Or are solar cells too polluting to manufacture? – Solar power may serve all the energy needs of people on earth in the future, BUT manufacturing solar cells may release more hazardous pollution than fossil fuels would.

In LiveScience.com, Robin Lloyd talks about Ray Kurzweil, who predicted the fall of the Soviet Union and the success of the internet. Now he’s predicting that solar energy will be the next major power source. Lloyd quotes Kurzweil as saying he is “confident that we are not that far away from a tipping point where energy from solar will be [economically] competitive with fossil fuels.”
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Phoenix is trying to eliminate the need for Middle Eastern oil by becoming a huge “Persian Gulf”-type center, producing solar power for export to the rest of the US?and maybe the world. Ironically, oil-rich Saudi Arabia is planning to do the same thing.

The Spanish company Abengoa Solar will turn 3 square miles of desert near Phoenix into one of the largest solar power plants in the world, that can supply power to 70,000 homes. They already have similar plants in Spain, Africa and other parts of the US. They plan to be up and running by 2011.

CNN quotes Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as saying, “There is no reason that Arizona should not be the Persian Gulf of solar energy.”
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Despite the fact that sunspot activity has been at an all time high recently, we reported (3 years ago) that the sun can’t be blamed for global warming. A new scientific study confirms this.

In BBC News, Richard Black writes that the latest study shows that the Sun’s output has actually declined during the last 20 years, while temperatures on the earth have been steadily rising. He quotes UK astronomer Mike Lockwood as saying, “This should settle the debate.”

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com
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We have reported before that the upcoming 2010-2011 solar cycle is expected to be large. Now, continuing studies of the sun have led solar scientists to predict that it may turn out to be the largest ever recorded. Sunspot cycles have been recorded since the time of Galileo, and four of the five largest ever seen have been recorded in the past 50 years. Solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center explains that the current level of geomagnetic activity tells us what the solar cycle will be like in 6 to 8 years, and current levels of activity indicate that the next cycle will be extremely strong. The reason that this correlation would exist is not known, but the statistics are clear: it does work, and has show consistency using data going back to 1868.
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