Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
How do you see both the supply and pricing of solar panels and related equipment because of Japan's disaster?
Bill
Bill

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    First, my condolences to everyone in Japan, for their loss of life, and ongoing hell.

    I am not sure that Japan will have a large effect on solar panels or not... Much of the production has moved to China. And Japan has some major issues about where to rebuild. It appears that much of their residential and commercial areas are in tsunami/flood plains zones...

    Before and after satellite photos of North Eastern Japan

    In Japan, from what I understand, pretty much all of the arable/build-able land has long since be settled. Do they rebuild in the exact same areas and assume that nothing hits them for another ~1,000 years, or do they avoid rebuilding these areas that have been wiped out by tsunami?

    Obviously, serious industrial/nuclear facilities would need to be reevaluated as to their locations, but even ports, residential, etc. have potential for great loss of life when the next earthquake strikes.

    Last I saw, there was a drop in the price of oil based on the loss of ~8% of Japan's GNP due to the earthquake.

    Given the lack of arable/inexpensive land for the millions displaced, people will probably start rebuilding in existing locations for lack of any better places being available--long before it can be addressed by the political class. Let alone regarding the rest of the eastern coast of Japan that is probably still susceptible to future tsunami/earthquakes.

    Japan may try to source much of the rebuilding efforts with native production--especially given that they have been in several decades long of economic difficulties.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • monolocomonoloco Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I'm sure that this disaster will have an effect on the Japanese publics embrace of nuclear power once the costs of cleaning up and decommissioning 6 ruined reactors is realized. That may lead to Japan developing more solar and wind power generation facilities.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    Definitely feel sorry for the people in the area!

    That they apparently evacuated or moved people upward in buildings and prevented more deaths than so far reported is amazing.

    I doubt it makes any difference in panel price or supply. The affected area is not that large and appears to be mainly agricultural.

    I have been watching the NEIC site - they continue to have earthquakes. Today (UTC) they have had 70 of approximately 5 magnitude, 1 of 6.0 and 2 of 6.2 magnitude. The place must be rocking and rolling like a boat on choppy water.

    Russ
  • Peter_VPeter_V Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Little to no impact

    None of the components of a typical solar installation are made in Japan so it won't effect the supply side.

    Japan is a tiny country, even if they jumped on Solar in a big way, it wouldn't be a significant amount of the world market so the demand side won't change much either.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    And now they have there own active volcano erupting in southern Japan.

    And possibly Russia too?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    By the way, here is a short piece about "Incalculable Danger" (trying to put radiation exposure in "human" terms by "an expert in ionizing radiation and its effects.").

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I lived in Amori prefixture for years.
    They have no interest in solar in those northern parts of japan.
    It rains all the time, stays cloudly, its normal to be clouded over for a week and have it rain for days straight.
    I really doubt this disaster will change how they use solar.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    As a people the Japanese are very resourceful and determined. Just maybe they'll decide that better stand-by emergency power systems are needed for such instances and they'll set about designing a "per unit" system that will actually work and not cost too much. I'm thinking better batteries; perhaps low-cost Lithium-ion ones. And from that we may all see some benefit from this disaster.

    It's much more sensible to plan for Earthquake outages in areas that suffer repeated quakes than to plan for other armageddon scenarios anywhere else.:roll:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    i don't believe the subject matter is if those in northern japan are interested in going solar, but a question of the production lines japanese companies that produce solar panels and are they impacted in their production that would cause a rise in price due to less pvs on the market? i don't think there will be an impact, but i'm not up on where all of their facilities are either as they may not have been sidelined by the events that have unfolded.

    as to that so called expert bb pointed out, the coolant is not just water in the reactor area. the rods sit in a large pool of boronated water. secondary cooling is done with standard h2o and it is feasible that the boronated water has leaked out making anything better than nothing. he is also downplaying the emergency for one can also ask how many died from 3 mile island? the danger may be incalculable, but it is very real danger none the less and could get worse. just because this guy has the title professor does not mean he knows the score for what is he a professor of, speculation? i have had a few years of nuclear experience and i do know some things.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    Not to point fingers but ... shouldn't something as critical as nuclear reactor cooling have some redundancy in its design? Maybe it's just the off-gridder attitude that you can never have too many back-up power systems.

