When media goes on and on about CO2 emissions they are deliberately saying nothing about methane emissions. Methane is enriched CO2----it is worse for CLIMATE CHANGE. Do we hear all those global Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals shouting against Obama and these policies? No----they only shout what Clinton neo-liberals tell them----
GO SHOUT AGAINST TRUMP WHILE WE INSTALL FRACKING AND NATURAL GAS EXPORT TERMINALS AND DON'T FORGET TO SAY NATURAL GAS IS GREEN AND WORKS AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE.
Of course all those 5% to the 1% global Wall Street players do exactly that----not a leader among them.
So, Obama/Clinton/Bush expanded fracking overseas these several years like no other assuring CLIMATE CHANGE WOULD SOAR. Soon corporate scientists will be telling us they have innovative products to stop this methane stream as well......those GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATIONS WORKING FOR WALL STREET.
Fracking Would Emit Large Quantities of Greenhouse Gases
"Fugitive methane" released during shale gas drilling could accelerate climate change
- By Mark Fischetti on January 20, 2012
Add methane emissions to the growing list of environmental risks posed by fracking.
Opposition to the hydraulic fracturing of deep shales to release natural gas rose sharply last year over worries that the large volumes of chemical-laden water used in the operations could contaminate drinking water. Then, in early January, earthquakes in Ohio were blamed on the disposal of that water in deep underground structures. Yesterday, two Cornell University professors said at a press conference that fracking releases large amounts of natural gas, which consists mostly of methane, directly into the atmosphere—much more than previously thought.
Robert Howarth, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and Anthony Ingraffea, a civil and environmental engineer, reported that fracked wells leak 40 to 60 percent more methane than conventional natural gas wells. When water with its chemical load is forced down a well to break the shale, it flows back up and is stored in large ponds or tanks. But volumes of methane also flow back up the well at the same time and are released into the atmosphere before they can be captured for use. This giant belch of "fugitive methane" can be seen in infrared videos taken at well sites.
Molecule for molecule, methane traps 20 to 25 times more heat in the atmosphere than does carbon dioxide. The effect dissipates faster, however: airborne methane remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years before being scrubbed out by ongoing chemical reactions, whereas CO2 lasts 30 to 95 years. Nevertheless, recent data from the two Cornell scientists and others indicate that within the next 20 years, methane will contribute 44 percent of the greenhouse gas load produced by the U.S. Of that portion, 17 percent will come from all natural gas operations.
Currently, pipeline leaks are the main culprit, but fracking is a quickly growing contributor. Ingraffea pointed out that although 25,000 high-volume shale-gas wells are already operating in the U.S., hundreds of thousands are scheduled to go into operation within 20 years, and millions will be operating worldwide, significantly expanding emissions and keeping atmospheric methane levels high despite the 12-year dissipation time.
Howarth said he is particularly concerned about fracking emissions because recent data indicates that the planet is entering a period of rapid climate change. He noted that the average global temperature compared with the early 1900s is now expected to increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next 15 to 35 years, which he called "a tipping point" toward aggressive climate change. More and more fracking would speed the world to that transition or undermine efforts to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The notion, Ingraffea said, that shale gas is a desirable "bridge fuel" from oil to widespread renewable energy supplies several decades from now "makes no sense" in terms of climate change.
Howarth and Ingraffea spoke from Cornell, where they also released a paper (pdf) that is about to be published by the journal Climatic Change, which details their analysis. It follows up on a paper they published in April 2011 that comprehensively analyzed emissions from fracking. The gas industry disputes that paper. So does Cornell geologist Lawrence Cathles, in a commentary in Climatic Change. He estimates that fugitive emissions are only 10 percent of what Howarth and Ingraffea maintain, and that shale gas would indeed be a good replacement for home heating oil and for coal used in power plants.
Capturing the big belch of gas could prevent the problem. Ingraffea said capture is difficult because the gas is emitted along with the flow-back water, but a procedure known as a "green completion," in which special equipment traps the gas, has been shown to work. Regulators do not require that step, however, and the market price of methane is less than the cost of capturing it in that way, so drillers have no incentive to do so for economic reasons.
