Solar Power Solving all our energy needs NOW!! : Hot news about the sun

By Joliphant Posted in Comments (23) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »


Not in the future—but right now—scientists are putting to work the limitless energy of the sun.

By Lester David

SOON, a native of East Punjab, India, will walk into the local version of the neighborhood hardware emporium, plunk down 80 rupees and buy a newfangled kind of stove. Back home, he’ll proudly unwrap the shiny gadget, set it up and tell his wife to start dinner.

This development has great significance, for two big reasons:

1. This and other recent forward strides in solar energy—the harnessing of the sun’s limitless power for the needs of man—now open for the first time exciting commercial possibilities.

2. Despite what you may have thought, sun power is no longer a phantom, will-o’-the-wisp notion chased vainly by a few starry-eyed inventors. It is actually here!

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the opportunity aspect.

Last Fall, the National Industrial Conference Board brought together a group of businessmen in New York City to thrash out the question of just how the sun’s great energy, free but elusive, could be trapped for commercial use. One of the chief speakers was octogenarian Charles G. Abbot, secretary emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and a world-famed astrophysicist. He jolted the assembled businessmen with this: “There is a world-wide demand for small solar-power machines, up to five hp, for irrigation, heating and cooling of dwellings, charging batteries and other ranch uses. The demand is very keen in Australia, India, Israel and other semi-arid regions where fuel is several times more expensive than in the U. S. At present there is no company manufacturing such units, though the demand is large and constant.”

Dr. Maria Telkes of New York University, one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field, also spoke to the businessmen and outlined what’s ahead. Hear this: Small household appliances utilizing the power of the sun will be in wide-spread use soon, Dr. Telkes said. She expects them within the next five years! “Especially in tropical regions where conventional fuels are at a premium,” she pointed out, “small devices powered by the sun can soon be a reality. …”

Absolutely positively not in the future. This article was written in 1955.

From Modern Mechanix

I bring this up because once again we are arguing about taking action to deal with our energy problems. The left says drilling for more oil won't solve our problems. It won't work fast enough and we will run out anyway. They advocate Solar, Biofuel, Fusion, etc.

The one thing that is true about energy is it doesn't matter what you believe about tomorrows energy sources, it matters that you develop them today. The alternates have been promising us a green tomorrow since the 1800's. Every time they have delivered about as much as the solar plans of 50's. Energy for isolated places at high cost.

Can you imagine what our lives would be like if in the 1950's the country had decided to pursue a program of Solar Power and Biofuels ? Cut off all exploration and drilling ? We would have seen the gas shortages of the 70's in the 60's. Whats more because we were supporting our allies they would have caved under. There would have been a Russia dominated Europe/Eurasia. Our nation would have become a strange and isolated backwater.

Every decade or so, we get another resurgence of the green insanity. In the 90's the insanity trumped common sense now we are paying. We probably aren't going to solve our immediate problems by drilling. High gas problems will be with us for years to come.

In the past we looked ahead and built a better future. We wanted better for our children than we had. Now we are on a cusp. Maybe there can be a green future someday maybe there can't. It is damn certain we won't get there except on the backs of long dead dinosaurs.

Crossposted at The Minority Report

I would suggest that what really matters about energy is that it ruthlessly follows all laws of physics all the time every time.
No matter what the enviros say. No matter what Gore wishes.
The laws of physics are on no one's side. No one owns physics.
If one is lucky, they are on the side of the physics.

lies on the other side of the event horizon.

Thirty-five years ago, France chose to employ the most viable alternative to fossil fuels.


“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

I was in southern Germany recently, and I noticed a massive solar energy effort there. You see large and small panels on the roofs of almost every house and barn now. The government gives out a loan to buy them, and then you sell power back to the grid.

It's nice work, and they generated a peak of 842 megawatts last year. That's about 1 percent of their generating capacity though, roughly equivalent to one large powerplant. Only works during the day naturally, but that is also peak industrial usage.

