It says it uses 89 acres for 9000 families. Rough calculations then say 1 acre can supply 100 families. This'll be midsummer as they always state the best these things can do. So more realistically take a median and say 1 acre can supply 50 families all year.
So - again rough calculation - 1 family is say 4 people on average for the world population, so for 6 billion people we have 1.5 billion families. Divide that by 100 and you get 15 million acres. That's just a bit less than Ireland or Sri Lanka. So we cover them with solar panels, Sri Lanka probably better than Ireland for the sun, and problem solved.
Just two blocks from my flat, they are going to be installing the largest solar electric panels in the middle of a big city, as they convert some old rail warehouses into a hostel, restaurant and artists complex. Since the old building was built to catch as much sun as possible, the roof is already positioned perfectly for the panels.
Nevertheless, this is more of a PR gimmick than anything else, because there is so much dust and pollution in a city that unless the panels are cleaned constantly, they will not be very useful. Apparently even the thinnest film of dirt cuts production by about 30%.
ah, that's something I've always wondered.... maintenance of solar panels... are the panels still quite fragile that cells would break relatively easily? Would one then be able to change cell by cell or is that not possible?
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
excerpts: Australia is the developed world's worst per-capita greenhouse gas emitter because of its heavy reliance on cheap coal for power generation. ... Australian retail and clean-energy stocks were expected to be among the winners, and airlines and miners among the plan's losers, but analysts said financial markets overall were tipped to take the policy in their stride. ... Australia said it hoped to link its scheme, which would cost A$4.4 billion to implement after household and industry compensation, to other international carbon markets and land abatement schemes when its emissions market was running.
Europe's system, which covers the 27 EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, has forced power producers to pay for carbon emissions, driving cuts where power plants were forced to switch to cleaner natural gas or biomass.
Gillard said her government would spend A$9.2 billion over the first three years of the scheme to ensure heavy polluting industries like steel and aluminium production were not killed off, and help close the oldest and dirtiest power stations. ... The scheme also set-up a A$10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund new renewable and cleaner generation capacity, such as wind, solar, gas and wave power plants. ... ... the government has offered tax cuts to low and middle-income households, as well as increased state pension and welfare payments.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said all taxpayers earning below A$80,000 a year would get tax cuts worth around A$300 a year, which analysts said could actually help boost the struggling retail sector, where spending has been sluggish.
France closed its first nuclear power plant in Fessenheim yesterday. It opened in 1978. Nuclear energy still represents 75% of electricity in France, which makes it one of the least polluting industrial countries, but it has a goal of reducing the percentage to 50% by 2025 (unlikely).
In any case, it is determined not to reopen coal mines and build coal-fueled power plants like Germany did when it stopped nuclear energy.
Anyway, we all know the danger of nuclear energy, and since we can't be trusted to operate it safely, it will probably have to stop. But it will be hard in France.
I think there are still 56 nuclear reactors in service.
In my brother's latest postal letter, he said that they now have solar panels on their roof in California. If the panels generate more electricty than they use, PGE (the local electric company) will pay them for the extra electricity.
He did not mention how much they paid to get the panels installed.
EDF (the French electricity company) used to phone often asking people to put solar panels on their roof. About 10 or more years ago, it was a good deal because they bought the electricity back at a good price. Nowadays, unless you have an old contract, the buyback price is very low. The house our son, near Bordeaux, bought has solar panels on the roof. He told me that the buyback by EDF brings in about 2000€ a year, but I don't know how much the original owner paid to have them installed.
Recently some of our neighbours here have solar panels installed on the roof to provide their own electricity. I don't know exactly how it is stored on sunny days to make up for rainy or very cloudy days. One of the neighbours told us that their panels -- quite a few of them, both on the eastern and western sides of the roof -- cost 18,000 € to install. My husband figured it would be years before they paid for themselves. That said, all municipal buildings here, like the schools, have solar panels on the roof, and new apartment buildings do as well.
We have solar panels to heat hot water, so essentially pay nothing to run the water heater from spring till about October, depending on the year, of course. The recent sunny spell also heated the water. Our house is a bit oddly shaped and has smallish roof sections facing various directions, so because of the neighbour's trees to our south, we don't really have the space for solar panels to generate electricity.