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Only 100 square miles of solar panels are required to power the entire United States

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posted on Apr, 1 2019 @ 10:32 PM
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originally posted by: Bloodworth
Only a hundred square miles, lol.

Imagine what 1 square mile of solar panels would be huge.

I wonder what size of solar panel would have a negative effect and draw too much energy from sun if possible.

Imagine liberals forced everyone in the world to go solar only to kill the sun....sounds like something they could do.

Then they could blame global warming

Kill the sun, really? I'm not a scientist, but I do know that the solar panels would only harvest that which was hitting the earth to begin with. It's not like the panels are sucking energy out of the sun. I really hope you were just kidding.




posted on Apr, 1 2019 @ 10:59 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

So we're ok with destroying a 100 mile by 100 mile habitat but a couple acres here and there for oil drilling is just too much destruction. Ok.

I see no estimates of cost. Being that my roof costs about 23 dollars per square foot to put panels on (that's doing it myself) and one square mile is almost 28 million square feet, this is going to add up fast. So 100 square miles at 23 bucks a square foot works out to be 64 billion for just the panels. Which I guess isn't terrible, considering we go through 150 billion worth of electricity for our homes each year. BUT then you need ground mounting equipment, you have to pay someone to install it. You have to hook everyone into that grid (some of those costs are mitigated by current infrastructure). Then there are the battery costs, which are probably equivalent or greater than the panel costs. Then you still have to maintain all of the current infrastructure.

It also presents a huge security risk. A single terrorist incident could take out the entirety of america's power system. Not to mention a conventional strike by an adversarial nation.

I think we're getting close to solar being viable (needs to get to about 50% efficiency, our best panels are only in the 30's right now). Probably in about 10 years. Unless something like this pans out. Then we could get there in five.

For the petrodollar conspiracy theorists. This won't do much damage to the petrodollar. Very little of our electric grid (which is what is being replaced in the above scenario) runs on oil. It mostly runs on coal and natural gas. So your conspiracy doesn't hold any water here.



posted on Apr, 1 2019 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: purplemer


Hence the wars on oil nations or those that want to scrub carbon from the air.


Oh please, are you trying to kill all life on earth? Why would you want to scrub plant food from the air?



posted on Apr, 1 2019 @ 11:09 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

While I have not run calculations myself on the viability of HVDC transmissions, I do question some of the assertions in your link:

  • DC transmission requires fewer conductors than AC transmission - 2 conductors per DC circuit whereas three conductors per 3 phase AC circuit. HVDC allows line supporting towers to be smaller and, hence, requires lesser right-of-way.

    While it is true that only 2 conductors are required, it is also true that the principle stress inherent in power line towers is due to the weight and wind loading of the tower itself, not the weight of the lines. Thus, the assertion about towers being smaller and lighter does not sound reasonable.


  • Skin effect is absent in DC. Also, corona losses are significantly lower in the case of DC. An HVDC line has considerably lower losses compared to HVAC over longer distances.

    Again, true, but probably misleading. Skin effect and coronal effects do exist in all AC transmissions, but reduce to zero where the frequency equals zero (DC). If we were discussing high frequency transmission, this would be an issue; most transmission lines, however, are very low frequency (either 50 or 60 Hz) and already have minimal effects.


  • Due to the absence of inductance in DC, an HVDC line offers better voltage regulation. Also, HVDC offers greater controllability compared to HVAC.

    There is indeed no inductive effects in DC transmission, but again, inductance is not a major issue at low frequencies. What issue there is can easily be countered with capacitance to shift the phase angle to zero.

    As for controllability, this is due to the inductance issue itself and is a relatively minor issue. The purpose of transmission is not to regulate power, but to transmit power. In an AC transmission, for instance, frequency is tightly regulated to increase efficiency of the transformers, while voltage is only nominally regulated. Current, of course, need not be regulated at all; current is simply the result of the reluctance (resistance plus impedance) of the grid being supplied and the voltage produced.

    It is more economical and efficient at the end user to allow each device to perform its own regulation as well. A computer, for example, requires +/-12VDC, +/- 5VDC, and 3.3VDC. Another device may require 24VDC, while yet another may operate on 20VAC. It is simply not feasible to try and regulate voltage at both transmission and usage points. This is why your article states that HVAC is still preferable for end-user supply lines.

    This also introduces the cost and efficiency of converting the HVDC to HVAC, which is a difficult task even at low voltages. At extremely high voltages, it becomes a literal nightmare.


  • AC power grids are standardized for 50 Hz in some countries and 60 Hz in other. It is impossible to interconnect two power grids working at different frequencies with the help of an AC interconnection. An HVDC link makes this possible.