    Ironically, I think this is one of the reasons Chernobyl used the "graphite" cooling system. Didn't help.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    yes, they did have backup systems, but one cannot foresee all circumstances. they failed. this is akin to trying to stop lightning from hitting a tall skyscraper on a vast plain in a very lightning prone area. you can take steps, but sooner or later, zap.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    The US lost over 3,000 people (plus ~double that from 2 recent wars, not including the locals of the region many times over suffering the results of war/terrorism) from 9-11-01 by an act of ~19 people...

    Japan has possibly lost >10,000 people from a single act of nature (and ~several hundred thousand from a first hand view of nuclear war).

    Trying to be careful what I say here (non-political forum--plus I don't want to use anyone's suffering to score political points)--But the risks of human civilization are real. Nuclear power is part of that risk--but so is driving a car, coal mining, oil production, and even forestry...

    Fortunately, we do not have that many mass populations to collect data on from radiation exposure--And I certainly would hope that we never do (again).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    They have (had) redundant systems surely but when things rock like they are there even today you discover any minor flaw in planning. I have read that these are their oldest reactors as well - don't know how accurate that is.

    From the NEIC site

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

    They had 98 tremors yesterday with most right at magnitude 5 and over - nornally those are considered earthquakes. Three were over 6 magnitude

    Today using UTC (Universal Time) they have had 12 after shocks in 5 hours - again centered around magnitude 5 with a max of 5.8 - that is really 'rocking and rolling'!

    Russ
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    i have to address some of these points.
    BB. wrote: »
    The US lost over 3,000 people (plus ~double that from 2 recent wars, not including the locals of the region many times over suffering the results of war/terrorism) from 9-11-01 by an act of ~19 people...

    the loss of life no matter the cause is sad and not very desirable.

    Japan has possibly lost >10,000 people from a single act of nature (and ~several hundred thousand from a first hand view of nuclear war).

    yes, it was a risk that something big could do them harm, but it's not like they didn't know they were prone and they took some steps i'm sure.

    Trying to be careful what I say here (non-political forum--plus I don't want to use anyone's suffering to score political points)--But the risks of human civilization are real. Nuclear power is part of that risk--but so is driving a car, coal mining, oil production, and even forestry...

    i don't see what this has to do with politics at all. do know there isn't a comparison to a car accident and similar scenarios with small harm potentials with what has happened with nuclear power accidents. i see you are trying to head off my pms to you with my opinions on having nuclear reactors in earthquake prone areas as you feel it is worth the risk. it is not when a catastrophic failure occurs and it is a much higher risk akin to having a glass house with rocks randomly thrown at it from time to time. radioactivity is a different kind of accident in that one does not see the damage quickly or definitively except in very high doses and that radiation is often times spread via winds and waters. it's true this can thin out some of the radiation the farther it is spread out, but some you just can't shake as it stays with you to continue doing damage.

    i for one would not deny anybody the ability to produce power, but nuclear is a different kind of risk. if they had, say, coal generators (not selling that they should have them) that the quake and subsequent tsunami would not have posed any further threats other than as in any other building in those zones.

    old reactors i'm sure have had retrofits and upgrades as they knew that anything that they did would help if the big one hits. they did not pull many punches when it came to trying to make them safer and i'm certain their reactors were far safer than ours are. my hats off to them for that effort as they put aside some of the bottom-line thinking for safety. i'm quite sure that the result over there would have been many times worse had they not taken steps, but it was not enough and may never be enough for an earthquake prone area. no reactor is earthquake proof.


    Fortunately, we do not have that many mass populations to collect data on from radiation exposure--And I certainly would hope that we never do (again).

    it is quite well known what the long-term as well as the short term effects of radioactivity are and they have had known accidents to confirm this even though you will not be given these results as you'd sue the you know what out of them and make it not a very cost effective way to produce power. believe it or not it is not a cost effective way to produce power and your tax dollars paid for most of our reactors even in the private sectors. talk about incentives.:cry::roll:

    -Bill
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    No, not heading off your PMs... And trying to avoid the left/right/green/destroyer of the earth comparisons.

