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February 03, 2006



How does germanium relate to the fortunes of a company basing its products on copper, indium, gallium and selenium?

Jim from The Energy Blog

I did it again, I meant Indium. Thanks for catching it. I was thinking gallium but I looked it up and it was indium.


Glad to know what was germaine, even if the error was galling. ;-)


The recent post about the island had the public chipping in billions which is like a price support for the cells meaning it's limit's dictate ambitions limits for expansion.

This story goes beyond that, and could actually cap how much people pay for competing conventional sources.

But just as raw materials are starting to get noticed in long term forecasting, the fact of limited sunshine particulary for local production, will return the Irish Sunshine Tax to the equation.

A housing density that is sustainable from a PV perspective is great threat to municipalities that in planning require much higher more vertical build outs.

Not only that but the advantages of grid connection vanish as PV competes with utility rates at mortgage financing costs- not likely to allow for resistive incinerating toilets perhaps, but condensing and [re]distilling sources of water, combined with composting toilets, are on the horizon for open space.

The interaction between open spaces being usable,buyable, by resident owners, and denial of there sunshine to PV production, is impossible to model at this time.

Perhaps local oil has sold such threatening acreage for high density -solar denying- use, precisely in part for that reason. Not merely for the obscene prices, prices threatened for the reasons mentioned above.

PV allows us to buy the land for our families we used to take for granted- if not 40 acres, then at least for more then a fourth of one, when typical division is now in the double digits PER ACRE.

The post about the highrise requiing a footprint that mightexceed however much acreage per home does need that calculation posted in response.

Ultimately fusion, the source of PV after all, might be needed and since most energy consumption in the future has not yet been imposed, efficiency, for future generation, may, for once, be rationally set by the costs.

Before the State keeps the light rights on all new trust land we can expect the cost of Coal use to go up.

"National Sacrifice ZONES" might not be repeated internationally, and most continents don't have them available anyway.

Whether PV, or Nuclear, the payback, even on efficiency, requires certain risks. Further privatising those risks is rarely considered. If for example we could buy three decades of clean energy with our mortgage, at a negotiated rate, such an instrument, might prove a winner for all. It would cost far less a premium then extra insulation, efficiency in refrigeration etc. as well. NOthing encourages 'waste' more then a clean footprint, we see that already with all the hype about cooling hot air credits purchased.

PV scales linearly. Nuclear scales exponentially. Passive designs limit scaling up, don't accelerate that potential. Approving them for subsidy, allows the quite visible hand to slap away far more viable proposals.

Hydrogen,after all, generated on the moon, could be shipped back to earth, if the scale of the plant allowed for that cost being economical. The sea has more in it than people should it be hit. And PV does do things to the earth that truly scaliiing up never considers. Robbing plants of light for example. Communities of Green. Other uses for light, that capitalise on other areas of the spectrum, make far more sense if the power is to be distributed.



Please everyone set your clocks!

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