    It is indeed possible to interconnect two dissimilar frequencies; this is incorrect. However, doing so requires some very expensive and inefficient equipment.

    However, in the majority of cases, there is no reason to connect a 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz transmission together. The United States, for example, uses 60 Hertz exclusively, while (I believe) all of Europe uses 50 Hertz exclusively. There will be no power transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, even without the frequency differences, due simply to the long transmission distances.


  • Interference with nearby communication lines is lesser in the case of HVDC overhead line than that for an HVAC line.

    Again, true but irrelevant. Only the most basic communications devices without efficient filters and operating at low frequencies (a few kilohertz) are highly susceptible to a 50/60 Hertz signal.


  • In longer distance HVAC transmission, short circuit current level in the receiving system is high. An HVDC system does not contribute to the short circuit current of the interconnected AC system.

    Quite irrelevant. The current is not the issue; the power is. The multiplication factor of using a transformer does produce a higher short circuit current in the event of a fault, but it does not produce a higher amount of power. The power used during a short circuit fault is not dependent on whether the system is HVAC or HVDC, but rather on the overload protection characteristics in the system.

    The increased current capacity of step-down transformers is needed to allow transmission to occur at high voltage with low current, as I explained in a previous post. Any HVDC system that does not duplicate this effect of AC transformers is not capable of efficiently transmitting power in any case.
The more I read about the touted advantages of HVDC transmission over HVAC, the more I am reminded of the First Rule of Engineering:

If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance,
baffle 'em with bulls**t!


TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 12:00 AM
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originally posted by: purplemer
a reply to: nOraKat

The liminting factor you are missing here is that the USA is powered by the petrodollar. Hence the wars on oil nations or those that want to scrub carbon from the air.


Wrong... You "scrub carbon from the air" and you will not have any trees, or any plant life on Earth, which would mean all other lifeforms on Earth will die... Seriously, could you "science deniers" ever side with real science?...

BTW, you, and every human on this planet alongside about 99.99% of all life on Earth are carbon based lifeforms.


edit on 2-4-2019 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 12:02 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

It's actually true. We have a HVDC plant in delta, UT whose main purpose is to send power to nevada and california.

Here's the wiki about the plant. I didn't believe it when I first heard it but one of my friends had a job offer there and was telling me about it.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: purplemer

BTW, what will you substitute asphalt with? What will you substitute medical equipment that needs plastic with?
What about the plastic in electronic circuits, or even motherboards? What will you substitute the plastic used to make pacemakers? What will you use to substitute them with? What about prosthetics? What will you substitute them with?

Heck, do you wear contact lenses? Do you have any idea what they are made of?...
What about your toothbrush? What will you use to replace them? You want people not to brush their teeth?...

There are literally thousands of products that we use, and need which are made from crude oil.

What we actually do need is to find a way to "recycle" plastic, and if possible make them 100% recyclable.

If we were to recycle the plastic island in the Pacific, which would take decades but it's possible, that plastic could be recycled for a myriad of programs that could help billions of people.

You want to tackle "pollution"? Then go after "smog" the true pollutants in the air.



edit on 2-4-2019 by ElectricUniverse because: add comment.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 01:45 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: cooperton

That's a pretty misleading chart (and I'm not surprised).

The dramatic reductions in price from 1977 to 1989 was due to improvements in technology and mass production of solar equipment.

The reduction in price from 1989 to 2007 was mostly due to improvements in efficiency of solar providers.

The reduction in price from 2008 forward was due almost exclusively to government subsidies under Obama.

And, none of those prices reflect real-world lifecycle costs, they only reflect day 1 costs.

Solar is a ruse. What they will never tell you is the ROI on capital investment is longer than the lifespan of the equipment. Solar doesn't work in the absence of government subsidies.





Totally baseless claims.

I can buy solar panels for as cheap as 0.20$/watt Source), and without tariff too if it is on the list of exemptions. If I got 10,000 watts it would cost $2,000 + shipping and installation and it would be more than enough for my home and I could sell the surplus to the grid and generate residual income for decades. So no, solar is not a ruse. You are just stuck in an out-dated ideology, sponsored by shell oil company.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 04:59 AM
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originally posted by: Grimpachi
a reply to: Bloodworth




I wonder what size of solar panel would have a negative effect and draw too much energy from sun if possible.


It isn't. They don't even work that way. It is hard to tell if you are serious or just bad at April fools jokes.


What?

It isn't? What isn't?
Doesnt work that way? Solar panels down absorb energy from the sun?
Is it hard to tell? You asking me?