It's interesting, but also a sobering lesson in just what a drop in the bucket all that effort is. Just 1 percent.

After Hurricane Wilma I decided I needed a backup power source. Solar got the nod as it would start to repay immediately. I got tax credits for it and it would give me a premise power conditioning system with the price. (My house is now a giant UPS). I also have a solar water heater. Of the two the water heater is far more effective.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

See, solar power is not just for hippies. :-)

I've thought about buying a solar panel, but I live in Seattle and as you know we don't get much sun. I do have a set of solar powered lamps planted in the ground along my driveway!

I just want to see businesses and entrepreneurs experiement, compete and make some long-term plans. Exxon shareholders recently voted to not invest in alternative energy. OK, that's their right. I don't want the government to step in and do stupid stuff like pushing corn-based ethanol. But I believe we are at peak oil now, and markets and supplies are going to be just as unrelenting as the laws of physics. We need energy, or bad times lay ahead. Very bad times.

I don't think solar panels are going to save the day, but I haven't yet to see a really sensible, clear, unbiased analysis of alternative energy. Everyone seems to have some other agenda when they write about energy.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777


I investigated solar panels for my home out in the desert of CA after getting my first 400+ electric bill. I found the business of solar electric populated to a large extent by the tie-dyed, granola chewing set for some strange reason. It's like alternate energy is a dirty topic that is not something that conservatives get excited about, not quite sure why, but on my limited sample it was so. I ended up not going solar, instead adding an evaporative cooler which worked out quite well at reducing my electric bill.

As a matter of national policy, I would be in favor of seeing elected Republicans put basic R&D into solar, wind and other clean energy technologies at the top of things my tax dollars are being spent on. I do think the free market can take care of the fielding part of the question, but developing and making the technology breakthroughs sooner rather than later using government funding as a catalyst is something I'd be for.

______________________________________ way!.....McCain '08 !

For me, solar is the only way to go for pool heating. It's cheap, enviornmentally friendly, and it works great. Since propane is so ungodly expensive, the only real choice was a heat pump or solar. Heat pump + install electric panel = $5300. Solar panels = $500, give or take a few bucks.

The solar works incredibly well, I have a diverter valve to send water through the panels on sunny days when I need heat. When it's cloudy (or evenings), I turn off the diverter valve. Cheap + works good = makes me happy.

is that is simply is not cost effective. If someone wants a solar panels, if governments (not the USA) want to spend money on them, fine. But since solar energy costs more than conventional energy, it will only be a good choice for those who think they need to spend more money on their energy needs.

sure, one day this could change, but I am not holding my breath. And the Exxon shareholders were right to reject a waste of their company's money.


Molon Labe!

I agree about pushing more nuclear power. I believe it is vital for us to being designing and building breeder reactors, however. Current power plants run on U-235, a very rare isotope of uranium making up about 0.7 percent of the element. Its supply is limited and it is extremely expensive to obtain by enrichment (I've read that about 1/8 of atomic power generated is consumed by isotope enrichment).

Breeder reactors allow you to consume the abundant isotope U-238 I(by converting it into plutonium). You can also using breeder reactors to convert thorium into a fissionable isotope, and thorium is about as abundant as uranium, currently going unused as an energy source. Thorium and Uranium breeder reactors would increase our supply of fissionable fuel by a factor of 200 or 300.


A day after the Energy Department submitted its 8,600-page application to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, the state on Wednesday filed 21 pages of "get lost," asking regulators to reject the plan.

"Energy Independence" will not be possible without a robust nuclear power program.


“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

I read somewhere that solar/wind can never be more than 30% of the total power grid because they fluctuate so much with nature's good and bad days.

Solar thermal is better than solar panels in this regard. Basically solar thermal is using mirrors to heat up a Sodium mix which heats up a boiler. You can efficiently store the hot molten salt to continue generating power at night, unlike solar panels. A couple of places in NM and CA they are setting up ~500 MW solar thermal plants. Not 1/4 as strong as the best coal plants, but still respectable (though with billion dollar price tags).

