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THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 21:40:04

Subjectivist wrote:
Hawkcreek wrote:Wikipedia gives 550 to 740 years for atmospheric persistence of nitrogen trifloride.

I find those numbers hard to accept for a simpke reason. We have been told for decades we have to eliminate flouroCarbons because the last for millenia. Why woul FlouroNitrates break down so much faster?

So should we go with your intuition, or what scientists say? For the 740 years, Wiki cites an IPCC paper. Like with all science (including climate science), it would seem to be better to go with the expert scientists and their research than with laymen's intuitions wouldn't it?

Besides, according to Wiki, the global production of NF3 is in the thousands of tons range annually. CO2 production is a thousand times that. Also, the flourinated gases, (of which NF3 is only one) have a total contribution of about 2% of GHG's produced.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global ... sions-data

In science, numbers matter -- a lot.

...

None of this is good, but we should evaluate impacts based on science and expertise, not the intuition of doomers, or anyone else, IMO.

...

I also checked on how long CFC's supposedly last via Google.

Looking at the numbers from the IPCC, it looks like the impact from most CFC's diminishes greatly for the 500 year duration vs. the 20 year duration.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_dat ... table-2-14

Per a Gurdian FAQ on climate change: "How long do greenhouse gases stay in the air?"

"Compounds containing chlorine and/or fluorine (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs) include a huge number of different chemical species, each of which can last in the atmosphere for a specific length of time – from less than a year to many thousands of years."


https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... remain-air


Conflating the worst case scenario with all CFC's isn't going to give you an accurate answer.
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Re: THE Electric Vehicle (EV) Thread pt 6

Unread postby jemsbond54 » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 01:24:02

There's the commitment to selling only electric vehicles, and more recently, India's push for more renewable energy sources by scrapping a major coal project.

More promising still, the country now seems to be the biggest market for solar power with the opening of the world's largest Residential Solar Panel system.

Cost is no longer a problem for India to shift to renewable sources, with solar power now already cheaper than coal.


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Can you suggest me some tips or any idea about how to prepare a good solar lighting project for 10Th standard examination??
Thanks in advance.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 17:16:08

"India's push for more renewable energy sources by scrapping a major coal project."

Well, India has certainly backed away from a number of proposed new coal-fired power plants. But it's not like India has abandoned coal:

"In India 65GW of new coal-fired units had started construction between January 2016 and January 2017. Most coal power stations are around 1GW or greater in capacity."

Expanding alt energy in India is certainly encouraging but it doesn't change the fact that India currently doesn't look very green. And building 65 GW of new coal burners isn't helping: Coal is the main fuel amounting to 61% of installed electrical capacity in July 2016.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby misterno » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 09:31:28

You know what is confusing

There are tons of articles and discussions on the internet and no one seems to agree if solar panel projects are cheaper than coal or natural gas plants or not

You keep reading solar projects done in Chile, UAE or Mexico selling power around2.99 cents/kwh. but then other people say the cost is more than that

So confusing. Which one to believe, why is it so hard to calculate?
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 11:22:24

misterno wrote:You know what is confusing

There are tons of articles and discussions on the internet and no one seems to agree if solar panel projects are cheaper than coal or natural gas plants or not

You keep reading solar projects done in Chile, UAE or Mexico selling power around2.99 cents/kwh. but then other people say the cost is more than that

So confusing. Which one to believe, why is it so hard to calculate?


Quite simply, there are TWO different calculations for solar power, because there are both distributed and central solar power plants.

Central solar plants include both large arrays of photovoltaic panels and thermal power production where concentrated solar energy produces steam. The economics of such plants are terrible, the mirrors and steam piping maintenance are very labor-intensive. However, these types of solar power production are very attractive to energy companies because they fit neatly into their classic business plan where they produce energy and then sell it to retail customers via a monthly power bill.

Distributed solar energy production is where individual residences produce power, consuming most and returning the excess to the power grid, in return for credits applied against the power bill - such as the 2.8 kW of panels on my roof. Another variation is the medium-sized PV facility such as the nearby Guadalupe Parkway Solar PV Project Site, a field full of PV panels, producing 2.07 mW of power, enough for 215 average homes. There are similar medium sized facilities above school and mall parking lots, providing both shelter from brutal California sun for the cars beneath, and a total of 38% of the power the state needs - the figure is increasing each year as the solar PV buildout proceeds.