I was serious. but have no clue what you just wrote



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: Dfairlite

Hmmm?

I remain skeptical, but thank you for the info. As I said I have not run actual calcs, and without doing so (or seeing what others have done in a practical sense) I cannot in good faith say it will not work. I bookmarked the link; maybe I can learn something!

I'm curious... does (did) your plant get any subsidies? Just designing a home whole-house true sine wave inverter for my own use has been like pulling hair, and the sticker shock from pricing high power components has been legendary. I think I have set that idea back at least a dozen times due to the extreme cost versus payback.

Thank you again.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 08:22 AM
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How many of you use or have used Solar as your Sole power source? I have while living on my boat. Here are a few things.

1) Batteries are a pain in the ass, you want longevity? Gotta keep them in the 80-95% range, run it down to 50% and risk not being able to bring it back to full charge.

1a) Good batteries are #ing expensive.

2) A cell is blocked from shadow or bird #? That panel is now putting out a lot less.

3) Inverters for DC to AC have a # conversion rate and are also #ing expensive for decent equipment.

4) Got rid of refrigeration because I couldn't keep up the power requirements had to build an old school ice box and haul ice every few days, since boats have finite space, couldn't just throw up another 300w panel.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 08:41 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Dfairlite


I'm curious... does (did) your plant get any subsidies? Just designing a home whole-house true sine wave inverter for my own use has been like pulling hair, and the sticker shock from pricing high power components has been legendary. I think I have set that idea back at least a dozen times due to the extreme cost versus payback.

Thank you again.

TheRedneck


The future ECG Utah Solar 1 in Delta, UT will connect to the lines from the coal plant/project that cost $4.5 Billion in the early 80s, which is going to be getting a $500 million retrofit to natural gas. The new solar facility is expected to cost $600 Million, it leased 1700+ acres, since its not online it doesn't have an ROI yet.

On the California side LADWP installed an ~11 MW array at a cost of $48 million which was built with loans... subsidized by the 2009 Recovery act.

Adelanto Converter Station



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:08 AM
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originally posted by: cooperton

originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: cooperton

That's a pretty misleading chart (and I'm not surprised).

The dramatic reductions in price from 1977 to 1989 was due to improvements in technology and mass production of solar equipment.

The reduction in price from 1989 to 2007 was mostly due to improvements in efficiency of solar providers.

The reduction in price from 2008 forward was due almost exclusively to government subsidies under Obama.

And, none of those prices reflect real-world lifecycle costs, they only reflect day 1 costs.

Solar is a ruse. What they will never tell you is the ROI on capital investment is longer than the lifespan of the equipment. Solar doesn't work in the absence of government subsidies.




Totally baseless claims.


Hardly!


I can buy solar panels for as cheap as 0.20$/watt Source), and without tariff too if it is on the list of exemptions.


As I have already noted, the prices of the solar panels are just a tiny fraction of the overall lifecycle costs. Plus, what will you do at night? Oh, that's right, you forgot to include batteries banks...and the inverters...and, and, and. Then there's those rainy / overcast days (oops, more batteries), oh and the building to store all this stuff in. And then there's spring and fall where it's sunny but there's frost in the mornings and then the panels get dust stuck to them, reducing their efficiency by 50% (yes, you read that right...50%), so now you will need to go wash those panels periodically (or buy more panels to begin with to compensate). And that 10,000 watt rating is for a brand new panel, pointing directly at the sun, on Jun 21st at high noon. Let's see, now we need to have the panels move with the sun and seasons...add more $$$$ to your capital costs. Oh, and these mechanisms break and need maintenance (more $$$$).

For your information, I know several people who work at SolarTAC which is the largest solar test facility in the US. I drive by it every day on my way to work, and have since it was first built in 2011. I talk with these guys all the time. I also have a very close long time friend who is a manager for a large electrical contractor who signed up to perform maintenance as part of a profit sharing for some large nearby multi-megawatt arrays which are in actual service. In 8 years I've seen every technology imaginable built and tested. I've seen arrays that move in 2 axis', arrays which move in 1 axis, stationary arrays, curved arrays, collection arrays, and even arrays inside of UV translucent buildings (which, incidentally, was how I learned about the dust issue which actually surprised me). Not one of those tests have returned the investment, not a single one.

SolarTAC is interesting because they give people as much land as they want to run a test. The land has a cost, which is factored into the ROI costs. Additionally, access is controlled to the site, so they know how many people come, for how long and what equipment they have to use to maintain the solar arrays. All of this is factored into the costs also, as is the initial investment (the unsubsidized value of the investment). In essence what they've done is to remove all the smoke and mirrors from the solar ruse.


