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Argument: Accounting for production energy, solar power still slashes emissions

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David Biello. "Dar Side of Solar Cells Brightens". Scientific American. 21 Feb. 2008 - A life cycle analysis proves that solar cells are cleaner than conventional fossil fuel power generation. It takes power to make power—even with a solar grand plan. From the mining of quartz sand to the coating with ethylene-vinyl acetate, manufacturing a photovoltaic (PV) solar cell requires energy—most often derived from the burning of fossil fuels. But a new analysis finds that even accounting for all the energy and waste involved, PV power would cut air pollution—including the greenhouse gases that cause climate change—by nearly 90 percent if it replaced fossil fuels."

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