We showed that China was given rights to operate OIL REFINERIES in the US as part of US Foreign Economic Zone policies---well, now they are being given rights to operate the fracking in the US as global fracking corporations are given rights to frack in China. What happens to WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%-----we again become subcontractors to subcontractors or compete with global labor pool for jobs ALL WHILE DEVASTATING OUR ENVIRONMENT. Of course Chesapeake Corporation is leading in all this and the natural gas containment centers stored before pipeline development set to take natural gas through Maryland to Export Terminals but our
MARYLAND POLS ARE REALLY, REALLY MAD AT TRUMP FOR WALKING AWAY FROM A FAKE PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE ACCORD.
Electricity is the most environmental energy source outside of wind and solar. The problem for wind and solar is the platforms must be huge as those in China and in our US southwest. We never needed coal----we never needed nuclear----we always had the capacity with electricity. The guise of DIVERSIFYING energy sources acting as though it is about environment and being GREEN is propaganda.
What does massive floating solar platforms off shore do to ecosystem? It kills plant and animal life under water and on surface----it kills spawning areas for reproduction----it kills the water pH=====acid base concentrations that again keep water uninhabitable. Well, that is simply one offshore region ====look at offshore oil fields to know the entire coastal area becomes affected.
Remember, the goal of alternative energies is not ending the use of fossil fuels----that is soaring. The goal is meeting the tremendous ENERGY NEEDS OF SMART CITIES AND GLOBAL FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND FACTORIES. Such high levels of energy are now needed these alternative energy sources are simply adding to what all REAL environmentalists know ------using more energy creates more environmental damage no matter what source is used
TREEHUGGER has that green-friendly sound but as all global Wall Street Clinton/Obama PRETENDERS ----it sells the ideas of these GREEN CORPORATION INNOVATIONS as being green.
WE DISCUSSED IN DETAIL HOW BATTERY TECHNOLOGY TIED TO THESE MASSIVE SOLAR PLATFORMS IS TREMENDOUSLY DAMAGING TO ENVIRONMENT----
World's largest floating solar farm, now online in China
Sami Grover (@samigrover)
Business / Corporate Responsibility
May 25, 2017
© Sungrow Power
When I wrote about China and India being years ahead of their climate pledges, some commenters expressed skepticism. But whatever your views on how well we can trust official government statistics, one thing is pretty much undeniable at this point:
Renewable energy and clean tech are very big business in China and India right now.
The latest case in point, reported over at Design Boom, is the connection to the grid of a gigantic 40-megawatt, floating solar farm in the city of Huainan, China. While we've written about floating solar farms in Europe and Japan before, most of these early projects have been in the 6 to 13 MW range in terms of capacity. At 40 MW, the Huainan plant built by Sungrow Power would be considered sizable, even if it was located on land.
But why put it out on the water?
Besides the obvious benefits of not taking up farm land or other valuable real estate, proponents of floating solar say it has two other key benefits: It can reduce evaporation from reservoirs, and because the water also cools the surrounding air, it can reduce solar module degradation and increase efficiency of production too.
That's a pretty sweet deal. And making it even sweeter: Digital Trends report that the reservoir the plant was constructed over is actually flooded former coal mining land.
Nice to see that ambitious clean energy leadership is alive and well in some parts of the world.
There are two reasons among many China and Asian nations have taken the lead on building these massive solar industrial platforms. First, global Wall Street pols said if you allow us to frack the heck out of China----we will allow China to have the lead on profiting from solar products.
The second reason is this----Americans do not want massive industrial solar platforms off their shoreline AND we are educated enough to understand there is NOTHING GREEN ABOUT MASSIVE INDUSTRIAL SOLAR PLATFORMS.
Here we have it------another CLIMATE CHANGE GAS TIED TO THESE SOLAR MANUFACTURING PRODUCTS that are more damaging then CO2. See why global Wall Street Clinton/Obama always only shout against CO2?
As this article states global Wall Street is being allowed to install all this technology BEFORE WE KNOW HOW IT WILL DAMAGE OUR ENVIRONMENT. It will at the least create local levels of accumulation of NF3-----and at the max it may very well be the next OZONE atmospheric crisis. THESE ARE VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY BAD TECHNOLOGIES and WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% are allowing national media and global Wall Street pols label all this GREEN. Of course GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION PARTY promotes all this as green too! That is how we know they are global Wall Street players-----not left social progressives----far-right global Wall Street.
