- Berg, Nate, et al. “What Will Happen to Solar Panels after Their Useful Lives Are over?” Greenbiz, https://www.greenbiz.com/article/what-will-happen-solar-panels-after-their-useful-lives-are-over
Background: This article informs the reader about the little-known fact that solar panels have short lifetimes. It focuses on the problem the world is having with disposing of the millions of tons of tech trash being produced as the first generation of solar panels are beginning to die out.
How I Used It: This article was the backing of my biggest points against solar panels. I used it to demonstrate how big of a deal the lifetime of energy sources was, and why having to replace them is such a big issue. This article also provided me with another point for my argument that is the technology trash the solar panels turn into.
- Brown, Paul. “Nuclear Power ‘Cannot Rival Renewable Energy’.” The Energy Mix, 14 Jan. 2020, https://climatenewsnetwork.net/nuclear-power-cannot-rival-renewable-energy/.
Background: This article follows Paul Brown’s reasoning for why nuclear power cannot rival renewables. Brown chooses the argument path of why people shouldn’t use nuclear, opposed to why people should use solar. He focuses a lot on the price of nuclear plants and the danger the pose.
How I Used It: This article builds the basis behind my rebuttal argument. Brown writing only negatives of nuclear power was perfect for my argument because solar does not do any better in the categories he was pointing out. I was also able to prove the title of his article wrong right off the bat, which gave me momentum to help tear down the rest of his argument.
- Gambone, Sara. “Will Solar Panels Work during a Power Outage?” Commercial and Residential Solar Panel Installer, https://www.paradisesolarenergy.com/blog/will-solar-panels-work-during-a-power-outage.
Background: This article discusses how solar panels work on gird and off grid, and what they do during a power outage. It debunks the myth that you can and should use solar panels during an outage. The answer is you shouldn’t because most home panels are connected to a grid and pushing extra electricity into the grid while workers are trying to fix the outage can be dangerous.
How I Used It: I briefly used this argument to pull solar down a little more by claiming you can’t even use them during an outage, then backing it up with quotes from this article. This just gave me another point against solar to help push my argument along.
“Learn about Silicosis.” American Lung Association, https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/silicosis/learn-about-silicosis.
Background: This article discusses what silicosis is, key facts about the disease, how it affects your body, and who is at risk of getting this disease.
How I Used It: I used this article when describing the risk of quartz miners in the very begging of the solar production process. It helps my argument greatly when the production process of solar is immediately putting people’s life at risk. I was also able to use the affects of silicosis to further convince my reader of how big a problem this was.
Mueller, Mike. “Nuclear Power Is the Most Reliable Energy Source and It’s Not Even Close.” Energy.gov, https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/nuclear-power-most-reliable-energy-source-and-its-not-even-close.
Background: This article compares every major energy producer’s energy capacity with one another. It displays nuclear on top by a long shot. It then displays solar on the bottom just under wind. It discusses why nuclear has such a high capacity compared to anything else, and helpfully explains why every other source has such a low capacity.
How I Used It: I used this article as a basis for a lot of mathematical statistics I used throughout my paper. The fact that it would take over 3 times as many solar farms to match the energy capacity of nuclear helped me put a dent into solar. It also provided me with backing that solar is not as reliable simply because the sun isn’t up all day long.
Mulvaney, Dustin. “Solar Energy Isn’t Always as Green as You Think.” IEEE Spectrum, IEEE Spectrum, 29 July 2021, https://spectrum.ieee.org/solar-energy-isnt-always-as-green-as-you-think.
Background: This article discusses is detail the harmful production process of solar panels. It covers the process form the mineral in the earth to the panel in the solar farm and rips apart every step with immense detail. It then provides an example of companies dumping the harmful biproduct it produces in the environment, killing fish, pigs, and soil.
How I Used It: My best argument against solar. Reading this article switched my thesis from being for solar to being against solar. I got so much dirt on solar out of this article that it filled at least 500 words of my causal. Each step in the process was extremely harmful to people and/or the environment, which made for easy arguments against solar. This source also got me to many of the other sources I used to research the harmful process’ steps. I.E., silicosis, and panel lifetime.
Park, KiJung. Process of Building Nuclear Power Plant, http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/park-k2/.
