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

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Sun Mar 20 09:14:19 PDT 2011

>On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 10:04:01PM -0700, 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?

Much talk in this thread assumes that the only way to convert solar to
electricity is with photovoltaic cells. This brings to mind a couple of

1) I have read of remote places in Africa where electricity is
generated by relatively inefficient photovoltaics which, because they
are not cutting edge, are also inexpensive. What about the cost per KWH
of such devices, especially if used in remote areas where the cost of
running copper is high due to the distance?

2) What about non-photovoltaic methods for converting sunlight to
electricity? Could we not use mirror arrays to focus sunlight on a pot
of water and use the resulting steam to run a standard turbine? What
might the efficiency of such an installation be, and its cost per KWH
compared to photovoltaics?

And an aside, "Arizona" is not derived from "arid zone" as is commonly
thought. It is of native Indian origin.

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