If solar goes mainstream will silver prices skyrocket?

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by Gam3rBlake, May 29, 2021.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    I was watching a video where Elon Musk was talking about solar panels and how only 12.3 million homes have solar panels and he mentioned that silver is required to build them as it has the highest thermal conductivity and thus the most efficient for the job.

    So naturally I became curious and I wanted to find out how much silver was actually used for solar panels.

    I came across this:

    Silver is so crucial that it can equate up to 6 percent of the total cost of building each unit of the panel. The average panel of approximately 2 square meters can use up to 20 grams of silver.”

    But that’s just one ☝️ panel.

    According to EnergySage:

    “We estimate that a typical home needs between 20 and 25 solar panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage.”

    So let’s be conservative.

    20 grams of silver per panel
    X 20 solar panels.

    Approximately 400 grams of silver per home. Or ~12.8 troy oz. Per home.

    Let’s assume that solar power “goes “mainstream” and not just a small minority of homes have it but a majority. I know a lot of people do have it already but it’s still only a small minority. If climate change is addressed with heavy tax breaks for things like solar panels
    (remember the Cash for Clunkers program where the government paid people for fuel inefficient cars?) and 10% of Americans get solar power for their homes that’s hundreds of millions of ounces of silver demand.

    Then factor in all the other countries who would also be investing in solar panels to fight climate change as it’s a global issue not a national issue.

    If millions of Americans get solar panels that’s great for planet earth in general not just America.

    I imagine many countries are even more progressive towards combatting climate change than America. So why wouldn’t they also encourage solar? Among things like electric cars and other greenhouse emission reducing lifestyle choices.

    Then the demand for silver for solar would be in the billions of ounces. If the industry grew rapidly that demand could stay long term or even grow larger.

    Lastly solar panels are meant to last quite a length of time. So it’s not like the silver from them would be recycled like e-waste very often. Maybe every 15 years. If they even bothered to recycle.

    Idk I just feel like once it’s cheap enough and able to be done in massive numbers eventually solar powered homes will be a way of life everywhere & the fact that they require large amounts of silver seems like it might be wise to get some.
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    :jawdrop: sorry for changing the subject.. since before you changed your profile picture I always thought you were a dude. But now I know you are a female. My bad.

    sorry :sorry:
  4. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

  5. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

  6. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Wait till one reads what goes inside a solar panel. That's next generation asbestos.

    For the short term gains, there's going to be long term damages.
  7. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    So....why don't you flag an article about this "next asbestos"?
    midas1 and Heavymetal like this.
  8. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Once you get the general public on a hype train, flagging articles is the same as getting a penny to derail it.

    There is nothing wrong with asbestos if it stays intact. Only when the fibres get dispersed in open air will it cause issues. The same applies to solar panels.
    Idoono likes this.
  9. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    I'll do it for @gxseries . . . here you go . . . read away.
    NOS, midas1 and Alegandron like this.
  10. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Silver is helpful but not necessary. If it's too expensive, manufacturers will shift to other processes.

    As for recycling and "toxic waste", as volume increases and the problem becomes harder to sweep under the rug, we'll come up with policies to take care of it. I expect the most likely solution is a bounty for proper disposal or recycling, funded by a fee charged at purchase time.
  11. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Aye . . . and there's the rub.
    slackaction1 likes this.
  12. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Yup. More "overreach" and "interference in the free market". Because too many people will only do the right thing if the wrong thing costs more.
    slackaction1, Bayern and jb10000lakes like this.
  13. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Well crafted response, but your political sarcasm should not be lost on those who do not read more critically.
    slackaction1 and Kentucky like this.
  14. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    I've been waiting for the opportunity to say he's went through quite the transformation! :D

    As to the original post, I've often wondered the same. Every time I look at our utility bill I wish we had solar panels. I see a lot of them popping up in fields and on houses around me and this region isn't know for getting a lot of sun for half the year. I hope to see solar panels on my house while I'm alive. Supposedly the technology improves every year and you do get some energy from them even on cloudy days.
  15. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Well-Known Member

    I've only recently, taken stock in why solar panels. I'm 73 and in relatively good health. I've seen solar panels on homes and am concerned about the strength of the roof to hold solar panels. Our electric company has invested in solar panels. I don't know how much of our electricity in our homes is from solar energy. I saw about 2-3 acres of solar panels. I don't know whose they are. However, is it true that you can store the electricity generated so that in the winter, we can have electricity?
    Anyway, judging from comments above, if silver causes problems. solar panels use of silver will change to another source?
    Interesting information. Thanks to all.
    Kentucky likes this.
  16. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Active Member

  17. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Its funny, when a female is involved, tends to peak the interest...LOL
    slackaction1 likes this.
  18. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    I have 12 solar panels on my roof, I think I will pull them down for recycling..LOL
  19. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    No, at present it's difficult to store significant amounts even overnight. Seasonal electricity storage isn't in the cards for any energy source -- except that, the more solar you use during bright days, the less gas or coal or uranium you'll need to use during those days, and the more you'll have left for the dark times.
    Kentucky and FryDaddyJr like this.
  20. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Junior Member

    you can store it by cracking hydrogen, but then you have to store it too
    Kentucky likes this.
  21. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    @-jeffB is pretty well correct, electricity is difficult to store. Batteries are the most direct way but expensive and unwieldy. There are some workarounds we need to explore...pumping water uphill with the excess so a turbine could be run with the water coming back down, etc.
    midas1 likes this.
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