If I got 10,000 watts it would cost $2,000 + shipping and installation and it would be more than enough for my home and I could sell the surplus to the grid and generate residual income for decades.


Maybe a total of "3" decades, as 30 years is the absolute upper lifespan limit for the absolute BEST technology available on the planet. So, those $.20/watt panels are the best in the world? They operate at 100% efficiency and are hardened to the elements for 30 years??? I think not. They're some inexpensive photo-voltaic panels from China via Alibaba.

Let me ask you this...If this is such a great deal, why haven't YOU done it??? I would think you'd be tripping all over your self to push the "Buy Now" button! Why haven't you????

Oh, and you know those companies I mentioned above, the ones who have yet to be successful? Well, those same companies are the absolute best technologies, with the most experienced people on earth in solar. They can't do it, but you somehow magically can??? Please do enlighten us all!!


So no, solar is not a ruse. You are just stuck in an out-dated ideology, sponsored by shell oil company.


The simple facts are; solar in it's current state will not pay for itself before the end of its useful life. And, without government subsidies it is a ruse. Will solar be viable in the future? I don't know, it's possible, but right now it isn't. For my part, I hope it will succeed eventually, but I'm certainly not ready to bust out the plastic to go buy some at the moment. Right now it "looks" good, it's politically correct and it is used for all kinds of "green" political mileage, but it won't pay for itself on its own. In other words, it is not "renewable" and it cannot stand on its own. And, that's the bottom line isn't it? Literally and metaphorically.

And of all these programs and things I've mentioned I've left out one thing. Disposal. Eventually all this stuff will wear out and will need to be disposed of. If nothing else, the panels certainly will. You can't take them to the dump and just get rid of them. The OP of this very thread opined about "100 Square Miles" (when they did the math wrong and really meant '10,000 Square Miles'). But let's give the OP the benefit of the doubt...can you even begin to imagine how many panels it would take to cover 100 square miles (let alone 10,000!), and how much waste it would create when it comes time to dispose of all those panels???? It's almost incomprehensible!

You see, and this is the thing, solar has only been in the mainstream public eye for the last 20 years, so we haven't even begun to see the tidal wave of panels needing disposal yet! So where are those costs included in your great deal noted above??? They're not in there, so what are you planning to do...hide them in your neighbor's dumpster and hope you don't get caught?

P.S. Remember that large electrical contractor I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well they're losing their proverbial "ass" on that deal. They thought they'd be sharing profits, but in reality they're pouring hundreds of thousands into maintenance every year over and above their revenues...and the real hell of that whole deal is...it was subsidized with grants and incentives!!!! LOLOLOL!!


edit on 4/2/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:16 AM
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If I lived in Pheonix Arizona, where the sun shines with blue skies about 300 days a year, would I invest in a solar grid for my home? Hell yes. But alas, I live in NE Ohio where it is sunny about 66 days out of the year, no thanks.

Renewable energy is only viable with current technology in certain regions of the country, wind in some, solar in some, geothermal in some, but 100% renewable is simply a liberal pipe dream. Put down the pipe and use some logic.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:35 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk

As I have already noted, the prices of the solar panels are just a tiny fraction of the overall lifecycle costs. Plus, what will you do at night? Oh, that's right, you forgot to include batteries banks...and the inverters


Most people are connected to the grid so you dont need batteries if you sell surplus during the day, and buy at night. Given the 10,000 watts that I am buying, I will have more than triple the amount I would need for my home. So it will be a great cash cow too. 10,000 watt inverters cost $500, so make that $2500 + installation. Given the average annual electric bill for a USA household is about $1,300, this system will pay for itself in two years, and then generate persistent income afterwards, althewhile reducing carbon footprint. It's good for your wallet and the environment


...and, and, and. Then there's those rainy / overcast days (oops, more batteries), oh and the building to store all this stuff in. And then there's spring and fall where it's sunny but there's frost in the mornings and then the panels get dust stuck to them, reducing their efficiency by 50% (yes, you read that right...50%), so now you will need to go wash those panels periodically (or buy more panels to begin with to compensate).


Again, doesn't matter, that $2,500 includes 3x more wattage than I need. Why are you so angry at solar panels haha?


And that 10,000 watt rating is for a brand new panel, pointing directly at the sun, on Jun 21st at high noon. Let's see, now we need to have the panels move with the sun and seasons


Ok I see you just didn't do research on the topic.

solar panels are actually more efficient in colder weather.



Oh, and these mechanisms break and need maintenance (more $$$$).


