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View Diary: Green Diary Rescue & Open Thread: Green Stimulus Edition (164 comments)

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  •  I've been on solar power for 3 years now, (17+ / 0-)

    not having to pay for electricity is coming in handy right now.

    •  How big a system? We have 1.2 kW ... (5+ / 0-)

      ...plus solar thermal panels for hot water.

      "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:27:27 PM PST

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    •  Is there something in the Stimulus (0+ / 0-)
      to stimulate the installation of solar panels and windmills by individual home/condo owners?  This seems like the best step forward to me.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

      by Battle4Seattle on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:23:48 PM PST

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      •  30% tax credit with no caps. So, if you ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, jck, Battle4Seattle

        ...buy a $20,000 solar power system, it only costs you $14,000. And some states have decent incentives of their own that reduce it even more. In California, you can take up to $6,000 (based on system output) in $1500 annual credits. So, if you could get a 2 kW system for $20,000, it would actually only cost you $8000.

        Wind turbines for individuals in the city, however, are just not practical.

        "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:49:10 PM PST

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        •  Thanks. I was too lazy to look it up. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose

          Not even little ittie bittie windmills?  Just kiddin'.  :)

          "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

          by Battle4Seattle on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:17:22 PM PST

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        •  wind isn't practical yet (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose

          and solar is too expensive  upfront for most. About that wind stuff though, I found this interesting, but ultimately limited bit of info about 'democratic ecology' by philippe starck who it seems is trying to promote a funky looking personal windmill that he claims will come in under 700 bucks. It seems in the design phase at the moment although the articles on his stuff back last summer claimed he was working  in collaboration with pramac. haven't had a chance to do the follow up on it as of yet...

          Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

          by potty p on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 05:47:40 AM PST

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          •  They're Affordable Now (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, RunawayRose, jck

            There are special loans (when available these days - the credit crunch makes all upfront expenses harder) that charge less interest than the savings rate, so a 10 year loan is paid off instead of paying the extra energy bills saved, without a big upfront cost. So the next 5-10-20 years is all "profit", probably equal to the price, or double, or quadruple. And with inflation, especially on energy costs, locking in the energy costs by paying for efficiency could mean the lifetime of the unit saves over 5x its cost.

            Those loans can buy systems now substantially (typically 30%) subsidized efficiency upgrades. Like solar water heaters (probably the most efficient, both energywise and economically), radiant floors (also very efficient and pleasant), even geothermal heat pumps (often save something like 50% of energy bills, for heating and cooling), and of course PV, which is probably still the slowest payback. But I calculated that with the 30% subsidy, PV here in NYC (city power is $0.21:KWh, gas is $1.375:CCF) pays for itself after about 6-7 years. And that's before the energy prices rise, while that inflation (and other kinds) will relatively shrink the price locked in now for the efficiency systems instead of the energy bills.

            The subsidies make these systems economical, and loans (when you can get them) make them affordable (yes, even including the interest). I expect that the massification of the market pushed by the subsidies will reduce prices by at least 30% over the 7 years (coincidentally enough) that they're set to be in effect. So I think we're now permanently (as far as we can foresee the future) in the era of affordable efficiency systems.

            Just like that! If only Reagan/Bush or Clinton had flipped this switch back when we had money to spare, instead of burning twice as much energy the last several decades, it wouldn't have mattered if Bush Jr torched the world. We'd already be safe in our energy forts, all paid off and ready for the next generation.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:59:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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