coal burning power plants vs. nukes vs. solar power

... according to cap'n happy

"I'm sure coal burning is fine, if we're doing it with the new clean power plants. They scrub out not only the (harmless) carbon, but other things.

I'm fine with building more nukes, and I'm confident this is the only technology we have today to support our growing energy needs. I'm also super interested in developing lithium reactors. They're safe and produce 1/1000ths the radiative waste.

BTW – solar isn't going to work anytime in the near term. It provides a very small fraction of the electrical supply. The technology just isn't efficient enough. But there's a real problem…

The solar promise is based on the ROI of long term use. It's expensive to install, but (supposedly) in less than 10 years it pays for itself. Then, the promise, the next 10-15 years it's producing "free" electricity. Here's the problem…

That promise is based on an assumption – the maintenance costs are low. Solar panels are being promised to have a life expectancy of ~25 years, and with very little maintenance costs. During the rush to build out solar, the Chinese dumped solar panels on the market.

Nearly all of the companies, including the ones here in the USA, have been using those Chinese panels. The biggest panel supplier was this one Chinese company. They used shoddy materials  and assembly. Their panels are showing high defect rates. Instead of 25 years, some panels are failing after 3 years. Recent inspections have shown every major supplier of solar has been using these crappy panels (to cut their costs).

The ROI promise is bogus. The payback period is not less than 10 years.

Expect solar companies to continue to fall into bankruptcy. It's already started to happen mostly due to the cheap Chinese panels changing the economics. Even that Chinese company is in bankruptcy (in a communist state).

Solar companies will have to start repairing/replacing those panels, under warranty. This breaks their business model. They will be losing money.

As more and more panels start failing – more and more solar companies will go bust. Some have been supplying solar to residents. Others have been selling huge solar farms to power companies and large businesses.

Expect lawsuits, bankruptcies, etc. The dream of solar is going to be more like a nightmare."

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