, September 04, 2009


Jean Marc Rommes

Alan, thanks for your comment.

I accept your point - to a certain point. I was being a bit provocative, of course.

Having said that, the 20 v 120,000TW argument still holds as far as I am concerned: is this not the frame of mind that we should adopt when looking renewable energy sources? As long as we dither, there cannot possibly any political will to go solar at full steam (pun not intended).

So, as far as the surface goes, there are vast expanses of desert; and a lot of land is drying up - could/should this not be used for creating energy?

Hence also your argument about buildings: making solar on commercial rooftops mandatory (helped for example with a time limited subsidy) could contribute to using otherwise wasted surface and sun rays.

Not to forget: the more solar panels we build, the cheaper they will become, and the more companies will produce them… and develop them to their next levels of efficiciency.

Alan Gemmell

I think you are right, we definately have a natural resourse that is being under-utilised. However, it is true that 120,000 terawatts may hit the solid part of the earth in a year; But what percentage of the solid part of earth is inhabited? The overall percentages are between 7% and 11% of the Earth's surface. The other 89-93% is covered by oceans, icecaps, deserts, rainforests, and rangeland. Therefore that leaves us with the small problem of where to build all of the solar fields necessary to charge enough energy for the human population.

It is true however that if the majority of buildings were built and adapted to incorporate solar energy, there would be less need for sola panel "space" on land.

I think what we need is a global effort to incorporate solar possibilities into a normal way of life. (But until companies like BP stop announcing discoveries of "new huge quantities of oil", not many people are going to take it seriously).

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