2 hours ago, BitFlipper wrote
@Blue Ink: Yes solar has the downside of output only during a short time of the day, however you don't need coal or batteries to provide energy during the off peak times. It can circulate liquid between hot/cold reservoirs so that you can get output 24 hours of the day so it is clean (compared to coal or batteries).
Also, given the size of uninhabited deserts we have lying around, is the size of solar farms really an issue or just a scare tactic? The vast majority of the required area will be taken up by arrays of cheap mirrors.
OK, scratch batteries, replace with energy storage. It's not the technical means, it's the concept: energy storage can mitigate solar variability, but the system will always be subject to extreme conditions.
The size issue is complex; there are energy transmission costs, grid refactoring, the simple fact that not every country has a spare desert. But aside from everything else, it boils down to the fact that the larger the installation, the more expensive its maintenance. Which doesn't mean that solar is impractical, it's just something that has to be considered.
4 minutes ago, JohnAskew wrote
PV? Re: large amounts of water; is salt-water not feasible? It's plentiful enough...
I got my Geothermal panties on.
PV == Photovoltaic.
Salt water? Maybe. Or sewage for that matter... cheapest depurator ever. :)