NewEnergyNews: SOLAR CELLS BEATS FOSSIL FUELS AGAIN

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YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How utility-solar collaborations are helping solar grow
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: GE’s digital power plant
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The now and future impacts of energy storage
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: New Energy Now
  • QUICK NEWS, July 26: How Smart Buildings Can Use New Energy; U.S. Ocean Wind Industry About To Be Born; Idaho Farmers Sow Solar, Reap Rewards
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Utility Rates Can Let New Energy Make The Grid Stronger
  • QUICK NEWS, July 25: The Solar Numbers; Target Targets Wind; Wave Energy Gets Lloyd’s Approval For First Time
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: It’s Time To Choose
  • Weekend Video: Solutions From Our Millennials
  • Weekend Video: Coal In The Water, Clean In The Wind
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Save $2 Trillion – Stop Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Germany Hits World Solar-Plus-Storage High
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Media Gets Facts Way Wrong On Wind
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Dubai To Study Geothermal, Ocean Energy Potential
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    fTHINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 21:

  • TTTA Thursday-The Climate Change Secret In The Great Trees
  • TTTA Thursday-Solar Makes A Home’s Value Grow
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind In The Stock Market
  • TTTA Thursday-Doc Brown Lives! Flux Capacitor Is World’s Fastest Car
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

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  • ---------------
  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 28:

  • Those Concerned About Climate Change Are “Brainwashed” – Repub Leader
  • Bernie Makes The Case For Hillary On Climate Change
  • President Obama Ups Spending On Solar-For-All
  • New Economics To Spur EV Growth

    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    SOLAR CELLS BEATS FOSSIL FUELS AGAIN

    More good news for solar energy: A new Brookhaven National Labs study concludes the fears that solar cell manufacture creates more toxicity than it resolves are unfounded. A switch from fossil fueled power plants to solar cells would dramatically reduce air pollution: “Overall, all PV technologies generate far less life-cycle air emissions per GWh than conventional fossil-fuel-based electricity generation technologies. At least 89% of air emissions associated with electricity generation could be prevented if electricity from photovoltaics displaces electricity from the grid.”

    Manufacture of photovoltaic cells involves toxic metals (ex: lead, mercury, cadmium) and generates climate change-inducing greenhouse gases. But fossil fuels also release heavy metals and much worse greenhouse gases when they are burned to generate power.

    Most of the toxic emissions from solar cell manufacturing are due to fossil fuel-burning power plant emissions that provide the electricity for the solar cell plants. When solar cell plants run on solar energy it will be what the head researcher in the study called "…a self-sustained process…" The more popular term for that is “sustainable.” It is the goal.


    click to enlarge

    Easing Concerns About Pollution From Manufacture Of Solar Cells
    February 26, 2008 (American Chemical Society via Science Daily)
    and
    Solar Power’s Greenhouse Emissions Measured
    Charles Q. Choi, February 27, 2008 (LiveScience via Yahoo News)

    WHO
    Vasilis M. Fthenakis w/Hyung Chul Kim and Erik Alsema, Brookhaven National Laboratory; 13 solar cell manufacturers

    click to enlarge

    WHAT
    Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles concludes: Manufacturing solar cells produces far fewer air pollutants than conventional fossil-fuel-burning power plants.

    WHEN
    - This is the first study on the pollutants produced during the manufacture of solar cells.
    - It covers the period 2004-2006.

    WHERE
    - The study is published in the March 15 issue of the ACS' Environmental Science & Technology
    - The 13 solar cell manufacturers studied were located in Europe and the United States.
    Brookhaven National Laboratory is in Upton, NY.

    The more electricity comes from solar energy -- silicon or cadmium telluride (CdTe) -- the more emissions and toxicity fall. (click to enlarge)

    WHY
    - Manufacturing processes for four major commercial types of solar materials were studied: multicrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon, ribbon silicon, and thin-film cadmium telluride.
    - A statistical evaluation of air pollution emissions data showed the manufacture of solar cells cuts air pollutants 89%.

    QUOTES
    Vasilis Fthenakis, researcher/environmental engineer, Brookhaven National Laboratory: "One of the most promising photovoltaic technologies is based on cadmium telluride, but cadmium is one of the worst heavy metals. Still, if we compare direct emissions from production of cadmium telluride cells with coal power plants, toxic emissions would up 300 times lower…"

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