Distributed power production is problematical for energy companies. For example, my 2.8 kW installation was originally sized to produce 90% of my power needs - PG&E was figuring to sell me the other 10%, plus the gas I use for my appliances. But I altered my home to save more electricity than the 10%, they apply the power credits to reduce my gas bill, and I end up owing money only in the space heating season. In Spring and Fall, I "cold soak" the house at night, then close it up in the morning to retain the cool. This reduces my A/C requirement to less than 1 month per year, at the cost of some minor discomfort - it is presently 64 degrees F in my home, and I use a shawl when I sit down. But also, during the 1 month of A/C use, I am producing slightly more power than I use, still.

Thus PG&E ends up "managing" my rooftop solar panels via the SmartMeter and the cellular modem in the inverter enclosure, for free. This is because of the California Solar Initiative and the "Net Metering" requirement, where they buy my excess power at the prevailing rate. I selected the variable rate schedule, ensuring that my daytime power production is credited at the peak Tier 1 rate, while my nightime power consumption is at off-peak Tier 2 or Tier 3 rates.

This model is disruptive of the classic energy company business plan, they are struggling to adjust to it. These struggles are why solar power is lagging in other areas, but here in California, we are committed by law to renewable energy production, and the elimination of FF's.

California is struggling to reach a 10% "zero emission" goal for automobiles. Even though this is the home of Tesla and this state has 1/4th of the total US EV's, not enough people are buying BEVs or the (hydrogen fuel cell) Toyota Merai.

Progress marches on. What's the problem with the remaining 49 states?
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby misterno » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 14:01:09

KaiserJeep wrote:
misterno wrote:You know what is confusing

There are tons of articles and discussions on the internet and no one seems to agree if solar panel projects are cheaper than coal or natural gas plants or not

You keep reading solar projects done in Chile, UAE or Mexico selling power around2.99 cents/kwh. but then other people say the cost is more than that

So confusing. Which one to believe, why is it so hard to calculate?


Quite simply, there are TWO different calculations for solar power, because there are both distributed and central solar power plants.

Central solar plants include both large arrays of photovoltaic panels and thermal power production where concentrated solar energy produces steam. The economics of such plants are terrible, the mirrors and steam piping maintenance are very labor-intensive. However, these types of solar power production are very attractive to energy companies because they fit neatly into their classic business plan where they produce energy and then sell it to retail customers via a monthly power bill.

Distributed solar energy production is where individual residences produce power, consuming most and returning the excess to the power grid, in return for credits applied against the power bill - such as the 2.8 kW of panels on my roof. Another variation is the medium-sized PV facility such as the nearby Guadalupe Parkway Solar PV Project Site, a field full of PV panels, producing 2.07 mW of power, enough for 215 average homes. There are similar medium sized facilities above school and mall parking lots, providing both shelter from brutal California sun for the cars beneath, and a total of 38% of the power the state needs - the figure is increasing each year as the solar PV buildout proceeds.

Distributed power production is problematical for energy companies. For example, my 2.8 kW installation was originally sized to produce 90% of my power needs - PG&E was figuring to sell me the other 10%, plus the gas I use for my appliances. But I altered my home to save more electricity than the 10%, they apply the power credits to reduce my gas bill, and I end up owing money only in the space heating season. In Spring and Fall, I "cold soak" the house at night, then close it up in the morning to retain the cool. This reduces my A/C requirement to less than 1 month per year, at the cost of some minor discomfort - it is presently 64 degrees F in my home, and I use a shawl when I sit down. But also, during the 1 month of A/C use, I am producing slightly more power than I use, still.

Thus PG&E ends up "managing" my rooftop solar panels via the SmartMeter and the cellular modem in the inverter enclosure, for free. This is because of the California Solar Initiative and the "Net Metering" requirement, where they buy my excess power at the prevailing rate. I selected the variable rate schedule, ensuring that my daytime power production is credited at the peak Tier 1 rate, while my nightime power consumption is at off-peak Tier 2 or Tier 3 rates.

This model is disruptive of the classic energy company business plan, they are struggling to adjust to it. These struggles are why solar power is lagging in other areas, but here in California, we are committed by law to renewable energy production, and the elimination of FF's.

