The Energy Impacts of Solar Heating

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Science  18 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4441, pp. 262-266
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4441.262


The energy required to build and install solar space- and water-heating equipment is compared to the energy it saves under two solar growth paths corresponding to high and low rates of implementation projected by the Domestic Policy Review of Solar Energy. For the rapid growth case, the cumulative energy invested to the year 2000 is calculated to be ½ to 1½ times the amount saved. An impact of rapid solar heating implementation is to shift energy demand from premium heating fuels (natural gas and oil) to coal and nuclear power use in the industries that provide materials for solar equipment.