'Weiss’ research focuses on trace gases like nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, a greenhouse gas 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. NF3 is commonly used in the manufacture of electronics and some solar panels. The gas is confined but a fraction often escapes during the process. In October, Weiss and other scientists found NF3 levels were increasing at 11 percent each year, although the cause is unclear. Production of some other panels involves another gas called sulfur hexafluoride — the most potent greenhouse gas known to science'.
Poor JAPANESE citizens plagued with nuclear reactors followed by the worst of disasters now have these massive solar platforms killing their environment. Think of what a TIDAL WAVE will do to these Japanese industrial solar plants. All of this technology called INNOVATIVE is done simply to create NEW PRODUCTS TO SELL and most of that revenue comes from our taxes and rising energy rates.
The Not-So-Sunny Side of Solar Panels
Subscribe to San Diego's top stories.
By By JONATHAN PARKINSON | February 16, 2009
Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009 | It’s emission-free energy as abundant as San Diego sunshine. Indeed, for many clean tech advocates, there’s little not to love about solar power. Solar panels are widely hailed as a potential environmental and economic savior for San Diego, a fast-evolving technology that promises both job creation and a greener future.
But even though they’re typically considered far cleaner than their fossil-fuel counterparts, solar panels themselves come with a list of potential environmental impacts — some known, others still incompletely understood. Among those risks: the release of greenhouse gases during manufacture and problems disposing of chemical byproducts in countries like China, where production is sometimes poorly regulated.
Experts strongly encourage the use of solar panels, but also stress the need to ensure proper techniques are used in both manufacture and disposal in this rapidly changing industry.
“There’s an irony, you’re trying to save the environment by buying a solar panel, and the manufacture (of solar panels) is emitting greenhouse gases in the process,” says Ray Weiss, a professor of geochemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Electricity is used to manufacture solar panels, resulting in greenhouse gases — and some other kinds of emissions stem from solar panel production as well.
Weiss’ research focuses on trace gases like nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, a greenhouse gas 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. NF3 is commonly used in the manufacture of electronics and some solar panels. The gas is confined but a fraction often escapes during the process. In October, Weiss and other scientists found NF3 levels were increasing at 11 percent each year, although the cause is unclear. Production of some other panels involves another gas called sulfur hexafluoride — the most potent greenhouse gas known to science.
How much greenhouse gas does solar panel manufacture emit? The answer depends on the type of solar panel, says Vasilis Fthenakis, head of the Photovoltaic Environmental Research Center at Brookhaven National Lab. Fthenakis and has conducted extensive research on the environmental impacts of solar and compared it with other technologies like fossil fuel to get a better idea of the big picture.
“There’s nothing that’s completely risk-free,” says Fthenakis. “But photovoltaic compares very favorably with all other technologies.”
In one recent study, Fthanakis and his colleagues found solar photovoltaics can reduce emissions by 89 percent or more when compared to fossil fuel. Emissions of particulates like coal dust and soot from fossil fuels were “two, three orders of magnitude higher than photovoltaics.” Thin film solar panels usually offer a greater reduction in carbon dioxide emissions than silicon panels, even though they’re typically less efficient at capturing solar energy.
“There are lower emissions for thin film than for other competing modules — at least with today’s technology,” says Fthenakis.
In particular, there’s a difference in what’s known as energy payback time, or EPBT — the amount of time that’s needed before a solar panel has generated more energy than was used to produce it. The EPBT varies not only depending on the type of cell but also on the location; solar cells in sunny areas generate more electricity and thus have a lower EPBT.
To take one example, in a sunny region like San Diego a cadmium telluride cell — a type of module made using an alloy of two rare metals — has an EPBT of nearly 10 months, meaning that you have to use it for at least 10 months before it generates more energy than it consumed during manufacture — and before you’re reducing emissions. A silicon solar cell, by contrast, has an EPBT of about two years. It’s an added plus, of course, that thin film cells are often cheaper.
Fthenakis concedes, however, that his estimates of emissions for solar cells compared to fossil fuels don’t reflect gases like sulfur hexafluoride or nitrogen trifluoride. Once these are taken into account, the resulting impact from solar panels could be higher than estimated. “That’s an area we’re still investigating,” he says.
Essentially, says Weiss at Scripps, the bottom line is this: “Definitely you should buy solar panels — as long as you’re going to use them for at least two years!”
