Friday, April 24, 2009

The limits to wind and solar

From the Washington Post

1 comment:

Kendyll Goeman said...

Definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet (chapter 5 specifically deals with solar power):

Jeff Barrie, the creator of the Kilowatt Ours film interviewed a Tennessee homeowner about his newly solar paneled home. The homeowner said, “Well we have a 2400 square foot house and um most days this ah solar array provides all of our energy needs and actually surplus many days so we’re that we’re able to store up energy in batteries to use when the sun’s not shinning at night or during cloudy spells for a few days.” This is interesting because James Schlesinger and Robery Hirsch’s main problem with solar energy is that it cannot store energy on a large scale. This is why taxpayers would have to pay for a back up fossil fuel power source. After the initial high costs of installing a solar panel system, the building is a “net zero building generating all the energy it needs” (Barrie). With the numerous technological advancements that have been created, I find it hard to believe that we simply can’t develop a larger “battery.” If this could be done, taxes to maintain the solar panels and wind systems after installation would be miniscule.