Solar Picture Remains Bright | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

The Source Weekly has been here for you, keeping you in the know throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve delivered important updates and dispatches from a summer of racial unrest.

We’ve interviewed dozens of state and local political candidates to help you make an informed decision during election season.

And we’ve brought you 22 years of important news and feature reporting—along with all the events, happenings, food, drink and outdoors coverage you’ve come to know and love. We’re a newspaper for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians, and it is and always has been free for readers.

If you’ve appreciated our coverage, we invite you to spread the love and to join our growing membership program. Become a Source Insider today.

Support Us Here

Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Solar Picture Remains Bright

In response to Bob Bates' letter, "The Solution," I need take issue on a few points. With regard to the sustainability of current solar cell


1 comment

In response to Bob Bates' letter, "The Solution," I need take issue on a few points. With regard to the sustainability of current solar cell technology, I assume the consumption being referred to is the energy cost of manufacturing vs. the output energy of the cells and is not referring to a cell's efficiency (which is mostly irrelevant since the sun is an unlimited source of power). Solar cells do not decay with use or time so their total output power is determined only by how long they are in service whereas the energy cost is a fixed amount. In other words, they can be sustainable if they are used for a long enough time.

More striking in Bob's letter, however, is his blatant omission of alternate technologies available for converting sunlight into electricity. Solar Tres in Spain is one of dozens of examples of a successful and fully sustainable method of converting sunlight into electricity without the use of solar cells.

Finally electricity can be used to run bulldozers, elevators, etc. and is limited only by funding and innovation. To put this into perspective, the main engines on the space shuttle are powered indirectly by electricity. These engines operate exclusively by the ignition of hydrogen and oxygen, both of which are manufactured by electrolysis, i.e. electricity, from water. Converting electricity into more convenient forms of liquid fuel is probably in the minds of many scientists as I write this. Surely if the shuttle can be powered by electricity, the sky is the limit.

Ken Czepelka

About The Author


Showing 1-1 of 1


Add a comment

More by Eric Flowers

Latest in Letters to the Editor