Thursday, February 25, 2010

Distributed generation- Senator Bernie Sanders and his most excellent idea!

The senator just released this proposed bill called "10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons
of Solar Water Act of 2010". It is all of 9 pages long, appears to be double or triple spaced and
you don't have to have a legal dictionary on hand to read and understand it. Truly revolutionary!
I will link to it below as well as provide links for other info.

According to the bill, if only 10% of rooftops in the USA had photovoltaic systems in place, they would meet 70% of the PEAK energy demand of the whole United States! That is huge! And doing so without
needing to build more transmission lines or major infrastructure way out, hundreds of miles away on
wilderness and wild areas. This would be accomplished by using tax incentives, etc to encourage 10 million homes, businesses, government buildings to be fitted with solar pv systems over a 10 year period, resulting
in an increased electrical generating capacity of at least 30,000 Megawatts.

Also an additional 200,000 solar hot water systems would be installed resulting in a 10 million gallon
to be installed over a similiar period, a plan like Hawaii's which is projected to save homeowners $600 a

This plan is based on rebates like the ones currently in use in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. Due to
economies of scale, this has resulted in cost decreases for the solar systems. Just imagine what building
millions of new pv systems would do to the per unit costs! Also note, China has lowered costs
on pv systems they build and other countries will have to follow suit.

There is other technology out there, proven systems, where the suns energy is concentrated through fresnel lenses etc, resulting in the need for less silicon to be used, and prices for this have dropped dramatically
over time. The article with that information will be the bottom one on the list.

I'm no expert but it seems like the Obama and governator administrations are jumping the gun, rushing madly to spend billions of OBAMA BUCKS to scrape the unspoiled desert down to the bedrock and suck out all the desert aquifer water, to build giant solar and wind plants way out
in the middle of nowhere and building new transmission infrastructure, guaranteed to lose 10-25%
of the power in losses to bring said power back to the cities------
you catch my drift I think.

So we are at a crossroads here, we can spend billions for huge power plants and it's infrastructure or
we can spend the money empowering local people to generate their own electricity, the unused portion
of which they can sell back to the power utility! Plus, it has been proven that people using
home power generation use less, gaining some self discipline which some believe is desperately
needed here in these United States.

I think with economies of scale factored in and this is my opinion only, we'd spend fewer billions with
Senator Sanders approach.

Here are the links I promised: 

The last link has the great info and photos of the new pv technology.

Okay folks, I'm going to have to go to the store for more coffee, you guys drank it all up.
When I get back, I'll see if we can't find something else to yack about. Remember your
comments are always welcomed out on the backporch.

Vaya con dios, my friends.


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