The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Is Solar Energy polluting the world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 634 times Debate No: 56044
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




We need to debate how much power and pollution is generated to make Solar Photovoltaic Panels, and at what point can Photovoltaic Power supply enough power to make cells and eliminate pollution in the process. The PV ingot of sand must be raised to 1470 degrees, impregnated with silicon, cooled, sliced or cracked, etched, soldered strips, and contained. Knock-Offs with fake results such as boron masking, or Amorphous cells with temporary outputs hinder the results.


The proposal queries whether solar energy is 'polluting' the world. To be quite frank, I was abhorred at the wording of the proposition. Pollution is the contamination of air or water by toxic or dangerous substances or materials. Solar energy is a completely innocuous form of energy generation that does not entail any side effects of hydro or aero-pollution. Solar energy is a harmless process of harnessing the electrons from the Sun, boiling them into a liquid state and extracting large amounts of energy from it. Solar energy is relatively clean, and is fully renewable, unless the Sun ceases to exist. In juxtaposition with the ecological and environmental detriments of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and geothermal energy, solar power should not be even considered as a contender for global 'pollution'.
Debate Round No. 1


This debate is about the amount of pollution generated to create a Photovoltaic ingot; requiring 1470 degrees before doping with silicon. Prior to consuming a huge amount of natural gas to run a brick oven to melt sand/glass creation, it is necessary to collect pure silicon sand. Again the debate is; at what point the PV Cells generate enough power to equal the amount of power consumed to create the cells.
I'll start with a guess of 7 years, in view of the number of cells made and the power consumed. And therein the next seven years of the same cell power collection to fuel the creation of a new set of cells. I have an Arco 1ft by 4 ft panel that is 30years old. The efficiency has declined to about 1/2 power output. Meaning perhaps that each cells generates about 3 times its power consumed before becoming useless. And perhaps therein suggesting that a re-capture energy rate of 3:1 if so,our Solar PV scenario is limited. OK, so you are not happy with the assumptions; however assumption scenarios yield opinion as to investigation; which is the subject of this debate. The value of Solar Photovoltaic Cells versus other power sources is not in question.


I will not permit you to change the premise of the debate.

The proposition was whether solar energy is polluting the world.

I choose to extend my arguments from above as they are fully valid.

You have not rebutted any of my arguments, so they continue to stand nonetheless.
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry to disappoint you. If you remove the "I" in your rebuttle, it will help. This is not about you, your choice of subject, how you feel, or what you control. The subject as stated is:" how much power and pollution is generated to make Solar Photovoltaic Panels". Again, consider the amount of power, the amount of pollution, and the point at which a benfit is derived from this or any process consuming energy and yeilding a pollutant.
The number of people concerned about Global Warming, as you seem to be, is growing. It is therein a valid concern as to what pollutants are created and how much. In 1975 the USAF theorized that orbiting lenses in Space could focus solar power to receptor points on Earth and that the Moon could be utilized as a source for the materials. In this sceanrio the Shuttle Craft could gather a higher grade of sources then here on Earth.
How are we to consider the validity of any arguement for an energy source without a consideration of the process and the pollants manufactured also?
Again; the subject is:" how much power and pollution is generated to make Solar Photovoltaic Panels"?
This debate yielded no gain on the subject, and could be an indicator that mankind is simply irrational to the point of being unable to effect self preservation attempts.


Once more, my recalcitrant opponent attempts to change the premise of the debate.

He has proven himself to be both illiterate and stubborn.

The proposition is written at the top of the page, 'Is solar energy polluting the world'.

It is against the community guidelines of to change your premise mid-debate and thus, violating such a term will cost you the debate.

I wholeheartedly wish this is not all you have.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by TexiltVaniva 2 years ago
Why did Con pull out like that? It seemed like Pro was making a genuine argument. The debate was for the amount of pollution generated by solar energy, which naturally would include the manufacturing process. While yes, solar energy in itself is clean, and once completed, doesn't need to be running a type of fuel, this is all very common knowledge and thinking that the debate should only be for the period of time after manufacturing actually makes the debate topic kind of biased. Generating solar energy very obviously does not create pollution, but to say that it is the only thing that matters is not correct in any form.
Posted by Osiris_Rosenthorne 2 years ago
Considering there's so little of it, I think it safe to say no. If the question were, would solar energy pollute the world, well, that's a different question.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued a literal interpretation of the title of the debate, ignoring what Pro had posted in R1 PRIOR TO CON ACCEPTING. The clarification makes clear what the scope of the debate was to be, and Con's refusal to accept that scope loses him conduct as far as I'm concerned. The question was, at what point does the production of solar energy panels's energy requirements get washed out by the energy they produce through solar. Pro never really contrasted the numbers he presented with the energy produced, so the arguments point is null. All other categories were equal enough. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.