Posted by hawkerforest on January 18, 2006, 5:50 am
I'm a big fan of the California solar plan, but it's taking some flack.
I read an article about a Stanford prof commenting that it was
basically an energy subsidy for the rich, and there's another article
on cleantechblog about it as well.
Posted by SJC on January 18, 2006, 1:41 pm
When you look at the long paybacks for PV, you sometimes wonder.
But even if a small part of our electricity comes from PV then it does not
have to come from fossil fuels. There are lots of benefits there beyond the
payback times, in terms of dollars.
More distributed generation instead of overloading the grid can be a good
Maybe it is not just for the rich. Seniors on fixed incomes may want some
"energy insurance" in the form of stable, predicatable costs in view of
markets for electricity and natural gas.
Posted by dvh on January 18, 2006, 3:09 pm
I am generally a lurker in this group, but thought this subject
important. I don't think there is much doubt that practical solar power
is available only for the well-off (not just rich), and certainly beyond
the reach of the poor. It is also economically feasible only for
certain parts of country, because the federal credit makes no real
difference in the decision-making process, because it is so small--so
unless you live in a state like California, you simply can't justify the
expense. All that being said, I really want solar installed at my home
in Missouri, if I can find a way to get it done for a reasonable cost.
My hope is that the federal credit, together with Kyoto, or however it
is spelled, will lead to new and cheaper technologies.
Posted by Windsun on January 18, 2006, 2:30 pm
While it sounds good, as someone noted on the blog, it won't ever cover the
population growth over the next 10 years. Maybe I am missing something, but
it seems like you could save a lot more spending that much on conservation.
Posted by SJC on January 18, 2006, 3:48 pm
I would agree. It is what the Rocky Mountain Institute refers to as
"negawatts". Conservation is usually the most cost effective solution.
Conservation can take the form of personal behavior, product choices
or technology. A balance between production and consumption can be
found, it is rarely one or the other.