Windfarm good news in the US

To: "" <>
Subject: Windfarm good news in the US
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:21:55 +1000
On Tue, Apr 10, 2007 at 02:24:55PM +1000, Brett Campbell wrote:
> In particular with Solar, I do know sand reserves, particularly the high
> quality silica sands needed are limited (without extracting from deep
> offshore reserves which is shunned by many parties). While there are huge
> reserves on the coast these are beneath some of our best conservation
> reserves, while in the west there are also large deposits of sand but what
> habitats will be lost in the increased extraction required?

Silicon makes up a quarter of the earth's crust and not a great deal is
needed to make photovoltaic cells.  Sydney's construction & building
industry, by my calculation, uses roughly 100x more silicon (in sand)
annually than is used globally to make solar cells.  In the past the
scrap from semiconductor manufacturing has been the main source of silicon
for PV panels.  Demand is such now that various companies are making, or
planning to refine silicon suitable for solar panels (less demanding than
semiconductors), by various methods.  One major player is using quartz
from an underground mine in the north of Norway (
and the impact on habitat doesn't look huge.  Not sure about sources for
the other manufacturers but I can't see the extraction as a major issue.


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