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Re: [APD] [Off-Topic] Supplementing Electricity with Solar
> How much Co2 emissions are associated with the production/manufacturing and
> transport of the PV panels, batteries, inverter/charger and material
> necessary to install the system? What compounds are used in these components
> and what impact does their production, use and disposal have on the
> environment? Just curious if anyone happens to know.
I don't know off-hand, but I do know that using these calculations to
determine whether it is beneficial or not is misguided. Doing so assumes
that the process cannot ever be made more efficient and that encouraging
the production and use of solar cells by creating demand will never
drive innovation in the area.
The biggest problem with free markets is that they are nearly ideal for
directing the allocation of goods and services in the short run, but
they are terrible at doing so in the long run. Mainly because a market
requires perfect distribution of information to function effectively,
and no one has perfect information about the future. We see American
auto manufacturers paying the price for letting pure market economics
drive their decision making in the 90's. They spent their time and money
on developing and marketing SUV's because that's what the market wanted,
and that's what a rational firm would have done. Japanese companies
hedged their bets and began investing money in smaller, more fuel
efficient cars, and now they are eating our lunch ... again.
The upshot is that looking at a cost-benefit analysis as it stands right
at this instant does not necessarily give you the information you need
to make a good decision about the future.
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