But there are other impacts besides greenhouse gas. Manufacture of solar panels, like computers and almost any other electronics, makes use of a bevy of toxic chemicals, many of them carcinogens. The United States and European Union, for example, have strict restrictions on use of these chemicals, and manufacturers in the West don’t typically pose a problem. But many solar panels use materials produced in countries with lax environmental laws — and that can lead to the same kinds of problems that have bedeviled the electronics industry, says Sheila Davis, executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, an electronics industry watchdog group that recently released a report on toxic waste in solar power.
“Many of these components are manufactured overseas in Asia, and the supply chain isn’t very closely monitored. There’s very little transparency in the supply chain,” Davis says.
What we do know is hardly reassuring: A March 2008 Washington Post report found at least one Chinese plant, a major silicon producer for solar panels, was cutting costs by dumping toxic chemicals on nearby farmland. Just how common these kinds of problems are isn’t clear, although China is not typically known for stringent enforcement of environmental restrictions. Today the world’s third-largest supplier of solar cells and many other solar manufacturing plants are located in China.
And some believe the outsourcing of solar panel manufacture could — under certain circumstances — pose troubling implications. David Pellow, an associate professor of ethnic studies and sociologist at UCSD, is co-editor of a book entitled “Challenging the Chip” about the toxic legacy of high-tech electronics. In the past he’s studied the environmental justice movement, international waste management and globalization in high tech. In light of his research on toxic waste in the semiconductor industry, he believes, some of the lessons other high-tech sectors have learned over the years are relevant to the solar industry as well.
“It’s really important to embrace green industries, but only if we can be sure they’re green, and we need to examine these kinds of impacts,” Pellow says. The semiconductor and electronics industry was long perceived as being a “green” industry, he says, and thus many of its more egregious impacts went unaddressed for years. The same precautionary approach that should have been applied to electronics, he believes, should apply when regulating rapidly expanding new industries like solar.
“Solar has this magical quality — this ethereal, hygenic image. … But there’s no industry out there that’s going to have no environmental impact. That’s why it’s about minimizing the impacts, not eradicating them. We need to look beyond just the lifecycle impacts of products and ask — where are these products coming from? How are they being created? What are the extractive processes for the materials involved?” If manufacture is being outsourced, he believes, whether for solar or any other industry, it’s vital to ask these kinds of questions to avoid exporting environmental damage.
These cautions, of course, apply to most industries that outsource manufacturing, as Fthenakis at Brookhaven points out. “It’s not a black eye on the solar industry, it’s a black eye on environmental regulations in China. There’s pollution in many sectors in China, and that includes photovoltaics.”
And most solar power companies are committed to addressing any problems, says Monique Harris, a spokeswoman with the Solar Energy Industry Association. “First of all — the industry is constantly looking at ways to use less toxic material. The folks in the industry are looking at ways to solve environmental problems, not create them.”
That’s why, Davis at the SVTC argues, it’s especially important to ask these questions now, while the burgeoning solar industry is still growing. “There is a window of opportunity while the industry is expanding to look at these issues.”
With that in mind, many activists and scientists are calling for more solar companies to offer to recycle their products. Typical solar panels are estimated to have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Since many of them contain toxic substances like cadmium, just as with any other electronic device it’s important to recycle them. Already some progress has been made in this direction; in the European Union, 75 percent of manufacturers have already agreed to recycle their solar panels once they reach the end of their effective lifespan, and in the United States at least two companies, First Solar and Solar World, now promise to accept worn-out panels for recycling; many others, though not all, are interested in doing the same.
“Some companies have already signed up for it,” Fthenakis says, “some others were skeptical, some others don’t think it’s necessary yet. We hope that the industry will adopt recycling.” There may be some persuasive economic incentives to do so as well. “There are metals like indium in some solar cells that you don’t want to waste — indium is expensive. So there’s an incentive to recycle it.”
Pellow at UCSD believes that the experience of the electronics industry may be applicable here as well. “There’s such a strong and direct connection to the electronics industry we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.” It’s important, he agrees, to take measures in advance to avoid a repeat of the e waste crisis, where disposed electronics have been shipped to third world nations for disassembly and disposal.
And Davis with the SVTC believes recycling is key to reducing the impacts of solar: “it’s really important for companies to set up systems to recycle in advance.” The SVTC is working to encourage recycling, she says. “A couple companies have responded positively and implemented a take-back program,” she says, although she hopes to see more progress. Ultimately, it’s the success of these kinds of initiatives that will help determine just how green any given solar panel will be. When it comes to environmental impact solar photovoltaics are hard to beat — but no energy, even if it’s as abundant as light from the sun, is free.
