First Solar Joins Desertec  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

Greentech Media reports that First Solar has joined the Desertec solar power initiative - First Solar Joins Desertec.

First Solar will participate in the massive Desertec project, one more stop along their plan toward world domination.

The Arizona-based manufacturer of cadmium telluride solar modules will provide know-how on how to build large-scale solar power plants. The Desertec initiative will attempt to build renewable power plants in the deserts of North Africa that will supply a significant amount of power to the Europe, the Middle East and North Africa by 2050. Photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, and other technologies, along with experiments in carbon capture, will likely ultimately play a role in the project.

Siemens is one of the big drivers. Right now, everything is in the planning stages, but Desertec is shaping up to be one of the largest construction projects ever attempted. (More on utility scale solar parks will be one of the subjects at the Solar Summit 2010 taking place in Arizona later this month.)

Like SunPower, Suntech Power Holdings and other large solar manufacturers, First Solar hopes to get a growing portion of its revenue from building power plants and selling power. In this situation, a module maker effectively becomes its own customer. First Solar has already signed on to build a 2 megawatt solar power plant in Inner Mongolia and has projects completed and underway in the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.


Desrtec officials must be aware that CdTe PV panels are loaded with Cadmium--ferociously toxic, carcinogenic heavy metal--whose long term behavior and safe operation in large scale fields under desert sun exposure have not been properly tested nor decisively proven. Nor are there any attempts in that direction, that I'm aware of.

Covering thousands of acres with cheap, potentially toxic, CdTe panels, without proving their safe operation in LARGE SCALE fields during 25-30 years of continuous operation in DESERT areas, is ignorance and greed combined into one act of utmost negligence, the outcome of which somebody eventually will be held responsible for. Who will that be?

The US and world's scientific communities must take a close look at the fragile CdTe/CdS thin films structure, the flimsy, frame-less panels design and their interaction with, and behavior under, the harsh desert elements for the duration BEFORE allowing millions of these panels without a relevant safety record to cover Earth's surface.

It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of this and any other mass produced product with such great impact on environment and life in general!

Well - if you are going to run the risk of letting a bit of cadmium loose, doing it out in the middle of the Sahara desert seems like a relatively safe place to do so.

Desertec is mostly looking at solar thermal power though - lots of shiny mirrors, no pollution worries, so don't stress out unnecessarily about thousands of acres of solar farms...

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