From: apguirard (
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 94 11:58:59 CST
Mike Romano writes:

> Andre Guirard points out that utility rates [are] 
> lower than these newer cheaper solar panels can pro-rate to.
> .... in many rural areas it can cost thousands of
> dollars to bring a homesite onto the untility grid, with the
> cost of setting up the power lines, poles, and so forth.

Of course. But if you're going to argue up front cost, then
solar technology is still more intimidating because _all_ of
the cost is up front (until collectors start wearing out and
have to be replaced).  What would the actual cost be to have
sufficient collectors to power a house day _and_ night and
through all kinds of weather (a week of total overcast, for
instance)?  And how long do they last?  I submit that if you're
going to build out in the country and use this solar power
technology, you'd still need the lines, poles, and so forth,
to supply your needs when there's not enough sunlight.  I'm
not saying it's not possible to do without the power company,
nor am I saying that it won't one day be practical.  I'm just
saying that even with this development, it doesn't sound like
it's practical _yet_.

> ...if technology can ...
> allow one to live almost as comfortably in the country
> ... with little or no pollution, it will be a significant step
> toward solving many social and economic problems.

Solar technology is not pollution free.  You still have to produce
the collectors, and that is a pollution causing industrial process.
Also, you have to dispose of them when they wear out.  What
undesirable chemicals do they contain?

If you have information on the pollution produced by the
manufacturing process of these new collectors as opposed to
conventional means of power generation, I would be interested to
see it.

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