    From what little I can tell... It was not the earthquakes that are causing the current problems, it was the tsunami an hour later that took out the support equipment that is required to properly cool a core for ~1 week after an emergency shutdown (which happened as it was supposed to after the initial earthquake). The other ~50 nuclear reactors in Japan (map) are (again, from the news and government sources--which I do not trust as far as I can through a delivery truck) not having any uncontrolled reactions/releases.

    I could argue that thin film solar panels destroyed could release cadmium and other heavy elements into the environment (Japan & California too, have lots of mercury contamination from coal fired power plants, manufacturing, and even natural sources).

    These damaged/destroyed reactors were first or second generation plants built by GE--of which we have ~23 currently in operation in the US.

    In normal operation, coal fired power plants release more radiation than nuclear plants into the environment (much of it is fly ash that is not stored as nuclear waste).

    Which is worse in the long term? This nuclear release vs the huge numbers of coal fired plants around the world... Haven't a clue. Not even sure that a risk model can be made that would compare the risks in a reasonable way (wide spread low level nuclear wastes vs the point releases of nuclear products from these reactor failures).

    There are people risking their health and lives trying to contain these reactor failures... I agree the risks are real and there were some dumb decisions in siting/design/operation of reactors (as well as chemical plants, and any other human endeavor).

    Do we have a lot to learn from what happened? Certainly. Should we conduct public policy and engineering designs based on contemporary news articles. No...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    i'm not going to continue this much farther as i am not getting information through "contemporary news articles" and as i told you i did some work in the nuclear field years back. i know first hand how much contamination is actually there and it is far more than any releases encountered by coal. every tool, every piece of clothing, in fact anything in there is contaminated. do you think they just reuse the clothes, tools, etc.? do you have any idea what they do with contaminated items or the quantity of them? no, you don't as you are limited in your knowledge to the very same you accuse me of having and that being "contemporary news articles". i don't profess to be an expert, but i do know your arguments for nuclear under prone circumstances are weak and not based in fact. you do make feeble comparisons of risk and further shows you have no idea what you are dealing with with nuclear and this radiation is not being naturally produced or just a bad toxic chemical normally found in nature. there is no comparison to radiation found in nature except for that by nature's nuclear fusion found in stars. nuclear fission is not natural as it does not occur in nature and has releases far far above nature's background radiation through natural decays. even uranium as it is in nature is radioactive, but many of you probably did not know you could hold it in your hand in its natural state. i'll even go as far as to say radon gas is probably the worst nature has for us on earth and that's bad enough.

    enough on the education, but it is still my opinion that the risks are not worth it in earthquake prone areas. the fact that the tsunami, in your opinion, did the worst of the damages is irrelevant as tsunamis go hand in hand with large earthquakes in and near water and they knew that risk too making the risk compounded.

    what this boils down to is a difference of opinion on risk as you would take the risk and i would not. unfortunately, the risk isn't always just to those willing to build and live in an earthquake area and not very many of them that do, know the real score to properly evaluate the risks they are taking.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I am sorry Niel, I did not intend to minimize your experiences work with reactors or that you where getting information only from the news.

    I was just trying to say that is why we are talking about it today instead of a week ago.

    Yes, nuclear power is dangerous and many people have been put at risk based on acceptable risks decided for them by other people--with little to no input by the people put at risk.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • thehardwaythehardway Solar Expert Posts: 56 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I believe the demand for solar panels will increase as a result of this tragedy and as a result the short term price will rise, however, the increased demand will also cause them to be produced in larger volume after the current stock is depleted and this should bring cost down, perhaps to prices even lower than before the tragedy. I base this on the information that Germany today has announced they are going to take offline several aging nuclear plants as a precaution. Germany is a manufacturer of solar panels and will likely offset a portion of the lost production capacity with solar capacity. This will likely be emulated worldwide and in the US this will probably further lengthen the approval wait time for the nuclear plants that were slated to be built here.

    I believe that the days for large centralized power plants, no matter what the fuel source, are numbered. Nuclear, gas, coal, biomass, hydro, waste etc. all pose dangers. As the NIMBY mentality increases, a modular distributed power system becomes a much more practical approach and is much more efficient in the long run.