Again, this has nothing on the amount that I'm banking from the surplus I gain from selling back to the grid


For your information, I know several people who work at SolarTAC which is the largest solar test facility in the US. I drive by it every day on my way to work, and have since it was first built in 2011. I talk with these guys all the time. I also have a very close long time friend who is a manager for a large electrical contractor who signed up to perform maintenance as part of a profit sharing for some large nearby multi-megawatt arrays which are in actual service. In 8 years I've seen every technology imaginable built and tested. I've seen arrays that move in 2 axis', arrays which move in 1 axis, stationary arrays, curved arrays, collection arrays, and even arrays inside of UV translucent buildings (which, incidentally, was how I learned about the dust issue which actually surprised me). Not one of those tests have returned the investment, not a single one.


Even 8 years ago solar was much more expensive than it is now. It is at the point where 0.20$/watt allows a positive return on the investment




Let me ask you this...If this is such a great deal, why haven't YOU done it??? I would think you'd be tripping all over your self to push the "Buy Now" button! Why haven't you????


I currently buy solar from the grid and it was cheaper than the non-renewable energy I was getting. I Just moved into the house and getting physical solar panels is on the to-do list. But it's not pressing because I'm already getting cheap renewable energy.


Oh, and you know those companies I mentioned above, the ones who have yet to be successful? Well, those same companies are the absolute best technologies, with the most experienced people on earth in solar. They can't do it, but you somehow magically can??? Please do enlighten us all!!


I already ran through all the numbers. If you don't want to put solar panels on your house you should switch to renewable energy from your utility company. It's usually cheaper than what you're paying too.



And, without government subsidies it is a ruse.


Government subsidies are historically very inefficient. The free market should be allowed to run its course, and the current low price makes it a viable investment



And of all these programs and things I've mentioned I've left out one thing. Disposal. Eventually all this stuff will wear out and will need to be disposed of.


The three main components of solar panels are recyclable. glass, aluminum, and even the plastic components are recyclable.

It's time for us to get out of the combustion era.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:38 AM
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a space based, globally utilized Solar Panel Grid.... would eliminate the destructive forces of Nature on the 100-to-1000 square miles of solar panels to supply electricity to the masses.... the problem of Location is remedied


the 'ring' of solar collectors in orbit would reduce the light energy that heats the climate
perhaps a system where orbiting solar collectors would beam microwave energy to ground based distribution hubs... linked to hydrogen Fuel Cells @ each domicile/office/home/facility hooked into that 'Grid'

that's the short story, details addressed down-the-line



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:53 AM
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This thread is funny as hell.

I actually own a photovoltaic system with an integreated battery to power my home.
It works great. And pays for itself because my government i stupid enough to subsidise its use.

But going 100% renewable on solar? Give me a freaking break. I use a modern battery solution and even fully charged it doesn't get me through the night if i use the oven or something.
The problem is less about generating power, its about storing it. I could slap additional solar panels on another roof for chump change, but i'd need to at least quadruple my current storage capacity to get anywhere close to energy independence. And i'd still be totally screwed during wintertime.

But hey, at least i'll be able to run a freezer when my government has finally managed to run the power industry into the ground.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: cooperton

Truth be known, I actually DO want solar to become a viable technology (though this may surprise you). So, I'm not "mad at solar". What I'm mad at is, all the hucksters and shysters out there in the solar industry who have been preying on people's naivety. They've been preying on people who are wanting to do the right thing for the planet and just stealing their money.

As Redneck noted..."If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle 'em with bulls###!"

In the solar sector there are some master bulls###ers. Is it improving? Yes, thankfully, but there's still a lot of it out there, and a lot of people getting taken for a ride. It's improving because people are becoming more educated about the technology and the pitfalls.

This may surprise you coming from me, but solar actually does have a place in the energy sector, but right now that place is in helping traditional power generation offset the spikes in demand. Unfortunately though, many people don't understand how the power grid works, nor do they understand how power transmission works (and it's not easy to understand either). All they know is little sound bytes of things they get from the media and the snake oil salesmen. Then they think they should start putting solar panels up on their house.

I'm actually a huge fan of renewable energy...when it works. In the same breath I am also a huge critic of gimmicks and trends which try to make things appear different than they really are.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:55 AM
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a reply to: paraphi

I know it's not 100 square miles yet, but Florida Power & Light has several hundred acres in such solar panels, and are building more at a steady pace.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

I think the greatest concern surrounding plastic in the environment is that the very small particles of plastic end up in our food supply!

That is what really bothers people that they are eating all this plastic that gets into our food chain!

I think the majority of people only really care for themselves or their immediate family most arent that concerned about the impact to the planet or event he animals we are poisoning !



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