Asking the tough questions

By Steven Keeler | May 10, 2012


“ The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over ”  -  Joseph Goebbels  1897 - 1945.

Writers C Herman & C Voli  (Beacon, 04/26/12, Betting on the Sun) express their love for modern day Germany re: solar cells.  There may be a parallel to the above quotation however, when Herman & Voli extoll this “virtue” without telling a factual, current story.

I urge readers to Google ' Germany solar power. '

“In the words of the German Association of Physicists, “solar energy cannot replace any additional power plants.” On short, overcast winter days, Germany’s 1.1 million solar-power systems can generate no electricity at all. The country is then forced to import considerable amounts of electricity from nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic.  Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world.”  -  Slate magazine.

“ ‘It is fair to say that the industry is in a crisis,’ says Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, director of energy policy research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.'”  -  Christian Science Monitor.

Where are these cells (not panels) coming from?

Why no discussion of the cell efficiency, the cost of maintenance, the loss of efficiency of each cell over time and no numbers as to the amount of electricity generated on a Edmonds winter day?  Solar cell de-lamination?  The cells warranty?  Selling power at a 40 percent discount to the city of Edmonds?  How much power, in kWh and state the price, per kWh (killowatt hour), please?  Edmonds won't have the problem of snow covering the panels … right?

Does no one ever consider the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the manufacture of these solar cells?

Or, is CO2 now, conveniently, not the “problem” as the watermelons would have you previously believe.

Ask Snohomish county PUD as to why the utility limits the amount of electricity they will accept from these heavily subsidized co-ops to a mere one quarter of one percent.

Does “load balancing” and its implications, mean anything to the authors?

Last, at a time when the state of Washington has been plagued by spending so much more than it has available, how can the democratic legislature justify solar subsidizing?

Like traffic circles for the city council, rooftop solar certainly passes the "make me feel good about myself" test.  Beware !


Steven Keeler

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