[ExI] The silent PV revolution

Alfio Puglisi alfio.puglisi at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 15:46:14 UTC 2012

2012/4/10 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>

> While the sun is perfectly OK to dry oneself after a swim, or to operate
> the lamp of a cabin in the wood, as far as the primary sources for the grid
> and large-scale energy production are concerned no matter how efficient the
> panels can be made, we would still be trying to squeeze the most of a
> limited, low-temperature, diluted, discontinuous energy source. wasting
> square meters with structures of dubious elegance and altering the albedo
> of our planet.
The dubious elegance of a solar panel, in my opinion, wins hands down over
the appearance of a nuclear plant's cooling tower (not to mention the
uranium mine! or how about the beauty of a drilling rig..), but it's a
subjective issue.
...while the albedo is not: the total electrical energy used by humanity is
1/7000th of the incoming solar energy from the sun, so even using 100%
solar power, the change is minuscole.
And with such low % of the incoming energy, the area is manageable:
existing roofs and structures are enough to collect all the required power.
For example, the 50GW italian consumption can be fed with 2800 km^2 of
panels, taking into account the current conversion efficiency and the total
day/night illumination cycle. That's about 1% of the total nation area,
less than the already built-up portion.

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