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[Discuss] Eclipses Re: Great talks last night, however...

On Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:22 PM, Richard Pieri <richard.pieri at> wrote:
> On 7/20/2017 4:03 PM, Bill Ricker wrote:
>> I wouldn't worry about solar power lost to the coming eclipses. Over the
>> next 10 or 100 years, you'll lose far more to thunderstorms blotting  out
>> the sky; they cast bigger shadows more frequently.
> Yeah. And I'm even more concerned with the 10-14 hour (or more in some
> parts of the world) solar outages we experience every day. Or night if
> you prefer. For reals. Because despite Elon Musk's assertions, chemical
> batteries are terrible ways to store electricity. They're inefficient
> (~90% waste as heat). They're dirty (strip mining for rare metals,
> hazardous chemicals needed to manufacture). They're non-renewable (while
> some of the plastics and rare metals can be reclaimed, most of a
> worn-out battery is landfill). Without an affordable, efficient, clean,
> renewable and scalable way to store electricity, ground-based solar
> can't be a solution.

[sometimes stating the obvious below]

So lets say that I accept everything you say about both the
inefficiency and unclean
characteristics of solar PV + battery storage.   Are the current
incumbent solutions (Oil, Coal, Natural
Gas) any better on either characteristic?  When doing your efficiency
please don't cheat.   i.e. Do total life cycle back to when the
material was first buried
underground.  I suspect that even turning corn into ethanol is more energy
efficient then the process that created fossil fuels.

>From an economic perspective, it is beginning to look like residential
solar + batteries
might be preferable in the near future to current fossil fuel based
grid power.  Or at least
that is the argument that many people are starting to make.   Are they
wrong?  If they aren't
wrong, is there some reason other than economics why switching from
fossil fuels to
solar + batteries would be a bad idea.

I suspect you have some other energy solution in mind then the ones
that have been mentioned
so far on this thread.  Care to share?

Bill Bogstad

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