Friday, November 07, 2008

Attention Australia :Don't install solar panels !

Solar energy is, at least for now, nothing more than a feel-good alternative where you don't actually generate any decent amount of electricity after paying tens of thousands to install expensive equipment in your home.

Firstly, if you live in a city area, you cannot install solar energy as a stand alone option. It is banned, and besides, you would not have any electricity when it is dark (and barely any during the day).

Secondly, you need to install 6-16 expensive panels on your roof, and connect them to an inverter which feeds the solar energy into the grid. You never actually use the energy you create, you always buy and source your energy off the existing grid.

Thirdly, a recent report shows that manufacturing of solar panels creates global warming:

Atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen trifluoride — a gas used in the manufacture of liquid crystal flat-panel displays, thin-film photovoltaic cells and microcircuits — are at least four times higher than previously estimated, reports a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Fourth, the solar panels don't last forever. Here in Australia, they come with a 10 year warranty, but they aren't expected to last for more than 20-25 years.

And last but not least, the inverters they use actually consume power themselves, as revealed with wind energy (via Greenie Watch ):

The October edition of Which? Magazine [in the UK] reported on domestic wind turbines in an article entitled 'Wind turbine blows cold.' Which? installed one in a house and monitored it from December 2007 to June 2008. The result was that it used more electricity than it generated. This is because the turbine includes an "inverter" that converts the energy into electricity to go into the mains, and the inverter needs power which it draws whether the wind is turning the turbine or not. If the 'greens' want to 'save the planet' with domestic wind turbines, then they will have to make sure that they live somewhere very windy. Given the energy used and costs involved in manufacturing, installing, maintaining, plus eventual decommissioning - there may not be anywhere that is windy enough!