Is it just me or are there more and more large scale solar projects popping up around the country. Here is one from the East Coast, which actually is in a ‘high-traffic’ area doing plenty of PR for the solar industry. Judge for yourself:
duh... can't you see the lunacy of solar power implied in the numbers in the first article? Panels cover the roof of pavilion seating 1200 people. 1200, big number. The panels produce power for 12 homes. 12, small number. Big solar array accomplishes small job, all applaud.
Despite the near-term inefficiencies, funding solar is a small price to pay to jump-start an industry that will reach grid parity within three or fewer years in many parts of the world. Once there, things change quickly.
Further, the solar referred to in the story was a token amount. I am quite sure that a stadium designed from the ground up to produce solar energy could power far more than the 12 homes discussed in that piece. I know that the home I am designing will generate enough solar power to run the home I am designing. 1 for 1 sounds like a good deal to me.
What I find most interesting in these articles is the disregard for ROI or other measures of financial return. These projects are happening in spite of the fact they will cost substantially more in the near term than regular electricity.
I'm still trying to find a good link explaining the SoCal Edison plan for 250MW of power to be placed on the roofs of large company buildings. They're leasing the space and buying the solar equipment, so the companies themselves have no excuse not to participate. Companies and organizations are buying solar on the idea, and that can mean far more $$ to the industry than the business fundamentals.
With a 33% Federal tax break, California state subsidies and legislation requiring a specific level of renewable production, these projects make all the fiscal sense in the world to the utilities.
And as for the companies giving up the roof top space, the ability to covert something that cost money into something that brings it in is obviously a win.
Right now, it is we, the taxpayers, that are bearing the burden, but I'd rather have my tax money go to encouraging this form of energy security than to try and gain energy security on the back of our brave soldiers.