Solar panel energy payback: What’s the truth?

a loopOne of the myths that gets bandied about a lot is the idea that it takes more energy to create a solar panel:  through mining, transport, manufacturing and distribution, than will ever be generated by that solar panel over its lifetime.

20 years ago that was a valid argument against solar power. However in 2012 that myth is pure BS. Hopefully this post can set the record straight.

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Discover How Australia Could Be Powered By 100% Renewables

Auses LogoIf you live in Adelaide and would like to hear about a 100% renewable powered future then come along and say hi next Wednesday At UniSA:
Australian Solar Energy Society SA Meeting

Towards electricity without fossil fuels: finding the best mix of renewables, demand management and storage
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Tiny Tokelau Takes on the World With Solar PV Plunge

By Rich Bowden

One of the least reported, though possibly one of the most important, announcements to come out of the recent climate change gabfest in Durban earlier this month was the one from tiny Tokelau, with a population 1,500 (and three cars as reported by the Guardian). The Pacific state said it is planning to replace its aged diesel generators with a $US7.5 million solar PV system.
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Big Solar in Box Seat After Carbon Tax Announcement

This week’s big ticket news item for the solar industry and its consumers was the fillip given to the sector by the federal government’s long-awaited carbon tax announcement.

While there is some debate over whether or not the carbon price announced last weekend will go far enough to achieve its primary purpose (i.e. significantly decrease the level of carbon emissions in Australia) there appears to be little doubt that the renewable energy incentives attached to the legislation will go a long way towards rejuvenating the renewables sector, particularly solar energy.

“Solar on steroids” was how John Grimes, chief executive of the AustralianSolarEnergySociety (AuSES) described the Clean Energy Future announcement, adding that the solar industry was the real winner to emerge from the package. He focused on the earmarking of $10 billion, half of which will be made available for the renewable sector from a new investment bank, hailing it as a major step forward. [Read more…]

Will Solar Power Save The Planet?

I suppose some would call me a “Greenie”.  Heck, I call myself that sometimes.

Like any good Aussie, I love the outdoors, the sunshine and the surf. I’m deeply grateful for the beauty and majesty of our planet. It pains me when I see it being brutalized, plundered or wasted in the name of laziness or greed.

And I do believe that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. I believe that a lot of the political and economic tension that our world currently faces could be reduced with more responsible use of the limited resources we have at our disposal.

And I believe solar power will play a central role in an improving the relationships with our political neighbours and our natural world.

But, I don’t believe solar power is the answer to all our problems. I don’t believe solar power is the great savior of our planet. I don’t believe solar power is right for everyone. I don’t believe we should make too big a deal of solar power.

Why not? Because it’s too easy. [Read more…]

Is Global Warming a Hoax and Solar Power a waste of time?

Most of my websites are all about energy efficiency and also using technologies like solar power to get your electricity bills down.

Of course, a huge motivation to do this is that many people believe that CO2 emissions damage the environment though global warming.

Other people are motivated financially. Others just like the thought of taking responsibility for generating the power that their household uses.

Whatever your personal view on Global Warming, you can’t have failed to sense a growing scepticism about the issue recently.

A lot of folks are wondering whether the whole thing is just one big hoax by vested interests. For example: Scientists who want research dollars. Or Pollies who want an excuse to collect more tax dollars.

So what’s the truth? Is it a hoax, or if you don’t believe in mass conspiracies, are the majority of climate scientists simply getting brainwashed by the research dollars waved at them?

Well, anything is possible!

I certainly live my life by the adage, that if the government, says something is a given – then usually the opposite is true…

Example BS pedalled by the government:

• the US Banking System being safe as (sub prime) houses,
• the need to be protected by internet censorship filters
• first home owners grants make houses more affordable
• Canberra is a nice place to live and work ☺

My personal take is that, yes a lot of politicians do get very excited at the thought that they can tax us more and use Global Warming as an excuse,

And yes – some scientists have a very vested interest in GW being real, but… I’ve never really been one for conspiracy theories.

And the mind boggling size of the conspiracy you would need to subvert the thousands of scientists who have contributed to the peer-reviewed science is just mind boggling. Forget the moon landing being a fake – this would be on a whole new level.

The other thing that has convinced me of the reality of global warming is a Pommie journalist called George Monbiot.

If, like me you don’t have the time or patience to read through the science and decide for your self if it is sound, you could do worse than to read Monbiot’s opinion. ( a quick Google will find these articles)

He has read the science, formed a very objective opinion. And he is scared witless about what the future holds.

He now makes it his mission to question the arguments against GW head on. He recently went into verbal combat with one of the world’s leading global warming sceptics, Australian, Ian Plimer on Lateline.

Have a look at the video and see what you think– If nothing else it is a fascinating showdown:

Ian Plimer and George Monbiot Battle on Lateline

Garnaut says: It’s not to late

The Garnaut Climate Review has warned of the grave dangers of not reducing climate change stating that it will lead to dire consequences for humanity. However, the report also sheds some positive light on the issue, stating that it is still not too late to start doing something about it.

In Australia, there is a long-term goal to reduce all emissions by sixty percent between the year 2000 and 2050. In addition to this, they also hope to reduce emissions by up to fifteen percent by 2020.

Focusing on renewable energy sources is one of the things that Australia is doing to reduce these emissions. In addition, raising the taxes of major polluters is also on the agenda. Seeking green alternatives to fuel is essential as is optimizing energy efficiently in homes, businesses and public buildings with an emphasis on totally renewable and “free” sources such as solar energy and wind power.

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