breathing easier about solar panels
Good news for solar panel fans (not the spinning kind but the users or would-be users): today's solar panels save as much energy in 2-3 years as they expend in being manufactured. Which means that by year four at the very latest (and by year two at the most efficient), they are already reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. Given that they have 20 year life expectancy, this is very good. To quote from the March 1, 2008 issue of Science News: "the net emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants due to the cells' manufacture were between 2 and 11 percent of what power plants in the US and the EU would emit to make the same amount of energy." So, don't let the manufacturing emissions' costs hold you back, if the price tag doesn't.