Jonathan Parkinson is a San Diego-based freelance writer. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, ideas, personal stories or tips. Or set the tone of the debate with a letter to the editor.
Know what? SCIENTISTS KNEW-------this is why REAL left social progressives who actually care about the environment and being GREEN-----have shouted against all these CLINTON/OBAMA TECHNOLOGY ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES.
So, what is the alternative if we do not want oil, natural gas, or coal? The ONLY SOLUTION is to stop building FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES WITH GLOBAL FACTORIES and stop global online technology corporations and SMART CITY structures driving this need for super-sized energy production----this is the only reason global Wall Street is creating all these energy sources.
But new research shows that this gas has 17,000 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide and is rapidly increasing in the atmosphere ”“ and that’s turning an environmental success story into a public relations disaster.
THERE NEVER WAS AN ENVIRONMENTAL SUCCESS FOR GOODNESS SAKE
This is what happens when WE THE PEOPLE allow our public universities to become CORPORATE PRODUCT MILLS---our public universities should have been shouting these few decades how all of what global Wall Street and national media were saying was LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING. We must have a public interest balance in our US public university research capacity.
The Greenhouse Gas That Nobody Knew
When industry began using NF3 in high-tech manufacturing, it was hailed as a way to fight global warming. But new research shows that this gas has 17,000 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide and is rapidly increasing in the atmosphere ”“ and that’s turning an environmental success story into a public relations disaster.
By Richard Conniff • November 13, 2008
Hypothetical question: You’re heartsick about global warming, so you’ve just paid $25,000 to put a solar system on the roof of your home. How do you respond to news that it was manufactured with a chemical that is 17,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a cause of global warming?
It may sound like somebody’s idea of a bad joke. But last month, a study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reported that nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), with a global warming potential of 17,000, is now present in the atmosphere at four times the expected level and rapidly rising. Use of NF3 is currently booming, for products from computer chips and flats-screen LCDs to thin-film solar photovoltaics, an economical and increasingly popular solar power format.
Moreover, the Kyoto Protocol, which limits a half-dozen greenhouse gases, does not cover NF3. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change now lists it among five major new greenhouse gases likely to be included in the next phase of global warming regulation, after 2012. And while that may be reassuring, it also suggests the complicated character of the global warming problem.
In fact, NF3 had become popular largely as a way to reduce global warming. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began actively
UC Irvine researchers noted that NF3 is one of the most potent greenhouse gases known and persists in the atmosphere for 550 years.
encouraging use of NF3 in the 1990s, as the best solution to a widespread problem in making the components for everything from cell phones to laptop computers. Manufacturers in the electronics industry all use a vacuum chamber to etch intricate circuitry and to deposit a thin layer of chemical vapor on the surface of a product. Some of the vapor inevitably builds up instead as glassy crud on the interior of the chamber.
To tear apart that layer of crud and clean the vacuum chamber, manufacturers were using powerful fluorinated greenhouse gases. The usual choice, hexafluorethane, or C2F6 sounds better at first than NF3. In global warming terms, it’s only about 12,000 times worse than carbon dioxide. But C2F6 is difficult to break down, and roughly 60 percent of what goes into the vacuum chamber ends up in the atmosphere. With NF3, estimates suggested that under optimal conditions, roughly 98 percent of what goes into the vacuum chamber is destroyed there.
So when the semiconductor industry announced a voluntary partnership with the EPA to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 10 percent from 1995 levels between 1999 and 2010, NF3 became the replacement technology of choice. Makers of flat-screen displays soon announced a similar program. In 2002, the EPA gave a Climate Protection Award to the largest NF3 producer, Pennsylvania-based Air Products and Chemicals Inc., for its work in reducing emissions.
Then last summer, a paper calling NF3 “the greenhouse gas missing from Kyoto” attracted widespread press attention. Co-authors Michael J. Prather and Juno Hsu of the University of California at Irvine noted that NF3 is one of the most potent greenhouse gases known and persists in the atmosphere for 550 years.
