Inevitably, when I mention solar as an energy source, someone–usually my brother–will tell me that using the sun as an energy source isn’t feasible. My retort is always, “We’re killing ourselves and everything on the planet. If we want electricity, do we really have any other choice but to figure out how to use the sun?”
The prose above reminded me of two articles I read recently. One (http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/09/solar-pv-reducing-price-of-electricity-in-germany/ ) paraphrased a study by Germany’s Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES). It found that solar power reduced the cost of energy by 10% in Germany and that the reduction in price was even greater during peak hours when electricity usually costs the most – also confirmed by Evergreen Solar.
The second (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/08/08/643761/indias-blackout-lesson-coal-failed-solar-delivered/) addressed the recent blackout in India. It stated that the “modern” grid system doesn’t really work in India especially during peak hours. For once the “rural poor” made out better than the middle class and wealthy because they were powered by solar which delivered during peak hours. Unfortunately, India is still moving forward with its plans to build a huge coal-fired power plant despite difficulties, such as not being able to get the coal to the plant, and the probability that it won’t serve India’s citizens.
Of course I do have issues with solar and wind. My biggest issue is that it is still often delivered by large corporations bent on huge profit margins rather than the welfare of a country’s citizens. Here I should probably say something like, “…the owners of large corporations…” because I certainly do not believe that corporations are people. In my ideal world, each household would be self-sustaining or the electricity would be delivered collaboratively through a small, local cooperative.