The future of solar energy - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 08-24-2011, 03:57 AM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0806/ref.shtml
In this article, they claim we are running low on gallium and indium. Another article I had read says we'll run out of them by the end of this decade. Both are used for solar panels. Will solar energy become impossible if this were to happen? Are other forms of alternative energy having the same problems?
rainforests1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 08-24-2011, 02:50 PM
Veggie Regular
 
peacefulveglady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chicagoland IL area
Posts: 2,272
There will always be solar power , maybe not in this form but they will probley come up with something probley better. They just started solar energy not too long ago. This and wind and water are going to power for electricy way into the future.
peacefulveglady is offline  
#3 Old 08-24-2011, 05:03 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,013
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0806/ref.shtml
In this article, they claim we are running low on gallium and indium. Another article I had read says we'll run out of them by the end of this decade. Both are used for solar panels. Will solar energy become impossible if this were to happen? Are other forms of alternative energy having the same problems?

This is only an issue for solar cell type electricity generation, which really isn't the cleanest option for solar anyway. Many nasties such as arsenic are residual in not so tiny amounts in the manufacture of this technology.

Solar thermal energy doesn't require these materials and is still developing full-tilt.
paperhanger is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#4 Old 08-25-2011, 08:01 AM
Beginner
 
leth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by paperhanger View Post

This is only an issue for solar cell type electricity generation, which really isn't the cleanest option for solar anyway. Many nasties such as arsenic are residual in not so tiny amounts in the manufacture of this technology.

Solar thermal energy doesn't require these materials and is still developing full-tilt.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...er-plant-spain

Looks spiffy too

I'm not massively concerned about trace minerals running out - reprocessing old crap will take us a fair way, and for most of them there are alternative technologies that offer solutions to the same problems.

If I was where I would be, then I'd be where I am not, here I am where I must be, where I would be I cannot.
leth is offline  
#5 Old 08-25-2011, 09:52 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,056
the future of solar energy will be extremely bright. we're on the cusp of having whole new technologies leap from concept to production. i'm talking in the next 15 or so years. there will be huge improvements in both solar energy collection and power storage. lack of rare earths won't be a major issue. we'll recycle if need be, but many of the advancing technologies use more plentiful and less expensive materials. this is the great promise of solar energy.

it's not about being able to capture the sun's energy. it's about being able to do it cheaper than burning dirty coal. when that happens, look out. we're in a solar world.

it's coming.
papayamon is offline  
#6 Old 08-25-2011, 11:23 PM
Veggie Regular
 
saxyphonist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by papayamon View Post

the future of solar energy will be extremely bright.


don't take my life away, don't take my life away.
saxyphonist is offline  
#7 Old 08-26-2011, 05:39 AM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by papayamon View Post

the future of solar energy will be extremely bright. we're on the cusp of having whole new technologies leap from concept to production. i'm talking in the next 15 or so years. there will be huge improvements in both solar energy collection and power storage. lack of rare earths won't be a major issue. we'll recycle if need be, but many of the advancing technologies use more plentiful and less expensive materials. this is the great promise of solar energy.

it's not about being able to capture the sun's energy. it's about being able to do it cheaper than burning dirty coal. when that happens, look out. we're in a solar world.

it's coming.

My family has solar. The start-up is very expensive. You assume it may get cheaper, but what reason do we have to believe it will all of a sudden become cheap?
rainforests1 is offline  
#8 Old 08-26-2011, 05:44 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

My family has solar. The start-up is very expensive. You assume it may get cheaper, but what reason do we have to believe it will all of a sudden become cheap?

the same reason we believe that the price of big screen tv's has dropped, and will continue to drop. at this time, it's just not cost effective. compare solar panel prices 1 year ago, and compare them today. they're dropping. compare them 15 years from now and you'll have a much more cost effective energy source.
papayamon is offline  
#9 Old 08-28-2011, 04:17 AM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by papayamon View Post

the same reason we believe that the price of big screen tv's has dropped, and will continue to drop. at this time, it's just not cost effective. compare solar panel prices 1 year ago, and compare them today. they're dropping. compare them 15 years from now and you'll have a much more cost effective energy source.

I think it's $25-30,000 for the start-up. How much lower do they expect it to go? The cost of food, health care, and other necessities is expected to continue to rise so even less people will be able to afford it. Even if it drops to $15,000 I'm not sure how many people will be able to afford it. I'd like to be optimistic but I'm not sure if I should be.
rainforests1 is offline  
#10 Old 08-28-2011, 07:33 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,013
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

I think it's $25-30,000 for the start-up. How much lower do they expect it to go? The cost of food, health care, and other necessities is expected to continue to rise so even less people will be able to afford it. Even if it drops to $15,000 I'm not sure how many people will be able to afford it. I'd like to be optimistic but I'm not sure if I should be.

