[clug] OT: Solar power recommendations and advice

felix.karpfen at gmail.com felix.karpfen at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 02:22:29 MDT 2010

On Apr 20, 2010 9:47am, Peter Barker <pbarker at barker.dropbear.id.au> wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Apr 2010, Felix Karpfen wrote:

> I would be interested in your reasoning there. Domestically generated  
> power from solar *should* reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the more  
> widespread the better. Whether it's the best use of that money is another  
> matter.

My understanding/conclusions are the following:

The main problem with electricity (AC current) is that it cannot be stored.  
This holds true both for solar panels (after conversion to AC) and for  
power-stations. Power stations that are based on hydro-electric power can  
just use their unwanted electricity to pump water uphill, back into the  
reservoir. Other power stations (and domestic producers) hook up to a grid  
and hope that someone, somewhere will use that electricity and pay for it.  
When electricity production from non-fossil-fuels becomes sufficiently high  
(and price-competitive) the demand for conventional-power-station-generated  
electricity will drop;. Until such electricity generation reaches a point  
at which commercial (fossil-fuel) producers are forced to shut down some of  
their generators - part-time or totally - the greenhouse gases that they  
pump into the atmosphere will not get any less.

I am not wedded to this analysis; if I have missed a vital ingredient, I am  
ready to change my tune.

Felix Karpfen

PS: I wrote the above reply because the posting was sent to my mailbox.  
Before mailing the reply, I checked the CLUG list; and appear to have  
generated a great many other comments. I do not consider that I have the  
needed knowledge to reply to them and say anything sensible that is not  
also self-evident.

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