California is struggling to reach a 10% "zero emission" goal for automobiles. Even though this is the home of Tesla and this state has 1/4th of the total US EV's, not enough people are buying BEVs or the (hydrogen fuel cell) Toyota Merai.

Progress marches on. What's the problem with the remaining 49 states?


My question was never intended for solar roof but rather commercial solar projects

Here is an example

https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/05/pp ... %C2%A2kwh/

So the cost to the utility is 2.99 cents per kwh. Is this too low because the sun is intense there? Even though I doubled up the price 2.99*2=5.98 cents per kwh this is too low to ignore. If solar projects provide such a low cost power, why on earth utilities are dealing with coal natural gas and nuclear?

I would understand the argument to support non solar projects for afterhours where there is no sunshine so you need non solar. But if solar power costs so low, and this can be sustained during day time, why bother with other sources for day time needs?

I am missing something...
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Simon_R » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 14:33:46

Not all sunshine is equal, so a panels max capacity will not be reached everywhere.

Also, solar cannot be switched on when needed, makes it harder to trade, and you would be optimistic to try for RO's on solar.

A lot of utility companies are investing heavily in Alts, baseline power plants are generally commissioned by Gov.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 15:15:52

There was a coal company CEO on Fox Business this morning They were discussing if Trump really had increased coal miners employment. As an aside he was very adamant that that to have a stable electric grid in the USA it had to be at least 30 percent coal fired. His reasoning was that you need a storable solid fuel on site that works 24/7/365 and all the renewables can not be stored or counted on. He clearly said solid fuel, ruling out oil or natural gas but I suspect his reasoning is less solid when it comes to natural gas if delivered by dedicated pipeline.
His reasoning rings true to me and is not a problem for solar and wind until they expand to about twenty five to thirty percent of the market. We have a long way to go to get there in most markets so can worry about it when we get there. At the same time we should not be shutting down coal plants willy nilly without having solid 24/7 replacements complete and on line first.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 15:25:26

I believe the quoted solar costs are burdened construction costs alone, they do not include maintenence. Realize that solar power is cyclical, not suitable for baseload power. That sounds simplistic, but understand the numbers.

If I had a gasoline or diesel powered generator with 2800w capacity, running it 24X7 for weeks on end, it would produce 2045 kWh per month of power. Every few weeks it would require a shutdown, oil change, tune-up, etc. Still it is a proven technology, reliable, and I could swap it out with another generator of the same capacity in a few minutes. The availability factor for such a power plant is 0.99 or better.

My existing 2800w of solar PV panels has averaged 384 kWh per month for several years. That is with zero maintenance and no outages due to repairs, it has been flawless. That is 1.00 availability factor and actual production is 18.8% of rated peak capacity. But that rated capacity is only available in the Summer for approximately two hours before and two hours after noon, the rest of the time that PV system is at partial or zero output.

To replace a fossil fuel power plant of 2800 W here in California, one would oversize the solar PV by 600% and add battery storage for up to a week of near zero output, and after that level of investment the actual cost per kWh would be approximately 12X to 15X the quoted 2.99 cents.

That would be $0.36 to $0.45 per kWh, not $0.0299 as the article indicates. Fossil power is much much cheaper.

The grid-attached solar PV like my roof is actually optimal. Power is consumed near where produced, since fewer that 10% of the houses have solar PV. My neighbors are using my excess power, the buried power grid transformers don't have to handle any extra load, nor does the power grid distribution network experience wear & tear.

The power companies in California are being forced to accept distributed solar PV and to pay for the power it produces at retail rates because of "net metering".

Technically, these distributed PV installations are "peaking power plants", they serve to reduce grid demand during the peak period, which is also when the sun is the most intense and power demand is highest. If California ever reaches or exceeds 100% renewable energy capacity using solar energy we will still need hydropower, nuclear, and fossil fuel power plants to handle off-peak demands and nightime electrical needs.

Keep such considerations in mind. Don't do simplistic capacity calculations, even in a desert like Dubai, I doubt that the average power produced 24X7 would exceed 20% of rated capacity.

Edit: The actual cost of my rooftop power, I figure to be about $0.32 per kWh. But because the taxpayers chipped in, and the roof installation was $0 for me, I am paying only the $92/month lease cost for power. Add to that a small credit each month, and a larger gas expense in Winter. I have saved $200 to $300 every year since I put it on the roof.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 15:45:09

Simon_R wrote:Not all sunshine is equal, so a panels max capacity will not be reached everywhere.