    I work in Lynchburg, VA home of B&W Nuclear technologies and Areva. I own property within 15 mi. of one of the largest Uranium deposits in North America which is located in Axton, VA. I am not a stranger to nuclear technologies and have many friends which are on the cutting edge of nuclear energy development. The field has changed immensely just the last 10 years. Most of the talking heads you see on TV are people who worked in the business years ago and have no idea what can be done today and how it can be done.

    Nuclear power can be done very safely, cleanly and efficiently and the waste is no longer a problem today like it was years ago due to improved re-processing techniques. The waste generated years ago from a plant would fill a freight car, today, the waste generated after producing several times the amount of power would barely fill a vial. Additionally it is no longer neccessary to have dangerous, huge, multi reactor commercial power plants.

    In todays modern world, sealed, self-contained nuclear power generation systems can be built that are not much larger than a big backyard hot tub. They produce between 10 and 30 megawatts of electricity and have enough fuel to last between 15 and 30 years. They require no maintenance and are fully self-operational until the fuel is depleted. Once fuel is depleted the manufacturer comes and pickes it up, connects a new one and refuels the old one for redistribution.

    One such reactor is being tested less than 10 mi. from where I sit writing this. These reactors are passively cooled and pose no potential for "melt-down".

    The required testing and safety features that are required on this type of reactor are the only thing that has slowed its arrival to the market. You will probably first see them being purchased to power industrial sites as commercial power costs continue to rise. By using a self-contained reactor a manufacturer can guarantee reliable and clean power without having to purchase maintain and fuel diesel or NG powered gensets. They can lock in their energy costs. There is no carbon emmission from them and heat is the only environmental byproduct which can captured and used for processing.

    As these become smaller and more affordable, small towns and communities will be able to purchase then and get rid of unsightly transmission lines and the environmental impact of stretching miles of them across the countryside from a large commercial scale power plant. Larger cities will install them to replace substations every few blocks.

    This will lessen our dependency on foreign oil, be more resistant to attack and more robust without so many single points of failure as our current aging grid.

    Wind, solar and hydro all have a place as transitional energy and clean power for individual homes well into the future, they will never be reliable enough however to fuel a mobile, industrialized civilization.

    This reactor incidence in Japan is not a warning about what dangers nuclear energy poses, it is a warning about what trying to exist with old technology and failure to move forward with safer, clean power can do.

    I have no political agenda, I think all forms of energy have a critical place in a thriving economy. It is intelligent and efficient use of all of our resources that is important to our environment and our way of life as well as our safety.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    hardway,
    that sounds good if they have gone that far with it.

    "I believe that the days for large centralized power plants, no matter what the fuel source, are numbered."

    to a point you are correct, but large centralized generation plants won't be eliminated. maybe downsized somewhat.

    i have to totally agree that spreading out the generation sources is viable and beneficial to not only aid our aging grid system, but to help thwart our electric grid from being a potential target of disruption from terrorism.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    My hobby is satelite scanning. Right now there is a lot of broadcasting from Japan on NHK. I heard today the reason the diesel generators didn,t start was the electronics that start them got flooded out. So maybe there needs to be updates for sealed witeing ect. Also a few years ago I saw a program on NHK about home power units. It is suposed to be good for areas that have lots of natural gas. Instead of the grid your home power unit makes energy for your home. It was about the size of a refrigerator and you could have it in a power room or outside. Somehow it converted nat gas to electric throug some kind of chemical reaction and didn,t use a primemover. Has anyone ever heard about it besides me. Sounds a little like what hardway was talking about but I don,t think it was nucular.
    Also on DW tv from Germany they said that the earthquake in Japan might affect thier assembly lines for BMW because they get some of thier components from Japan. Also I heard that some of the Japan carmakers in USA might suffer production cutbacks because a large part of the parts come from Japan. Also I heard it could help GM as there won,t be as many Japanese cars for sale for awhile. Not trying to be political, but It looks like the earthquake in Japan is going to have far reachs to other countrys as lots of products made in other countrys get a lot of thier components from Japan.
    Solarvic
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    This forum is in the vanguard when it comes to current events pertaining to solar.
    The news media is just now catching up: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=10729

    :D
  • SevenSeven Solar Expert Posts: 292 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    Solarvic,