But back in the 1990s when the Kyoto Protocol was being negotiated, NF3 was a niche product of unknown global warming potential (GWP). [In calculating GWP, carbon dioxide is the basic unit, with a GWP of one. For other gases, scientists measure infrared-absorption, the spectral location of the absorbing wavelengths, and the atmospheric lifetime of the gas to determine its global warming effect relative to carbon dioxide.] So NF3 got left out, meaning no requirement for industry to track emissions, or even to report how much NF3 is actually being produced.
That left room for what felt to Prather like a “flimflam.” In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he estimated that 20 or 30 percent of total NF3 production ends up in the atmosphere — not
According to a new report, NF3 is now present in the atmosphere at four times the expected amount, with atmospheric concentrations rising 11 percent a year.
the two percent industry had seemed to suggest. He and Hsu characterized Air Products, the same NF3 producer that the EPA had honored, as producing the annual global warming equivalent of one of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants.
A new paper, published in Geophysical Research Letters in October, filled in gaps in this glum picture — and threatened to turn the NF3 emissions success story into a public relations disaster. Ray Weiss and his research team at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reported that NF3 is now present in the atmosphere at four times the expected amount, with atmospheric concentrations rising 11 percent a year. Working from annual production estimates of 4,000 metric tons, Weiss figured that about 16 percent of current production is ending up in the atmosphere.
Corning Painter, a vice president at Air Products, praised the Weiss paper but argued that “in terms of order of magnitude the numbers are relatively close” to earlier estimates. In a letter to New Scientist magazine this summer, Painter had seemed to give the impression that overall emissions were in the two percent range. “More than 20 years of research and work with our customers finds that less than 2 percent of NF3 is released into the atmosphere,” he wrote.
But in an interview with Yale Environment 360, Painter said Air Products has a two percent emissions rate just in producing and packaging the gas, though he said that rate continues to go down. He said global NF3 production is actually 7,300 tons annually. Given Weiss’s figures for atmospheric concentrations, he said, that would translate to an overall emissions rate closer to 8 percent, including manufacturing, transportation, and end-use.
Getting the advertised results with NF3 always hinged on an expensive new technology called remote plasma cleaning. It breaks up the gas in a remote container, then injects the active ingredient, fluorine, together with nitrogen, into the vacuum chamber. With the optimal configuration, the process destroys almost all the NF3. Bigger companies made the change to remote plasma cleaning when they switched to newer fabrication tools, often at great expense. “You can hear guys saying, ‘I’ve gone from a Hummer to a Prius. I’ve met all my voluntary commitments,’” said Painter.
But other companies stuck with older tools, simply replacing C2F6 with NF3. This Band-Aid approach still releases about 20 percent of the NF3 into the atmosphere. Painter argued that the struggling economy will force manufacturers to shut down these less efficient production lines, reducing overall emissions. But in October, Global Industry Analysts estimated that over the next four years NF3 production will increase to almost 20,000 tons, because of growing demand in the electronics industry.
Moreover, even the latest equipment does not guarantee that a company will achieve the optimal emissions rates — for instance, in the solar cell industry. Amorphous silicon thin-film solar photovoltaic cells, manufactured using NF3, are slightly less efficient than crystalline silicon solar cells, the dominant technology. But they are cheaper to produce and expected to supply a rapidly increasing share of the solar market, for both large-scale and domestic applications.
Because thin-film is a new technology, manufacturers generally use the latest equipment. But a knowledgeable source, who asked to remain unidentified, recently visited thin-film solar researchers in Asia. “They were unaware of the NF3 issue. They were using a remote plasma, but they were also using quite a bit of NF3. They weren’t sure they had it set up right for 98 percent destruction. It wasn’t really on their radar.”
The bottom line, said UC Irvine’s Prather, is that “industry really cannot be trusted for self-regulation.” We will not know the extent of the problem “until we have honest, legally required reporting.” The other important lesson from the NF3 case, according to Scripps’s Weiss, is that the bottom-up measurements required by some global warming regulations aren’t enough. Figuring out how much methane a cow produces, then adding up the cows, may not give you ground truth when it comes to global warming. “You have to measure from the top down, and see what’s actually going into the air.”
A practical alternative to NF3 already exists. According to Paul Stockman of Munich-based Linde Gas, fluorine has zero global warming potential and no atmospheric lifetime. But it’s also highly toxic and reactive. So instead of being shipped in bottles like NF3, it must be generated on site using special equipment. Stockman, whose company manufactures NF3, said fluorine will become essential in thin-film solar manufacturing, because faster cleaning times mean a substantial boost in productivity.