Also, solar cannot be switched on when needed, makes it harder to trade, and you would be optimistic to try for RO's on solar.

A lot of utility companies are investing heavily in Alts, baseline power plants are generally commissioned by Gov.

That's for sure. It's not only being a "green" state that makes CA so popular for solar roofs. I live in central KY. From the maps I've seen, the typical solar insolation for southern CA is several times where I live (and the electricity rates are much higher), so no wonder it's economically much more viable there.

My typical electric bill is roughly $70, on average. A new Tesla roof installed would cost me well over $50,000. More if I want enough Powerwalls batteries to get by without using the grid much. But given how many cloudy days we have in winter, I can't imagine being able to get completely off the grid, regardless -- even if I opted for a $100,000 plus package. (Which I'm not going to do any more than I'm going to buy a six figure car).

So unless I wanted to do something like that to try to power an EV from my roof (i.e. NOT for economic reasons), I don't see it making sense for decades yet, at least in my case. The only thing I see likely to change that is a really big CO2 tax -- in other words, not going to happen, IMO.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 15:56:51

KaiserJeep wrote:I believe the quoted solar costs are burdened construction costs alone, they do not include maintenence. Realize that solar power is cyclical, not suitable for baseload power. That sounds simplistic, but understand the numbers.
..............
Keep such considerations in mind. Don't do simplistic capacity calculations, even in a desert like Dubai, I doubt that the average power produced 24X7 would exceed 20% of rated capacity.


I would be more optimistic on that 20% figure. Consider that Dubai averages 3508 hours of sunshine a year with only five rainy days on average compared to your Silicon valley average of 63 and at Latitude 25-12N at the summer solstice the noon sun is just 1.5 degrees off vertical. If a solar panel can't do it there it can't do it anywhere.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 18:03:44

vtsnowedin wrote:-snip-
I would be more optimistic on that 20% figure. Consider that Dubai averages 3508 hours of sunshine a year with only five rainy days on average compared to your Silicon valley average of 63 and at Latitude 25-12N at the summer solstice the noon sun is just 1.5 degrees off vertical. If a solar panel can't do it there it can't do it anywhere.


My panels are mounted on my shallow pitched roof at no more than 20 degrees off vertical and face directly South. After some rough figuring I think Dubai might achieve 20% of rated power and thus their facility would only have to be oversized by 400% and with a lot less battery storage.

You can also up that figure by 45% above fixed panel output by active tracking that tilts the panels and faces them directly at the sun for more hours per day, perhaps full output for 6 hours and thus 25% of rated panel capacity. The tracker motors consume some power and may even require that external or battery power be applied for initial pointing in the morning sunrise.
Image
These mechanical parts will of course require some tinkering and extra maintenance expense.

I remain a fan of solar PV and yet owning a system has made me aware of the inherent limitations.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 21:00:51

KaiserJeep wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:-snip-
I would be more optimistic on that 20% figure. Consider that Dubai averages 3508 hours of sunshine a year with only five rainy days on average compared to your Silicon valley average of 63 and at Latitude 25-12N at the summer solstice the noon sun is just 1.5 degrees off vertical. If a solar panel can't do it there it can't do it anywhere.


My panels are mounted on my shallow pitched roof at no more than 20 degrees off vertical and face directly South. After some rough figuring I think Dubai might achieve 20% of rated power and thus their facility would only have to be oversized by 400% and with a lot less battery storage.
You can also up that figure by 45% above fixed panel output by active tracking that tilts the panels and faces them directly at the sun for more hours per day, perhaps full output for 6 hours and thus 25% of rated panel capacity. The tracker motors consume some power and may even require that external or battery power be applied for initial pointing in the morning sunrise.
Image
These mechanical parts will of course require some tinkering and extra maintenance expense.

I remain a fan of solar PV and yet owning a system has made me aware of the inherent limitations.

