Why do we burn coal and trees to make solar panels?

by Thomas A. Troszak (2019/11/14 revision)

Spoiler alert, conclusions after a lot of data in the article:

“Every step in the production of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems requires a perpetual input of fossil fuels – as carbon reductants for smelting metals from ore, for process heat and power, international transport, and deployment. Silicon smelters, polysilicon refineries, and crystal growers around the world all depend on uninterrupted, 24/7 power that comes mostly from coal and uranium. The only “renewable” materials consumed in PV production are obtained by deforestation – for wood chips, and by burning vast areas of tropical rainforest for charcoal used as a source of carbon for silicon smelters. So far, both media and journal claims that solar PV can somehow “replace fossil fuels” have not addressed the non-renewable reality of global supply chains necessary for mining, manufacturing, and distribution of PV power systems. Based on current world production levels of solar PV, an attempt to replace conventional electricity production with solar PV would require a dramatic increase in the amount of coal and petcoke needed for silicon smelting, along with the increased cutting of vast areas of forest for charcoal and wood chips.”

About budbromley

Bud is a retired life sciences executive. Bud's entrepreneurial leadership exceeded three decades. He was the senior business development, marketing and sales executive at four public corporations, each company a supplier of analytical and life sciences instrumentation, software, consumables and service. Prior to those positions, his 19 year career in Hewlett-Packard Company's Analytical Products Group included worldwide sales and marketing responsibility for Bioscience Products, Global Accounts and the International Olympic Committee, as well as international management assignments based in Japan and Latin America. Bud has visited and worked in more than 65 countries and lived and worked in 3 countries.
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1 Response to Why do we burn coal and trees to make solar panels?

  1. Sunface says:

    When the RE believers start WEFfling on about Solar and green, pop this in their pie hole.

    Liked by 1 person

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