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View Diary: Home-made self-sufficiency in West Virginia town offers a solar model adaptable nationwide (148 comments)

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  •  That's another key benefit of PV (11+ / 0-)

    I cannot make a nuclear plant in my backyard, I cannot (unless I am a rancher) make a wind turbine in my backyard. But I can easily cover half my roof in PV cells.

    Community organization, while useful, is not even required.

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:04:51 PM PST

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    •  The libertarian mentality (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cville townie, Nulwee

      this is a big part of the problem I have with PV. It imposes a technology which is often a poor fit in order to craft the problem as one solved by individuals instead of offering social solutions.  Accordingly, it forgoes economies of scale in exchange for not threatening the libertarian mentality that you can go it alone.

      by ManfromMiddletown on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:33:30 PM PST

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      •  For PVs, the economies of scale come from... (11+ / 0-)

        ...the manufacturing process, not the installation. Distributed power is a social good. For one thing, it reduces the need for additional transmission lines (often over fragile terrain) and other expensive infrastructure.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:53:19 PM PST

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      •  True (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        But when the political forces against these social solutions are so strong, the "individual approach" is the only way to get anywhere...

      •  and/both (4+ / 0-)

        Technology policy should be developed on the basis of sound science & engineering rather than ideological predispositions.

        That means both utility-scale community installations and individual-scale installations.

        For example here in the Bay Area where a devastating earthquake is expected any time, it makes sense for individual houses to have enough solar capacity to run essentials during the couple of months it will take to restore grid power.   That will make the difference between quickly resuming something close to normal life, vs. people just going elsewhere until things get back more or less to normal.  

        If you don't think so, try going for two months on room-temperature canned food and room-temperature water, and candles for lighting (with the associated fire risk).  

        Meanwhile the distributed solar generation can contribute to grid power during times when houses are using less power than they're producing.  For example Oakland stays cool in the summer while Contra Costa County gets hot as hell: we don't need air conditioning, they do, so let's us make surplus power to sell to them.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:38:04 AM PST

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