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Thread: California's solar mandate

  1. #11
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    What is the total life-cycle carbon and pollution cost of current-generation solar panels, installed for residential use?

    How much does it cost to mine & refine the materials, fabricate the panels and inverters and such, transport them, install them, de-install them, and recycle/dispose of them at their end of life?

    I elected here to participate heavily in a community solar farm, where the panels are right at the transmission station on a near-perfect site, and it's probably the best investment I could have made with the cash at the time. The project was heavily subsidized by federal and state grants, so someone else is paying for much of my power now, which is fine with me I guess.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    What is the total life-cycle carbon and pollution cost of current-generation solar panels, installed for residential use?

    How much does it cost to mine & refine the materials, fabricate the panels and inverters and such, transport them, install them, de-install them, and recycle/dispose of them at their end of life?
    It's not exactly a black hole of knowledge. For what it might be worth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-c...energy_sources

  3. #13
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Don't forget, gas furnaces, coal furnaces and oil burners and their infrastructure also have significant life-cycle costs, and they don't last forever either. It's not like our current technology has a huge leg up over the production of alternatives.

  4. #14
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    Discontinuing the residential use of natural gas will save either building or replacing thousands of miles of pipe for delivery of gas. It also reduces the risk of being blown up by same. Gas forced air heat is not very efficient, as the air ducts break apart and leak and get worse with every earthquake, lots of heat is lost. Electric heat, in the form of mini-splits, ductless, seems to be the current trend.

    I know several families who were able to keep their homes functional during the blackouts by using their solar collection directly. Of course, it didn’t help at night, but it’s a good start in divesting us of dependence on the big- corrupt- power companies. In essence, each home becomes its own power supplier. All we really need now is safe storage “batteries” for residential use. I’m confident that someone, probably a young person, will invent it very soon. We have been talking about ”living off the grid” for years and it is beginning to happen on a large scale. I say, bring it on!

  5. #15
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    I think we are close to a time of discontinuing water heater tanks and using electric instant hot or on-demand instead. More efficient. Electric stoves are widely used in residential.

    Actually, if you think about it, the “important” things, electronics, already have their own rechargeable batteries. Just add batteries to a few more things that need to run 24/7, like the refrigerator. Problem solved.

  6. #16
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    We switched to a small wall-mounted on-demand electric water heater. Works great.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    Solar power had nothing to do with blackouts.
    So everything was forcefully, and automatically upgraded, and worked, during the blackouts, and everybody had full power?

  8. #18
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    You mean the things that work, during their rolling blackouts?
    My gas furnace and water heater donít work without electricity.

    Of course during fire season one isnít likely to need the furnace anyway. Itís not like the fires happen in January.

  9. #19
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 View Post
    I think we are close to a time of discontinuing water heater tanks and using electric instant hot or on-demand instead. More efficient. Electric stoves are widely used in residential.

    Actually, if you think about it, the “important” things, electronics, already have their own rechargeable batteries. Just add batteries to a few more things that need to run 24/7, like the refrigerator. Problem solved.
    I think a combination of on and off grid solutions would be helpful. We have grid-tied solar, and our local power company wouldn't allow a hybrid system installation so we could utilize direct solar or have a battery backup in an emergency. Set up differently, we'd still depend on the power company for some of our power, but we'd be able to maintain the essentials in the case of an incident. So at least in our case, I feel like it's primarily bureaucracy and corporate greed that's the roadblock between our home and real progress.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    We have electric baseboard heat and it’s expensive. The first winter our bill was 500 in January and it doesn’t get that cold here. Now when I go to bed I turn them down to 55 and close our bedroom door. We keep our bedroom at 68. When we get up in the morning it’s freezing. Our bill will still be 250 this month.

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