Letters from the August 4, 2007, issue of Science News | Science News



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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the August 4, 2007, issue of Science News

12:42am, July 30, 2007

Here comes the sun

When "Reaching for Rays: Scientists work toward a solar-based energy system" (SN: 5/26/07, p. 328) says that "scientists don't expect traditional silicon-based solar cells to become competitive with fossil fuels," one has to ask, "Ever?" Can anyone accurately predict the future price of polysilicon or of fossil fuels?

Peter A. Kaczowka
Lenox, Mass.

Your article notes as a put-down that it would be necessary to build a 1-gigawatt nuclear-fission plant every day and a half for the next 45 years to meet anticipated global electrical demand. A similar calculation indicates that building an equivalent solar capacity would require that we coat about 60 square kilometers of desert with photovoltaic material every day and a half, plus build a massive load-leveling system.

Hugh Hixon
Phoenix, Ariz.

Research into the storage of

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