I think your estimate is high.
paperhanger is offline  
#11 Old 09-04-2011, 09:10 AM
Veggie Regular
 
havocjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

I think it's $25-30,000 for the start-up. How much lower do they expect it to go? The cost of food, health care, and other necessities is expected to continue to rise so even less people will be able to afford it. Even if it drops to $15,000 I'm not sure how many people will be able to afford it. I'd like to be optimistic but I'm not sure if I should be.

a lot will depend on the viability of doing it. If and I stress if solar becomes viable to use which would include a better energy storage system for night time and non sunny days as more and more people step up and convert the cost will start coming down. The question is whether it will become viable.

It's only taken us 6000 yrs of using solar and wind power to get here, so we will see if we can improve on that time line.
havocjohn is offline  
#12 Old 09-04-2011, 09:12 AM
Veggie Regular
 
havocjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefulveglady View Post

There will always be solar power , maybe not in this form but they will probley come up with something probley better. They just started solar energy not too long ago. This and wind and water are going to power for electricy way into the future.

using water to produce electricity has been around for at least 80 yrs, so I am not sure what your point about using water is.
havocjohn is offline  
#13 Old 09-05-2011, 12:16 AM
Veggie Regular
 
nogardsram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

a lot will depend on the viability of doing it. If and I stress if solar becomes viable to use which would include a better energy storage system for night time and non sunny days as more and more people step up and convert the cost will start coming down. The question is whether it will become viable.

What do you mean by viable?

--

I also agree that rainforests1's estimates seem high, but it really depends on one's usage, habits, equipment, etc. $25,000-$30,000 is not unreasonable for at least some people, but not necessarily everyone.

I believe everything.
nogardsram is offline  
#14 Old 11-05-2011, 10:00 AM
Veggie Regular
 
havocjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

What do you mean by viable?

--

I also agree that rainforests1's estimates seem high, but it really depends on one's usage, habits, equipment, etc. $25,000-$30,000 is not unreasonable for at least some people, but not necessarily everyone.

Viable.... in the simpliest terms where it is cost effective to use. The current Solyndra fiasco is a great example of the joke that the solar industry is.

Also another great example of the electric energy joke is the electric car industry. The first electric car was invented in the 1830's. The electric car industry was finally dropped in the 1920's (if memory served) for a number of reasons including but not limited to the distance one charge would allow someone to drive their car; it was aprox 40 miles on one charge.

91 yrs later and the furthest one can drive before needing to recharge their batteries is aprox 40 miles..... we have come along way in 9 decades.
havocjohn is offline  
#15 Old 11-07-2011, 07:46 AM
Veggie Regular
 
nogardsram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

Viable.... in the simpliest terms where it is cost effective to use.

With the subsidies that go to energy companies (all energy companies, including fossil fuel based), I think it's a little difficult to tell exactly what is 'cost effective.' Although I'm sure you or I could come up with some actual studies looking into this.

However, purely in terms of cost effective, once a solar electric system is set up, the longer it runs the lower the cost per unit energy comes out to be. With fossil fuels, this does not happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

The current Solyndra fiasco is a great example of the joke that the solar industry is.

Because of the loan situation? How is that representative of the viability or cost effectiveness of the solar industry?

Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

Also another great example of the electric energy joke is the electric car industry. The first electric car was invented in the 1830's. The electric car industry was finally dropped in the 1920's (if memory served) for a number of reasons including but not limited to the distance one charge would allow someone to drive their car; it was aprox 40 miles on one charge.

91 yrs later and the furthest one can drive before needing to recharge their batteries is aprox 40 miles..... we have come along way in 9 decades.

While not the typical electric car, the range on the Tesla Roadster is 245 miles:
http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/specs

The Nissan Leaf is around 100 miles:
http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electr...sclaimer/index

I didn't do an exhaustive search, but those were the first two that came up with a google search. I don't know what you expect nor do I see what this has to do with anything.

Even though I have a problem with your figures, what's the energy output comparison for earlier electric cars vs modern ones (let's do a bit more than just one or two or memory figures though)?

I believe everything.
nogardsram is offline  
#16 Old 01-08-2012, 09:41 AM
Veggie Regular
 
havocjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

With the subsidies that go to energy companies (all energy companies, including fossil fuel based), I think it's a little difficult to tell exactly what is 'cost effective.' Although I'm sure you or I could come up with some actual studies looking into this.

