Going totally solar is not a practical option
To the editor:
Ms. Kamala Harris, our vice president, has offered some attractive opportunities to unemployed pipeline workers: Cleaning up land mines and making solar panels. I’m not ridiculing Ms. Harris but excusing her “foot in mouth” syndrome. We must remember, she is in a four-year on-the-job training program and probably didn’t consult the “Wizard of Washington;” remain calm, rest easy, Ms. Harris. I don’t know where we planted land mines in the U.S. but, unemployed Keystone workers will do some grade “A” detonating.
Solar power to replace fossil fuel electrical generation is a dream. It could be accomplished with decades of new discoveries hardships and failures. You’ve been nipping at the cooking sherry or lunching with the green movement people, haven’t you, Ms. Harris? I call the green movement the watermelon movement. Peel the green skin back and you see red — yes, Commusocialist red. It’s possible to retrofit small rural communities to be nearly totally solar but never to use it to replace fossil fuel; I’m afraid nuclear is the only solution for positive results in less than a decade.
Solar panel fabrication is an honorable vocation. The problem is where do we store them until we again salvage them for parts and bury the remains? Don’t let them sell you on solarizing a trial community like Sherlock Holmes, Ms. Harris. He is a detective, not a housing project.
Now, a few figures you might want to digest and if you can wake the Wizard, show him. A 250 watt solar panel is 18.85 square feet. You can make it longer and narrower or shorter and fatter, that’s all you’re going to get out of it. For example: supposing the Wizard makes a presidential proclamation that instead of a gallon of gasoline being 128 ounces, it would now be 153 ounces. An automobile normally getting 35 miles per gallon would now get 42 mpg. You would hear that gas mileage increased 20% and someone saying it was all done on “my watch” with no expense other than a stroke of a pen. Changing the size of the panel will have no more effect than changing the volume of a gallon of gasoline.
Lack of space is one of the biggest demerits of solarization. Using one city as an example and you can equate smaller communities to smaller panel space. New York City uses 11,000 megawatt hours average per day. One megawatt is the power needed for 100 homes. New York uses 11 billion watt hours per day — put the panels on the roof tops, no! Stack them, no! Spread them on the outskirts of the city, yes! The space to house the panels for 1,000 homes would equate to 16 city blocks.
Charles E. Deibert