Background: This brief article describes the production process of a nuclear plant. It focuses on how they are licenses, how they are physically constructed, and how they are run.
How I Used It: I used this article in my rebuttal portion to counterpoint a claim made in another article about the production of nuclear plants. This article effectively counterclaimed that point with proper evidence and it’s from a credible source.
Prendergast, Conor. “Solar Panel Waste: The Dark Side of Clean Energy.” Discover Magazine, Discover Magazine, 14 Dec. 2020, https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/solar-panel-waste-the-dark-side-of-clean-energy.
Background: This article discusses the problem with solar panel disposal, as the first generation of solar panels are dying. It focuses on how companies, instead of taking advantage of the expensive recycling process, simply dump their dead panels into landfills or export them to third world countries. It also introduces the reader to a statistic of 80 million tons of solar waste by 2050.
How I Used It: I used this article along with another to put stress on how big of a problem solar waste is and will continue to be. The introduction of the statistic in this article helped me put a number and exponential perspective on how big this problem is going to become. Most definitely my strongest point against solar panels.
Rumph, Mikayla. “How Much Power Is 1 Gigawatt?” Energy.gov, https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/how-much-power-1-gigawatt.
Background: This article puts 1 Gigawatt into perspective by comparing it with numerous different sources of energy. It gives numbers for how many solar panels it requires (3.125 million), how many LEDs, how many wind turbines ETC.
How I Used It: I used this article for the number of solar panels it would require generating a gigawatt. Conveniently a nuclear plant produces just over 1 gigawatt, so I turned this into a ratio of solar panels to nuclear plants, and used this to compare prices, and space required between solar and its main competitor.
Sendy, Andrew. “How Much Will Solar Panels Cost to Install on Your Specific Home in 2021?” Solar Reviews, Solar Reviews, 25 June 2021, https://www.solarreviews.com/solar-panel-cost.
Background: This article breaks down the price of solar panels state by state in the United States. It calculates the price based on the size of the solar system the buyer wants, their location, and the manufacturer. It also briefly discusses whether or not solar betters are worth it.
How I Used It: I used this article to find an average price per panel of solar panels. If I were to construct an effective argument, I needed this statistic to calculate how much a gigawatt of power would cost with solar. I did however find this article helpful In showing how inconsistent the prices are for solar across the country.
“Solar Photovoltaic Cell Basics.” Energy.gov, https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-photovoltaic-cell-basics.
Background: This article goes over how solar panels function and what’s inside of them. It focuses on the function of solar cells, and the materials inside solar cells (silicon). It tells how silicon is used in 95% of all the solar cell modules used in today’s modern panels.
How I Used It: I used this article in my definition argument to define what a solar panel was and how it worked. I also used the 95% statistic to emphasize the negative effects silicon production has on the environment and people. This article ties into a couple articles to construct arguments in the causal and rebuttal arguments.
“What Causes Solar Panel Performance to Decline.” Solar United Neighbors, 12 Apr. 2019, https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/news/what-causes-solar-panel-performance-to-decline/.
Background: This article describes what happens to solar panels that cause them to have a 25–30-year lifetime. It focuses on the four main factors, thermal cycling, long term exposure to humidity, humidity freezing, and UV exposure. There are also the busbars that are placed to make solar panels more efficient shorten the lifetime.
How I Used It: I used this article to define why solar panels have an expiration date. This is the foundation of my rebuttal. I used the fact that the four factors are inevitable to inform my reader that no matter what solar panels will expire and have to be replaced.
Williamson, Laura E. “Expert’s Pick: Why There Is No Competition in the Nuclear vs. Renewables Debate.” REN21, 30 Apr. 2020, https://www.ren21.net/nuclear-vs-renewables-debate/.
Background: This article discusses and elaborates on main points made by Paul Brown in another article I have cited. Laura Williamson is a writer for a association endorsing renewables and writes against nuclear power, similar to Paul Brown in his article.
How I Used It: I used this article along with Paul Browns article as a foundation for the rebuttal. This article on surface level looks like a good article, but it gets worse and worse the more you fact check and dig. I used factual inaccuracy and statements without citations to swiftly and effectively shut down the argument made in this article. Then I used the lack of any support for solar panels in the article to completely shut it down. (Articles seeks negatives in nuclear to make solar look like a better alternative rather than a cleaner energy producer).