A shallow pitched roof would not be just 20 degrees off vertical ( do you mean horizontal?) but the panels may not be bolted directly to the roof surface and not be at the same angle as the roof. The proper angle for each location is well covered elsewhere. I would think that Dubai could achieve 30 percent or a bit more with properly orientated panels with a few tilted towards the rising sun and a few tilted towards the afternoon sun without bothering with tracking.
Not likely to happen there of course considering the amount of natural gas under their feet.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby misterno » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 21:30:11

There is a website by google where you can type your address and it will tell you if it makes sense to install solar panels to your roof or not depending on if roof is situated for north or south east west

Mine seems to be not suitable for installation

https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 00:04:55

Frankly, the biggest consideration for rooftop solar PV is the local legislative bias. If they will subsidize solar PV via a tax deduction for the homeowner, and whether or not they force the local utility to honor the net metering scheme, and whether or not they mandated the SmartMeters that make the management by the local utility possible.

These legislative considerations make such other "stuff" like solar insolation and angle of the sun of secondary importance. I'm not saying it's right, I'm only saying that is reality at present.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 00:52:12

KaiserJeep wrote:Frankly, the biggest consideration for rooftop solar PV is the local legislative bias. If they will subsidize solar PV via a tax deduction for the homeowner, and whether or not they force the local utility to honor the net metering scheme, and whether or not they mandated the SmartMeters that make the management by the local utility possible.

These legislative considerations make such other "stuff" like solar insolation and angle of the sun of secondary importance. I'm not saying it's right, I'm only saying that is reality at present.

Oh I hear you on that and don't disagree on any point you make. I do think we can move on to the discussion about what to do or is possible after the real decline in available energy happens.
Tax laws and regulations will be of little consequence then compared to the energy a system or source can actually deliver.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 13:17:32

Progress marches on. What's the problem with the remaining 49 states?


Probably because the remaining 49 states have been bankrupted from California, Texas,... stealing from them in order to build their economically useless intermittent sources.

If you "educated" freeloaders are determined for your free electricity you could at least admit that the solar cell is never going to be good enough to enable mass electrification. And certainly the wind turbine has no evolution possible because it is impossible to eliminate its intermittency.

Is your roof mounted panel intermittent or not? If it is, then admit failure and stop being con artists.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 05:56:34

Where does that attitude come from?
"If I can't have power 24 hours a day I don't want any"

People in Egypt would give anything for reliable daylight power. Why do you need power when you're sleeping? Humans have been working dawn to dusk for 1000's of years.

When the grid crash comes, SL will be way too proud to use the intermittent solar power available. Could be why he's starving...

SL - a word of advice...you can grow food without electricity. Stop starving and get to work :)
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 13:51:42

On the boat we have solar (180W) and wind. 4 GC batteries. No grid tie. Our "base load" is a 2,000W Honda generator. The reason this works is that the e have meager electrical requirements. The 22VDC fridge is our biggest draw. The Wife's old huge laptop is a problem when she is using it heavily. Of course we cook with kerosene so I guess that's cheating. When moving the navigation electronics load may require I run the engine periodically to recharge the batteries.

That illustrates the big problem. Collectively we use way too much power. That's the problem and the sign path to solution, economize.
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Re: THE Solar Cell Thread Pt. 3 (merged)

Unread postby sunweb » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 14:39:33

There is a hope/belief among many “renewable” energy promoters that these technologies can reproduce themselves along with many of the needs of our present living standard. I have been down these paths with people who want to believe we can and should continue business as usual.

They avoid hard questions and they answer with vague engineering possibilities or tomorrow's technology or human brilliance or innovation or you can't know the future replies. Looking at the whole picture is out of the question because it challenges their solution.

This essay challenges that hope which is really a continuation of consumerism and the status quo.

This essay looks at the energy used in copper, glass and other common tools of everyday life – especially the heat requirements. There are also videos of other necessay parts of our life styles - WINDOW SCREEN – A SYRINGE – MEDICAL PLASTIC TUBING - A CPU FOR YOUR COMPUTER – AN ELECTRIC MOTOR – A FAN (GLOBAL WARMING) - FARM MACHINERY.


LOOK AT ALL THE MACHINERY NEEDED FOR THESE VARIOUS PARTS OF OUR LIFESTYLE AND CONSIDER THEM BEING MINED, FABRICATED, CONSTRUCTED, RUN AND REPAIRED USING “RENEWABLE” ENERGY SOURCES AS WE NOW DEFINE THEM.
IT FALLS TO THE PROMOTERS OF A FUTURE FOR “RENEWABLE” ENERGY TO
SHOW HOW THESE AND SO MUCH ELSE CAN BE PROVIDED.
http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2017/05/re ... re_26.html
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