NewEnergyNews: SOLAR CELLS BEATS FOSSIL FUELS AGAIN

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YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Good News On Climate – The Public Is Starting To Get It
  • Weekend Video: The Libertarian Failure On Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: New Energy Is Doable – And Is Being Done
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World Gets A Step Closer To Enforceable Climate Laws
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Ready To Power The World Future
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Sahara Sun Could Power The World
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Turbines Building Off UK Coast
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, September 22:

  • TTTA Thursday-Why Having Babies Could Be The Climate Change Answer
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Texas Wind Backed By Amazon
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Sun Sparkles In Nevada
  • TTTA Thursday-EV Racing Coming To The Streets Of Brooklyn
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: In The Wake Of The Massive Aliso Canyon Leak
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rise Of Distributed Energy Resources Goes On
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Community Solar Matures And Evolves
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Snapshot Of U.S. Solar Right Now
  • QUICK NEWS, September 20: Survey Shows People Oppose Fossil Fuels; Solar Bargain Hits World Record; China In Record Wind Build Rate
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Utility Puts Out Its Vision Of New Energy On A New Grid
  • QUICK NEWS, September 19: People Will Pay To Fight Climate Change; Wind To Keep Getting Cheaper; Tesla Batteries To Ease Aliso Cyn-Caused Power Shortfalls
  • --------------------------

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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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  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, September 26:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Future Of Offshore Wind Foreseen
  • QUICK NEWS, September 26: The Sonification Of Climate Change; Wind Is Red, White, And Green; The New Hybrid Solar-Storage Concept Module

    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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