    You are correct in what you say about the Japanese auto plants. Honda and Toyota have shut down production lines. It is quite possible for the domestic lines to hurt too, do so many of the parts being sourced from Japan. This snowball has just started rolling on so many levels.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    i guess it was inevitable that there would be some impacts due to the quakes and tsunami for products. i think the world can wait for products to resume after proper humanitarian efforts are done and some kind of rebuilding of lives and buildings is accomplished. either that or other countries may pick up some of the slack.

    solarvic,
    it almost sounds like a fuel cell from your description. natural gas would not be a reliable fuel for an earthquake zone as the pipes that carry it could easily rupture.

    i find the explanation of the electronics getting wet as initially viable, but in this day and age electronics can be made and had in an emergency nearly overnight even under these conditions so it may not be as simple as the electronics getting wet.
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?
    solarvic wrote: »
    Also a few years ago I saw a program on NHK about home power units. It is suposed to be good for areas that have lots of natural gas. Instead of the grid your home power unit makes energy for your home. It was about the size of a refrigerator and you could have it in a power room or outside. Somehow it converted nat gas to electric throug some kind of chemical reaction and didn,t use a primemover. Has anyone ever heard about it besides me. Sounds a little like what hardway was talking about but I don,t think it was nucular.
    Solarvic

    http://bloomenergy.com/ maybe? Too big it looks like. Maybe this one http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/first-hydrogen-fuel-cell-for-the-home Or this http://clearedgepower.com/categories/home-owner/pages/faq
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?
    Fatawan wrote: »

    Many fuel cells on the market - Bloom is not close to the best/most efficient but it is the most hyped. Apparently the VCs want their money out.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I think what I saw on NHK was on the lune of the system like Panasonic. If we would have had them available here I night have bought one. Cheaper than a solar system. Neil Most citys and urban areas have gas lines anyway, so these could be viable. solarvic
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    I too have some experience with highly radioactive materials. Passive cooled reactors are the current design track, but until the waste products are dealt with and the true cost of implementation is factored into the KwH costs of building and operating I personally think we should stay away from using that form of "clean power". The French have successfully implemented a system of use and recycle of the waste products, but they too are not without accidents in their nuclear power industry. I have no clue what the rates are for electric in France are or how much it is subsidized by their government. The French use a fast breeder reactor that uses plutonium as its primary fuel. I certainly don't like the sounds of that, as that material is much more active in both actions on living things and amount required to make a fission device.

    The waste problem rears it ugly head in the case of Japan, In reactor #4 (and probably #3 as well) it is the waste products holding tanks that are spewing into the environment. The holding pond ran dry and then fired up from the lack of heat removal and neutron suppression that water (laced with boron) supplies. Boron is a nuclear poison that absorbs neutrons. They have a real problem now getting close enough to attempt to get it back under control. Really the Japanese have this character flaw of saving face, and this has lead them to the problem of not accepting any world support to help correct the situation. It also makes them tend of downplay the seriousness of the situation. I can only see the situation getting worse before it gets better. So far they seem to be less than forth coming with any real data about the incident, forcing lots of speculation by the rest of the world.

    The location of these kinds of plants really need to be taken into account. On the coast line just a few miles from one of the largest fault lines in the circle of fire was way dumb. We have a couple of them in California that are not much better. Stable geology, solutions for waste products and real cost should drive us to re-evaluate our countries usage as well. Of the new plants planned here, they only became viable with the subsidies in the 2005 law. Private investors will just not take up any risk for these plants, and that should tell us something. Our current fleet of reactors are all at the end of their design life, but are now tracking to get re-licensed for an additional 25 years. Isn't that a bit scary?

    Sorry if this is to political for the site, it is just my humble opinion.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,135 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    here is some interesting information on an alternative fuel / reactor design

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/
     
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  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?

    The Canadian company Ballard has been trying to get workable fuel cells into the marketplace for years. There are a couple of buses in Vancouver equipped with them. Trying to spot them on a route is like hunting for heffelumps. Apparently they haven't quite got all the bugs worked out and they're still a bit impractical.
    http://www.ballard.com/
  • FatawanFatawan Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    Re: Price of Solar Panels in view of Japan's problems?
    westbranch wrote: »
    here is some interesting information on an alternative fuel / reactor design

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/

    Lightbridge(Symbol LTBR) is the publicly traded poster boy of thorium nukes. Only interest so far has come from, you guessed it--the middle east.
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