However, purely in terms of cost effective, once a solar electric system is set up, the longer it runs the lower the cost per unit energy comes out to be. With fossil fuels, this does not happen.



Because of the loan situation? How is that representative of the viability or cost effectiveness of the solar industry?



While not the typical electric car, the range on the Tesla Roadster is 245 miles:
http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/specs

The Nissan Leaf is around 100 miles:
http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electr...sclaimer/index

I didn't do an exhaustive search, but those were the first two that came up with a google search. I don't know what you expect nor do I see what this has to do with anything.

Even though I have a problem with your figures, what's the energy output comparison for earlier electric cars vs modern ones (let's do a bit more than just one or two or memory figures though)?

If as y0u suggest solar systems are that cost effective we would presume to see them paying for themselves, energy prices going down, but instead they aren't paying for themselves and energy prices are going up.

As for the cars you mentioned, how many people can put 100K down for a Telsa? The Volt is going through a major recall as I write this, and what little I have looked into the Leaf, indicates the company's advertised stats don't quit meet reality.

But you keep the dream alive.
havocjohn is offline  
#17 Old 01-08-2012, 11:59 AM
Veggie Regular
 
nogardsram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

If as y0u suggest solar systems are that cost effective we would presume to see them paying for themselves, energy prices going down, but instead they aren't paying for themselves and energy prices are going up.

What are you talking about? Can you show that it's costing more to run solar electric systems as time goes on? If I install a PV system on my house, how exactly do you think it costs more as time goes on? I've already paid for it, it doesn't keep costing, other than in terms of upkeep (like replacing worn out or damaged components).

Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

As for the cars you mentioned, how many people can put 100K down for a Telsa? The Volt is going through a major recall as I write this,

Hey, we weren't talking about cost (if you want to get into that, how much were initial electric cars compared to fossil fuel driven ones?). What recall, are you talking about? The one back in October of 2010? Or is there a new one? Even if it does have a recall, does that negate it's range in your completely unsupported claim that EVs have a range of 40 miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

and what little I have looked into the Leaf, indicates the company's advertised stats don't quit meet reality.

So, what does your research show? What is the range of the Nissan Leaf? (Please provide evidence). Is it more than 40 miles? If so, your earlier claim is false, which was my point.

Nice try at completely missing the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havocjohn View Post

But you keep the dream alive.

What dream? Being realistic is not keeping a dream alive, it's assessing the situation based on evidence.

I believe everything.
nogardsram is offline  
#18 Old 01-08-2012, 12:38 PM
Veggie Regular
 
havocjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

What are you talking about? Can you show that it's costing more to run solar electric systems as time goes on? If I install a PV system on my house, how exactly do you think it costs more as time goes on? I've already paid for it, it doesn't keep costing, other than in terms of upkeep (like replacing worn out or damaged components).



Hey, we weren't talking about cost (if you want to get into that, how much were initial electric cars compared to fossil fuel driven ones?). What recall, are you talking about? The one back in October of 2010? Or is there a new one? Even if it does have a recall, does that negate it's range in your completely unsupported claim that EVs have a range of 40 miles?



So, what does your research show? What is the range of the Nissan Leaf? (Please provide evidence). Is it more than 40 miles? If so, your earlier claim is false, which was my point.

Nice try at completely missing the point.



What dream? Being realistic is not keeping a dream alive, it's assessing the situation based on evidence.

On an individual home, from what I have read, yes it will pay for itself, but that is far from being common place, and it doesn't work well in the dark, so you still need something else to back up your solar system.

Actually we were talking about costs, which is why I mentioned viabilty way back when. Oh you thought I was just talking about home use.

I have seen studies on distances, there was a good one done in the UK, not on these particular cars but it was enlightening. If one doesn't use their lights, heater, air conditioner, radio or any other electric drawing device the cars can get various distances under ideal conditions, however, over all the distance traveled is directly linked to the batteries capacity, and how big or how many one carries.

If all you do is hope in your car on pleasant sunny days where you don't need heat or ac, and you don't listen to the radio and there is no traffic, you can get pretty good distance per charge. Technology is not yet viable in my limited opinion.

I didn't miss your point, things are getting better as the technology improves, but at this time the cost effectiveness of the product is not. Until it is, it will not take off.
havocjohn is offline  
#19 Old 02-22-2012, 12:54 AM
Veggie Regular
 
das_nut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 8,130
The author of that article doesn't understand economics. We won't run out of either element, but it may be possible that current costs of extraction will increase to the point where using alternatives makes better financial sense.
das_nut is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off