Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We've Got the Power

We are addicted to power. Our houses have electrical outlets every ten feet. We have tens of appliances that are left plugged in at all times, many with digital clocks that drive us mad and need to be reset every time the power goes out for a second.

In the old days we were lucky if there was an electrical outlet in each room, but now our entire lives are tied to the juice. We take our power for granted until it goes out. We don’t care where it comes from just as long it is there when we need it, which is always.

Much of the power generated in the United States comes from coal fired power plants. After that generation comes form gas and hydro. There are more wind generators now, but not nearly enough to make a sizable dent in the fuels that we have to burn to keep it all going up to full power.

Some enlightened Americans have taken it upon themselves to put up their own solar collectors or wind mills where they make their own electricity and sell the surplus electric company. This does not remove from the grid, but instead it banks what they make in a utility give and take. Though there is an initial investment, the system can potentially pay for itself over a number of years.

Now, I’m not one for suggesting new laws be placed on the books, however I think it would be a good requirement for all new buildings to have a built in solar or wind generator with a kilowatt output that has a relation to the size of the building. I'm not saying it should be able to produce 100% of the needed energy, but at least some energy.

Imagine a new development with each house having solar panels that put back into the system instead of constantly drawing from it. Imagine new unavoidable big box stores that don’t just consume, but actually put energy from renewable resources into the grid. If all new development did their share we could drastically reduce burning fuel to run all our digital clocks.


Blogger Hahn at Home said...

There is a State agency here that is partnering with homebuilders to make it both attractive and feasible for consumers to purchase solar with their new homes. It's pretty cool. Also, I think the da Man also is offering some type of incentive to consumers who do so.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

We have incentives here to do so, even though the cold winters and short days limit the usefullness severely some months.

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I saw on the news yesterday that the solar panels that are on road-side signs are being stolen at an alarming rate.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Me said...

Here's an article about about walmart and some other stores going solar here in So Cal.


8:38 PM  

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