There is a call today to "keep it in the ground" when it comes to organic fuels like coal, natural gasses, and oil."

The push toward producing electricity through less reliable, not-so-clean, and more expensive wind and solar.

It's not possible to create wind and solar farms without petroleum and coal.

Coal is used in both the manufacturing and production of every solar panel.

We are often told that the main ingredient in solar panels is sand, for the silicon. But that's not true. The mineral that is used comes from COAL. 

Watch the video below to see how that works.

High-quality quartz crystals are melted with coal to produce a solar panel.

To reach the temperatures needed to manufacture solar panels, more coal is needed.

  1. Metallurgical-grade silicon making
  2. Carbon sources for silicon making: Coal, petcoke, hardwood
  3. Solar-grade silicon (SoG-Si) making and wafering
  4. Finalizing solar panel manufacturing
  5. Coal and China
  6. Summary

The vast majority of all energy required to make solar panels is consumed during silicon production, purification, and wafering. But first let’s talk about purity. 6N pure silicon means 99.9999% purity level, 11N pure silicon means 99.999999999% purity level. (Dr. Lars Schernikau).

For those worried about releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, a lot of melting has to take place to create a solar panel. That releases a large amount of CO2.


Dr. Schemikua points out in his article that CO2 is not a pollutant and is necessary for life on earth, so we should release more of it, not less.

If you are interested in learning more about the physical and chemical characteristics of coal, please read the newly published Coal Handbook.

So if we were to keep coal in the ground, as is demanded by some environmentalists, we would not be able to create solar panels.

If we close all of Wyoming's coal mines, along with all the other coal mines around the globe, we won't be able to make solar panels.

New Generation Preserves Wyoming's Past

The Platte Bridge Company is committed to learning, teaching, preserving, and bringing history to life!

On the day these photos were taken the group was visiting Independence Rock and Devils Gate to learn about and honor those who had paved the way generations before.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

The Tate Geological Museum Casper Wyoming

The Tate Geological Museum was founded in 1980 through a gift from Marion and Inez Tate. It was originally designated as the Tate Earth Science Center and Mineralogical Museum. Because ‘geological’ encompasses earth science, mineralogy, and paleontology, the name was changed to the Tate Geological Museum in 2001.

Located on the Casper College campus, the museum is a great resource for the community. Many local schools and groups come to the museum to add to their student's learning experience.

Tate houses a collection of over 6000 fossil and mineral specimens.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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