[PLUG-TALK] Risk of earthquake based nuclear problems in USA

Russell Johnson russ at dimstar.net
Sat Mar 19 22:29:12 PDT 2011

On Mar 19, 2011, at 10:04 PM, Gregory Salter wrote:

> This all brought to mind a question. we have "hot states". Aridzona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, and Colorado. These states have lots of unused desert lands. Why can't Solar plants be set up there? Germany beats the stuffing out of us for solar use, and they have a climate like Oregon. Why are we lagging behind so much?

Part of that was answered in Keith's message. Solar panels in their current state are not really commercially viable, and deserts, while they may seem empty, are actually very full of life. Covering much of the desert southwest with solar would almost certainly have a detrimental effect on desert life.  I've seen some other technologies on the drawing board. 

It's hard to beat hydro power for flexibility and cost. That's why developing nations build dams rather than jump on the solar bandwagon. Unfortunately, there are side effects we either weren't aware of at the time, or choose to ignore. I prefer to think we just didn't know any better. Bringing this back to solar in the desert, I would hope we learned something from our experiences with dams and their effect on river systems. We should attempt to figure out what affect the power plant in the desert would have on the inhabitants of the area. 

Russell Johnson
russ at dimstar.net

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