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Do you think solar power has an undeservedly bad rap?

We see a lot of comments around here about how solar power is too inefficient and expensive, and nuclear power is the only solution to our energy issues. However, there's already one Silicon Valley start-up producing thin-film solar panels at a cheaper cost per watt than coal power is produced nationally. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/18/technology/18solar.html?_r=1&ref=technology&oref=slogin And a new report from the Prometheus Institute concludes that prices for traditional silicon-based panels should fall from $3.66 per watt (2007 figures) to $2.14 per watt in 2010, and more impressively, thin-film PV should go to $1.81 per watt from $2.96. When coal, currently the least expensive source of power, is around $2.10 per watt to generate, the expected drop in price for solar will make it far more competetive. http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1704/83/ Do you think solar power is being given a bad rap, and if so, do you think it's a fair reputation?

Asked By: Dana1981 - 6/4/2008
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
There is a new green concept that I think even the conservatives and AGW deniers can get behind if they love their country... it is called ECONOMIC RE-LOCALIZATION... More
Answered By: Rainbow Warrior - 6/4/2008
Additional Answers (16)
Yeah! It's claimed to be too expensive to mass produce!
Answered By: aplus80 - 6/4/2008
 
Right now its a fair assessment, Solar is more inefficient. That does not mean it has to remain so, the first CD players were very expensive, how about the first computers? With Oil and especially coal being so abundant, for economic reasons solar energy was not feasible. Today the demand for energy is greater with... More
Answered By: Mark Anthony - 6/4/2008
 
I think people usually can not see the large inital investment worth the "green advantage." If our country subsidized energy sources like this as oil is being subsidized in nations such as India and China we would be in much better shape. I agree with the others, advancements in technology should make pricing and... More
Answered By: diggy64 - 6/4/2008
 
It's not perfect, it's not the cheapest or most efficient, but there is plenty of future with it (especially when combined with other forms of green energy). So, yes.
Answered By: HeadTater - 6/4/2008
 
Yes! In my case, I am a late comer to this debate because my knowledge on solar power (as in electric cars) was so out of date... More
Answered By: David W - 6/4/2008
 
Yes and no... More
Answered By: Noah Tall - 6/4/2008
 
The price may not be right now, but this is THE NUMBER ONE source of energy that we need to seek to exploit. There is nothing "greener" than getting energy from the sun, so solar should be our highest priority in alternative energy research. We need to get efficiency numbers up, and we aren't going to do that by... More
Answered By: phinbuddy - 6/4/2008
 
My husband works on the commercial wind turbines. We get to see charts and graphs about how all the different energy sources stack up against each other... More
Answered By: Bohemian_Garnet_Permaculturalist - 6/4/2008
 
I think we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as coal is concerned.
Answered By: CAPTAIN BEAR - 6/4/2008
 
It is expensive now so a lot will need to be done to convince most that it's not going to be so much. I read a psychological report that stated that humans generally stick with what they first hear but hopefully, time and experience will change theit minds when new technology develops.
Answered By: madnoelle - 6/4/2008
 
I think some of the flow resource technology is coming along (solar, wind, wave). In Oklahoma, we already have wind farms and the pioneers used wind to power their well pumps. As the cost of fossil fuels rise, these other resources look more and more attractive. They may not totally replace fossil fuels, but if it... More
Source(s):
Answered By: bubba - 6/5/2008
 
bad rap, unfair.
Answered By: second-sun - 6/5/2008
 
Can solar energy generate the amount of electricity we need today for our homes, factories, stories, offices, and everything else? No. Can it generate the electricity we will need in the future? No. You will need a source that can produce larger amounts of electricity and that is nuclear power if you don't want to... More
Answered By: chris_rob00112233 - 6/5/2008
 
Why is it an either/or? What's stopping us from using both?
Answered By: Randall E - 6/6/2008
 
That's wonderful news! I hope I can deprive the government of one more source of taxation (the 28% they confiscate from my energy consumption). Will I have to hide my solar panels from them so I don't incur their impending "Sun Tax"?
Answered By: Puffadder - 6/6/2008
 
The Prometheus Institute? Not the Department of Energy, or the Solar Power Administration, or the Bureau of Earth Wind and Fire? How is it possible that a Non-government, free market solution is the answer? Don't we learn at Berkely that it takes a socialistic, statist, bureaucratic, bloated, inefficient, tax-... More
Answered By: bradley m - 6/6/2008
 
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