Food for thought

WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
We have never been one of those "solar at all costs" or "solar will save the world" type companies. While we think that solar can be an important part of reducing the rise of fossil fuels, especially coal, for making power, we were never under any illusions that solar was more than part of it. Nor have we ever bought into the idea of electric cars - all you are doing there is shifting where the energy comes from, not reducing energy usage.

And, oddly or not, in the past 30 years or so of selling solar, we have been accused of being "anti environmentalist" because we did not support some of the ideas put forth. Finally others are starting to speak out also about the total net effect, not just "feel good" solar and energy savings. Came across this today, which echoes our philosophy to a large extent


  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Food for thought

    I live in the largest off-grid community in California. I thought it would automatically be green-biased.

    Most of us have installed solar systems and we get our house power in a mostly green way. But there are several people who regard photovoltaics as "hippy stuff" and run generators from dawn to bed time. At least they did before gas shot up to nearly $4/gal.

    I only know of 2 people who have tried running their refigeration from solar panels. The rest use propane refers.

    There is no public transportation in my part of the state so everyone must drive. Because of the dirt roads and heavy snow a high ground clearance 4WD vehicle is a necessity and these use a lot of gas. The mountainous terrain means we never get into high gear so we use even more gas.

    The realestate boom has driven the price of a 2½ acre lot from $10,000 to $100,000. The people who can meet those prices have different ideas about conservation.  They can't be bothered with maintenance so they install redundant generator systems and call a mechanic when one goes bad.

    The only up side is that most property owners are part timers and our population density is very light. But the percapita carbon foot print is probably higher than in cities.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Food for thought

    welp, i can say i agree with many of the economic points, and roadblocks to adoption. he sounds like someone arguing an economic point, as if the need for cleaner RE is only an economic one now.

    when he asks if the average person will not watch the nfl game because the sun is not shining, you know where the guy is coming from. this simplified rebuttal to re is pretty commonly thrown out. of course, as he says i can always opt for my $100k of battery storage per house if i do want my solar to work. i winder where that pie in the sky number came from? i should sell batteries. on the other hand i dont think i have ever read anything unbiased on the subject of RE. and of course i am too. :mrgreen:
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Food for thought

    That attitude of RE at any cost is not new - we have seen it for years, but it is finally starting to get some attention.

    For ages we have been getting comments, emails etc about the Utopia that solar/RE will bring, and you simply cannot convice some that no matter how good solar is, it is not the best solution for everything. My favorite of all time is some nut that wanted to cover half of NM with panels. When asked about the environmental impact of doing that, his comment was that the total destruction of half the states living critters was a small price to pay.
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Food for thought

    Ying with the yang...

    The right tool for the right job. I looked at it like I could spend money on a loud gas genset that might or might not work when I really need it, or put that same $ in to solar that I can use almost daily. It just seemed like a better choice in so many ways. People never ask what the payback is on a genset, but they always ask what it is on my solar panels. I simply say they were paid for the first time the grid went down and I still had power :)
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
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