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View Diary: The most anti-solar reporter in the mainstream media? (75 comments)

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  •  Well, put me down as someone who thinks (6+ / 0-)

    small scale rooftop (etc.) solar should be fast-tracked ahead of behemoth centralized solar projects that benefit big utility companies, Wall Street, and don't produce much gain for the little guy, school districts, cash-strapped municipalities and don't produce that many long-term jobs.

    I'm not saying they should not be investing in the technology, I'd just like the small scale stuff to get a head start.
    There's no reason big oil/coal and giant utilities can't go out and explore big solar without much gov. help. They have plenty of wealth.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:25:19 PM PST

    •  we're doing both (3+ / 0-)

      they proceed along different paths.

      Rooftop solar is great for homeowners, but we need utility scale solar for a lot of buildings other than homes - e.g., offices, condominiums/apartments, commercial space, etc.

      Congress can't redo the laws of physics. Do the math. @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:35:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know Universities would deeply benefit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, SolarMom

        from solar roof panels. The energy costs are sky high and even though they tend to use fluorescent lights, these things are kept on from like 8am-10pm (or longer) in what amount to miniature towns worth of campuses.

        Every time I go to work, I think, "Why the Hell don't we have solar panels on our roofs?"

        The electricity expenses at the schools are astronomical. And a lot of the Universities are in areas which can handle solar just fine in California. So literally, there's no reason for this that I can see. It's a great starting place, IMHO.

        •  All 5 high schools in our district put in solar (6+ / 0-)

          I assume it was a grant, as all of them built structures over the parking lots rather than rooftop solar. District newsletters mentioned the energy savings they would receive. I know of several other Northern California high schools oing the same (and read about one who was ripped off by a fly by night solar contractor).

          Leasing the panels is a low- cost way to go as well, but our district paid for them with new bonds (which need a 55% majority to pass, as opposed to any taxes which need 2/3.) bonds must be spent on infrastructure, not operating costs.

          •  That's excellent! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RLMiller, madhaus, KenBee

            Not the being ripped off bit, of course, but that there is some motion on this issue because it seems like a very obvious, positive solution. I never thought about the issue of leasing. Well, it would be approved by some University committee -- I can't say I know which other than some budgetary committee or another -- but if someone did the math and showed savings, the school's so cash-strapped, no doubt they'd go for it since energy expenses are a fortune as is. I'm not personally in a position to do that, mind you.

            •  If they use bonds, they can't lease (4+ / 0-)

              And it's far easier to pass a California school bond than a property tax.  The thing is, the way I saw the lease payments, you end up paying the solar company less than you pay the utility.  I leased my solar panels but prepaid the entire 20 year lease up front, which was cheaper than buying them. Another advantage of leasing is the tax credits are taken by the solar company and they apply them directly to your lease cost up front.  That way you don't have to wait to,get the credit.  Works the same way when you lease an EV.

              I would imagine the economics are different with a universities than homeowners putting in solar. Maybe I should talk to someone from the high school district and diary their solar project.  The parking lot structures are good for another thing, the cars don't bake in the sun.

          •  Maybe the roofs weren't strong enough (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            madhaus
            I assume it was a grant, as all of them built structures over the parking lots rather than rooftop solar.
            to hold a large number of panels.  Each panel is only a few pounds, but for hundreds of panels it adds up.  Putting solar panels on the roofs would probably have required rebuilding the roofs.  

            Renewable energy brings national global security.     

            by Calamity Jean on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:34:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, "rooftop" is just a generic description (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, madhaus

              for small scale. I think covering parking lots, etc. is a great idea.
              It sounds like we're beginning to get solar on schools. This should be happening nationwide, for schools, hospitals, airports, municipal buildings, etc. As we build up volume on these structures with a long term amortization framework, the price will come down and we can more easily get residential and commercial solarized.
              Ultimately, the savings need to be passed onto the school district, municipality, homeowner, "little guy".

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:59:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Every sunny roof should (eventually) have (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                madhaus, David54, JeffW

                solar panels.  Some day I hope that not having PV panels on your roof will be thought unpatriotic and stupid.  

                Renewable energy brings national global security.     

                by Calamity Jean on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:26:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They're just getting started on the technology, (0+ / 0-)

                  They're working on pv shingles, and they may have a PV "paint" someday.
                  There's also solar water heating, which is relatively old, but will see more improvements in technology, and then there's also the passive solar design revolution, and the coupling of all of that with small scale geo-thermal.
                  Consider the technological trajectory of auto design. We're somewhere in the "Model T" phase with solar power.

                  There are technologies we haven't even imagined yet, as well.

                  You can't make this stuff up.

                  by David54 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:09:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What we already have is good enough to (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JeffW
                    We're somewhere in the "Model T" phase with solar power.

                    There are technologies we haven't even imagined yet, as well.    

                    save the world, if it's put to use soon enough.  And getting started on using it will motivate improvements faster.  Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  

                    Renewable energy brings national global security.     

                    by Calamity Jean on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:25:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  If we had feed-in tariffs... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jam

        ...then enough rooftop solar would sprout that it would add up to utility scale.

        Like Germany has.

        “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

        by SolarMom on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:13:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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