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September 10, 1989
Two letters published Aug. 27 completely missed the mark in describing the proposed sale of Atlantic Richfield Co.'s solar subsidiary to Siemens AG. One writer raised the fear that Arco Solar's advanced photovoltaic (PV) technology would "slip away" from the United States, presumably never to return. Echoing this theme, the second writer said the sale would prevent America from "contributing to the final solution of the triple crises of our time: energy, air pollution and the greenhouse effect."
May 14, 1989
The Viewpoints page of April 30 had two well-written attempts to put the recent cold fusion excitement into perspective. However, when Michael Schrage ("It's a Big Leap From Lab to the Payoff") implied that photovoltaic technology (direct sunlight-to-electricity conversion) has failed to live up to its promise, he exposes a need for publishing the following facts: 1) Tens of thousands of photovoltaic systems are providing clean, safe and reliable electricity worldwide for a wide range of applications.
May 5, 1986
Watching the progress of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster, one wonders again why we continue to pursue this source of energy. The irony, of course, it that if we had spent half as much money on developing solar energy as we have on nuclear, we would now have on hand efficient photovoltaic cells truly capable of producing electricity "too cheap to meter." Instead, we have growing pools of spent nuclear fuel, which will be radioactive for thousands of years, and no more idea of how to dispose of it than we did 30 years ago. We have reactors that cost 10 to 15 times what they were supposed to, which will have to be retired (meaning buried in cement)
November 8, 1985
AFG Industries Inc., the Irvine-based glass maker, said Thursday it will be part of a three-company joint venture to build a new factory to manufacture photovoltaic modules, devices used to convert sunlight directly into electricity, for an Alabama utility. AFG will join Southern Electric Investment Inc. and Chronar Corp. to build the six-foot-high modules that will provide off-peak hour, reserve power for the investment company's parent, Alabama Power Co. Start-up of the $7.
April 2, 1985 | By JAMES QUINN, Times Staff Writer
When J. W. (Bill) Yerkes resigned abruptly from Arco Solar Inc. in January to start his own company using a new solar technology, the fledgling photovoltaic industry buzzed like an aging transformer. Yerkes, 51, was already widely known as an individualist who had combined the presidency of the Chatsworth-based photovoltaic company, a subsidiary of oil giant Atlantic Richfield Co., with a life style faintly reminiscent of the 1960s counterculture.
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