Long live the Sun - Why Solar Power will beat Nuclear

This sub-thread began with someone making the implied assertion that PV cells manufacture produces more greenhouse gasses than they save in energy production.

I countered with a report from the NREL stating that in this regard, PV cells are no more polluting than any other renewable source, or nuclear.

You countered by saying:

HGH generation was the original issue, so I prefer to focus on it. If there is a fact-based source, as authoritative and thorough as the NREL report appears to be, that says making PV cells creates more HGH than they ultimately save in power production, I’ll take look at it.

As for end of life disposal issues:
As you have said, all tech has end-of-life disposal issues. If the issues of PV disposal are of the same magnitude as dealing with old oil wells, or old coal mines, and the chemical leaching of same, then it’s a wash. They’re no better, no worse, in that one single regard. Is there a report out there documenting this?

The same goes with manufacturing PV cells. As long as PV cell manufacture makes no more of a mess than manufacturing equipment used for hydrocarbon production, the issue is moot. It’s a net zero, in that one regard.

Nuclear waste disposal is in a category of its own. According to the article attached, we spend $4-5 billion a year on dealing with nuclear waste, and there’s not much reason to suppose that price will go down if we continue producing it. Of course, to some $5 billion is chump change these days, but it does add up.

One other comment on PV cell production:
There is no reason that all PV cells need to be made entirely in China. If we want some PV cells to be made in the USA, we simply have to make a regulation saying any nation that wants to sell us PV cells has to base half of their production in the USA. We do it with autos and it works quite well.

The problem then will be when countries like China retaliate by not buying our agricultural products. At that point we will have to decide what balance of manufacture increase is worth the loss of agricultural sales.

No, it didn’t. There are more measures to resource extraction than GHG. In that he is correct, including the batteries the 50 year old nuclear plant still wins.

It wasn’t the original issue, and it’s focused on as I have said because that is the only metric in which mass PV farms can even pretend to compete.

The majority of the expense of dealing with nuclear waste is a legacy of our nuclear weapons program, as is the design of many of the reactors solar advocates try to compare to. The waste from nuclear weapons programs exists and nothing will wish it away, and the added expense of storing waste from modern, energy production focused designs is miniscule. Nuclear waste disposal is a sunk cost.

Solar will win though. The advocates of solar and wind have spent millions on shiny propaganda and the only thing the advocates of nuclear have on our side is facts and math.

The thread began by someone claiming the falling cost of PV panels makes mass solar viable. Moving manufacturing from China would erase that claim.

The most technologically advanced country, with the most productive workers in the world, should be able to compete with China, a backward country with the most oppressed workers in the world, on producing PV panels, or anything else.

Everybody know that the Chinese can only copy Western technology, or stealing their intellectual properties. Inventing anything is WAY beyond the capabilities of Chinese “Commies”. (Sarcasm)

We can’t. Mostly because the Chinese industry is less regulated and can respond to booms in demand without investing in things like silicon tetrachloride recycling. This isn’t normally a problem because it’s profitable to reuse the silicon tetrachloride generated, but when you need to expand production to cover a gap in capacity the tens of millions of dollars of equipment needed adds time and cost to production expansion. You wouldn’t be able to get away with it in the U.S., but the Chinese companies can and do just dump it.

Of course, you’re not actually interested in that just trying to get in another dig at America. This seems to be a common theme with you. Perhaps an apology is needed.

On behalf of my country, I am sincerely sorry that you’re still butthurt that we own the moon. Unfortunately international law prohibits us relinquishing ownership, but you can always try for Mars. We promise to keep releasing ‘Fast and Furious’ movies to make up for it.

But chinese export price is at cost and the gov pays the exporter a 20% margin and thats their profit.
Gov gets the foreign dollars, local guy gets the Yuan
How to compete with that

How come the document mentions coal extraction for coal plant( obviously) but fails to mention it for solar panels?

Perhaps like the raw materials for drug manufacturing, which are so dirty the west is happy china makes them and solar panels.

Perhaps? Of course manufacturing processes which create toxic waste are shifted from countries with strict regulations to countries where regulations are more lax.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Understanding China

Can you provide facts to support this?

What facts do you want verified? There’s multiple reports from your beloved Bloomberg about the use of forced labor in Chinese solar panel manufacturing plants if you want to start there. There’s hundreds of reports of silicon tetrachloride poisoning in Chinese waterways, I don’t really believe that’s a legitimate request for information.

ETA: If it is a legitimate request for information you should do some basic research into the logistics of an industry before discussing it. Start here Polysilicon Price: Chart, Forecast, History | Bernreuter Research

As long as PV manufacture/disposal produces no more pollution than hydrocarbon extraction/waste disposal, they are still less polluting than burning hydrocarbons. Where is the data showing otherwise (data, not stories)?

And by the way, include pumping toxic water into the American groundwater system in that calculation of pollution from hydrocarbons. It counts. One reason to frack is to avoid buying foreign oil, but we are filling American groundwater systems with toxins wilily-nilly, and pretending it won’t come back to bite us someday.

China pollutes. Old news. They use slave labor for making everything from T-shirts to Barbie dolls–but apparently it only counts with PV cells.

Stop pretending to care what happens in China. If their slave labor offends us, let’s make a total embargo on all Chinese imports. But be prepared when the farm states scream that China has stopped buying their products.

Where is the data on comparative non-HGH pollution between the two types of energy? Not stories, but comparative data.

So cheap Chinese labor and pollution in Chinese waterways is a reason not to use solar energy? What about the PV panels produced in Germany, Korea and other countries?

No, energy storage constraints are the reason not to use solar technology. Somebody brought up lifecycle costs of solar and the response was to make them in America. That eliminates the argument that solar is now cheap enough to be a large part of our energy infrastructure. That claim was premature anyways, but if you eliminate the manufacturing processes that make it that cheap it’s even more so.

What are HGH’s? I’m not familiar with that acronym.

Then it’s called sushi.

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It’s a neurological thing where nerves serving index fingertips get crossed signals.

Neat, thanks. I don’t have any data on that sort of pollution. Guess I lose.