Meanwhile, Air Products says it supports adding NF3 to the list of regulated greenhouse gases in the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period, beginning in 2012. But Prather believes industry needs to get more honest about NF3 production and emissions before then. Solar cells are like any other product, he said, in that the manufacturing process has a global warming footprint. But solar buyers are likely to be particularly concerned with the size of that footprint — and not so pleased to find out that what they thought was a Prius is really just a Hummer on the inside.
'Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays'.
We can be sure the soaring deaths of wildlife is very funny to global Wall Street----people who think nothing of systematic deaths of all African animals as building Foreign Economic Zones disrupts migration will think nothing of mass animal death in US. What we are seeing in both floating solar platforms and those in deserts----the floating solar create the same heated water that is conducive to JELLYFISH. We see science fiction stories where JELLYFISH are the only aquatic animals to survive CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA. Our Gulf Coast seafood businesses KNOW what disturbing coastal habitat does to all other species----it kills our seafood industry. Well, that's OK we will bring in industrial fish farms----the birds all die---well, that's OK----all of the desert reptiles die---well, that's OK. I like the one where all our trees are being harvested for raw timber---trees soak up CO2------so now that all our trees are being cut down---global Wall Street has created a fake tree that absorbs CO2 and that is supposed to be a GREEN solution.
WE ARE DEALING WITH A 5% TO THE 1% WITH 51 CARDS MISSING FROM THE DECK----THEY HAVE NO COMMON SENSE. GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL 1% WALL STREET POLS.
AP August 18, 2014, 11:52 AM
Solar plant's downside? Birds igniting in midair
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays - "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
The deaths are "alarming. It's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology," said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. "There needs to be some caution."
The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of the three companies behind the plant. The third, Google, deferred comment to its partners.
The $2.2 billion plant, which launched in February, is at Ivanpah Dry Lake near the California-Nevada border. The operator says it is the world's biggest plant to employ so-called power towers.
More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three boiler towers each looming up to 40 stories high. The water inside is heated to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.
Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.
Federal and state biologists call the number of deaths significant, based on sightings of birds getting singed and falling, and on retrieval of carcasses with feathers charred too severely for flight.
Ivanpah officials dispute the source of the so-called streamers, saying at least some of the puffs of smoke mark insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays.
Wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena say many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird, and they add that they saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer."
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they want a death toll for a full year of operation.
Given the apparent scale of bird deaths at Ivanpah, authorities should thoroughly track bird kills there for a year, including during annual migratory seasons, before granting any more permits for that kind of solar technology, said George, of the Audubon Society.
The toll on birds has been surprising, said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission. "We didn't see a lot of impact" on birds at the first, smaller power towers in the U.S. and Europe, Weisenmiller said.
The commission is now considering the application from Oakland-based BrightSource to build a mirror field and a 75-story power tower that would reach above the sand dunes and creek washes between Joshua Tree National Park and the California-Arizona border.
The proposed plant is on a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake, the Salton Sea - an area, experts say, is richer in avian life than the Ivanpah plant, with protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and more than 100 other species of birds recorded there.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials warned California this month that the power-tower style of solar technology holds "the highest lethality potential" of the many solar projects burgeoning in the deserts of California.
The commission's staff estimates the proposed new tower would be almost four times as dangerous to birds as the Ivanpah plant. The agency is expected to decide this autumn on the proposal.
While biologists say there is no known feasible way to curb the number of birds killed, the companies behind the projects say they are hoping to find one - studying whether lights, sounds or some other technology would scare them away, said Joseph Desmond, senior vice president at BrightSource Energy.
BrightSource also is offering $1.8 million in compensation for anticipated bird deaths at Palen, Desmond said.
The company is proposing the money for programs such as those to spay and neuter domestic cats, which a government study found kill over 1.4 billion birds a year. Opponents say that would do nothing to help the desert birds at the proposed site.
Power-tower proponents are fighting to keep the deaths from forcing a pause in the building of new plants when they see the technology on the verge of becoming more affordable and accessible, said Thomas Conroy, a renewable-energy expert.
When it comes to powering the country's grids, "diversity of technology ... is critical," Conroy said. "Nobody should be arguing let's be all coal, all solar," all wind, or all nuclear. "And every one of those technologies has a long list of pros and cons."