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Thread: is it true???

  1. #1 is it true??? 
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    Is it true that development of solar energy technology was withheld to facilitate the Oil Barons to squeeze every dollar out of oil sales?
    Well, it is not as if the solar technology option is new. It is at least more than 50 years old. Still no major developments. Why?


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    Is it true that development of solar energy technology was withheld to facilitate the Oil Barons to squeeze every dollar out of oil sales?
    Well, it is not as if the solar technology option is new. It is at least more than 50 years old. Still no major developments. Why?
    No of course not.

    And if you think there have been no major developments you must have been living on a deserted island somewhere.

    Do you have anything sensible to say?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman NoCoPilot's Avatar
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    Solar technology is much older than 50 years -- consider lizards on rocks! But seriously, converting sunshine to electricity is limited by the technology available. Currently(!) the BEST formulations are barely half as good as they can be, due to limitations in growing silicon crystals and other difficulties beyond my understanding.


    The Clinton and Obama administrations poured some federal money into research, which the Bushes and Trump have pulled the money back out. It's a matter of priorities, priorities guided by lobbying. So yes, there is a political aspect to advancement of the science.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoCoPilot View Post
    Solar technology is much older than 50 years -- consider lizards on rocks! But seriously, converting sunshine to electricity is limited by the technology available. Currently(!) the BEST formulations are barely half as good as they can be, due to limitations in growing silicon crystals and other difficulties beyond my understanding.


    The Clinton and Obama administrations poured some federal money into research, which the Bushes and Trump have pulled the money back out. It's a matter of priorities, priorities guided by lobbying. So yes, there is a political aspect to advancement of the science.
    I would question the relevance of US government R&D policy to the rate of progress. The ambivalence of US government has not stopped the cost-effectivess of solar energy from improving dramatically. The cost per watt today is apparently one hundredth of what it was forty years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_...nential_growth.

    My strong suspicion is that this has been driven by the private sector, responding to incentives from governments for clean energy technology. These incentives have succeeded triumphantly, to the point where the subsidies can now be withdrawn and these technologies can out-compete fossil fuel in their own right.
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  6. #5  
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    To be able to stand alone as an electricity source, solar energy needs a practical method for storing energy to take care of the time when the sun is not out. At present it is a supplement.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    To be able to stand alone as an electricity source, solar energy needs a practical method for storing energy to take care of the time when the sun is not out. At present it is a supplement.
    But battery technology, which can solve that problem, is making remarkable progress too, partly driven (excuse the pun) by the fierce demand from the expanding electric vehicle sector.

    I feel optimistic that there is now a virtuous circle of R&D that should be self-sustaining henceforth. One of the next challenges will be to reduce dependence of these technologies on rare elements mined from a small number of unstable countries........
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