A little corner of Nevada...

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Elon Musk recently said that that "...a corner of Utah and Nevada..." could power the entire United States with solar power. I wish that were true, but his numbers are way, way off. By multiple orders of magnitude. Elon Musk's Claims At Face Value Solar irradiance is a very well understood, and very thoroughly mapped unit of measurement. Assuming "a corner of Utah and Nevada" sees upwards of 2000 Read more

Solar Roadways? Are you Joking?

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This product has got to be someone's idea of a sick joke. But the internet seems ablaze with this silly idea. At least some places have kept their sense. Just crunch the numbers: you'll find that cost, complexity, and availability of raw materials will be your main constraints. If you think our recent war over oil was bad. Wait until we need the rare earth materials necessary to pull off Read more

What's the point of Solar energy?

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Using solar makes us feel good. Who doesn't love having someone else pay their electric bill, by way of government subsidized equipment. Nothing says efficiency, like churning money through large organizational bureaucracies... No, wait, I forgot! Solar can help reduce dependence upon other power sources. Just look at the German world record setters! They recently met nearly 75% of their PEAK Read more

Solar can't perform, period.

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Inspired by grossly-inaccurate statements published on ScientificAmerican.com, regarding a new Arizona solar power plant, I decided to crunch a few numbers on solar power. The results, independent of PR and marketing spin...are depressing. The power plant's case study website site declares plant output at an averaged 52,184,916.67kWh/month (626.219 GWh / 12 months) The EIA's latest report Read more

Silly Solar Numbers

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A few days ago, I was excited to discover Roni Jacobson’s article on the World’s Largest Solar Array Set to Crank Out 290 Megawatts of Sunshine Power. The excitement quickly faded as I kept stumbling over multple gross inaccuracies within the article, including energy overstatements by orders of magnitude, and misattribution of dollar amounts by a multiple of nearly 1,000. For Scientific Read more