In the Southwest and to a lesser extent the Southeast, solar might be an effective supplement to more traditional power. It scales very nicely at the same time people are running their air conditioners. Up North here, we probably would not cover our investment because of the winter.

In any case, I don't think the government should be involved with it. It's enough of a no brainer in the southwest desert that free market should take care of it. Up north it isn't viable.

Our house in FL during WW II had a solar water heater. Just a glass-fronted tin box with pipes running through it. Has "advanced solar technology" changed things much?

The breeder reactor has definite technological advantages. A few political drawbacks, though. Would you trust Iran or NK with one?

And let China feed power to NK.

I wouldn't trust Laos or Cambodia with one, but Vietnam and they could feed power to the others.

Every trouble site could be reliably powered by another nation and powered cheaply with nuclear power. And after all, it would give our friends and allies and our not so unfriendly unfriends a greater power over folks like NK, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Lebanon...

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

The Sun and John Coleman vs. Al Gore, TWC and Heidi Cullen


The defamation lawsuit filed on behalf of our solar system's star in the Milky Way Intergalactic District Court last year against Al Gore and reported here at Redstate asking the "burning question", Where will the Knicks play?, has been hobbled by a lack of cash flow of the Plaintiff.

The Sun's lawyer, Mike DeVine, paid the filing fee and service of process fee, and was fortunate to obtain an admission via ABC News transcript after which Bill Clinton was added as a witness in The Sun v Al Gore lawsuit.

But The Sun has been unable to generate any income given its inability to travel any closer than 93 million miles to any available place of employment on Planet Earth.

Hence, DeVine Law has had to fend off claims his client is a "public figure" and hence must prove "actual mailce" by Gore.

The gravamen of the Complaint is that the defendant, Al Gore defames the plaintiff by alleging that Man, and not The Sun, warms the Earth.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

I'm wondering how much noise it would generate if someone actually did this...

BTW, your link is broken to the "article."

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

"pursuing a program" is precisely the issue. Every time the government "pursues a program," we'd all better bend over and prepare for the result, because it's gonna hurt.

Turns out the only "program" we need is the market. Did we need to "pursue a program" to get going on alternative fuel? pressures are now doing a fine job with that. Hybrid & electric cars, new refinery and nuke construction, etc. - all being promoted now because of market/price pressures. But what's the hold-up? You guessed it - government. As usual, liberal policies in government are doing nothing more than delaying the progress that the markets naturally put into motion.

Liberalism - the biggest productivity killer in the universe.

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

From our friends at the Energy Information Administration.

The U.S. total energy consumption is about 100 Quads - that's quadrillion (1015) BTUs every year. That makes the math easy. Notice that 93% of everything is oil, gas, coal, and nukes. "Renewables" is predominantly hydro, geothermal and biofuels (ethanol and wood). Wind is a tiny sliver, but growing, and an order of magnitude bigger than solar.

I think you could say we have rather a large capital investment in the way our economy works now. It is not going to change on a dime. It's like asking an aircraft carrier to be maneuverable like a jet ski.

So, even with revolutionary new technologies, it will take sustained, explosive growth for them to radically change the picture, and that's if we're talking 20-30 years out.

It is silly and short sighted to think that oil, gas and coal can be neglected while develop that "something else", whatever it may be.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. - Frank Zappa

Exactly Vladimir, we must start drilling for Alaskan and continental-shelf oil, work on coal gasification, etc.

My fear is that liberals will wreck our economy by pushing some unsound agenda for alternative energy -- and that ultraconservatives will wreck our economy by doing nothing until we are well past peak oil production and it is too late.

Which "ultraconservatives" exactly are trying to do nothing?

"Always be honest with yourself. Even if you are honest with no one else."

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

Redstate Network Login:
(lost password?)

©2008 Eagle Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal, Copyright, and Terms of Service