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  • R. L. Hails Sr. P. E.

    With a few exceptions, this article is almost complete nonsense. The root problem with solar was, is, and will be, for a long time, extremely expensive cost. All cost studies are relative, compared to what? Since solar is inherently expensive, if you jack up the cost of its competitors, solar begins to look attractive. Unfortunately, somebody has to carry this increased cost. If, “….. your system could be largely paid for by the government, slimming your payback period on solar to 2-5 years.” it means your tax bill must go up. Solar suffers from basic technical limitations. It sprang from the invention of chips, the size of a pea. It must scale up to square miles to power a city. Scaling up energy causes a myriad of problems; it is the reason why flash light batteries are not as big as mountains.

    I give a few points to the author. Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn, John Connally (one time Governor of Texas) , and a few others secretly met in a hotel room in Washington D.C. long ago and plotted how to stick it to the public and pour oceans of money over Texas oilmen., their supporters. No reason, just greed. America institutionalized this rip off; there is no reason to do it again for Texas solar panels, ethanol, or anybody else’s whiz bang technology.

    I never heard of the Stanford University professors, but I have engineered a score of nukes, two score of fossil fuel power plants, and spent over a decade assessing advanced technology. After over forty years of engineering, there is one constant judgment on alternative energy technologies, “In ten years they will be competitive.”

    There are trillions of dollars of investment money waiting for hard proof. Not words.

  • http://www.theonproject.org Mike

    I agree with this article, but to the commenter’s point, I don’t believe cost is the major hold-up with solar. People need base-load power, running 24/7, in order to replace fossil fuels. Solar is an incredible technology for reducing our fossil fuel usage, and it will take a group effort of technologies to completely cut our fossil dependency. Part of the solution is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. It can create renewable base-load power anywhere in the world where we have warm surface water, and cold deep water. Check out theonproject.org for more.

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