bolson: (Default)
The Porter Square strip mall has a strip of solar panels along the facade, but as shown in that Google Maps aerial view, most of the roof is not covered with solar panels.
What if it was covered with solar panels? Rough measurement from that map says the roof is roughly a rectangle 600ft by 87ft. Wider in some places, probably obstructed in others, I'll go with that and say its 52200 sq ft. Multiply that by the cosine of 40 degrees to account for the amonut of roof shaded by a tilted panel. 39987. There's a rather economical Kyocera KD235GX panel which puts out 13.35 watts per square foot. (13 * 39987) = 519831 watts of peak power. Half a megawatt! I heard on the radio that the biggest solar installation in Massachussetts is two-point-something megawatts.
With big flat roofs like these covered in solar we could have substantial generation in our cities. No transmission losses. No new transmission capacity to build. I think the economics for it are almost here, and they would be if we taxed pollution properly.

(yeah, I posted about that solar facade in Porter square before)
bolson: (Default)
Look at this aerial view of the Porter Square mall. Look at the thin strip of solar panels along the front edge of the building, now look at the vast expanse of roof not covered by solar panels. That's the difference between solar panels being a popular thing that can be used for a little "greenwashing", and solar panels being an actually good economic idea. If solar panels paid for themselves and were profitable (and profitable at a better rate than basic conservative investments like bond funds), every roof would be covered in them. We're not there yet, I want us to be. I want solar to be cheap and effective and I want Coal and Natural Gas taxed to offset their externalities.
bolson: (Default)
To much fanfare, Medford installs a wind turbine at a public school.
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/medford/2009/07/mcglynn_school_turbine_right_o.html
Total cost of project was $645000

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/greenblog/2009/07/medfords_own_wind_turbine_save.html
"A highly touted wind turbine at McGlynn Middle School in Medford has produced over 38,000 kilowatt hours of electricity since January, saving the city about $5,400, according to estimates from the Medford Clean Energy Committee."

$5400 in six months. $10800 in a year.
$645000*0.04 = $25800.00

The money would have been better spent by putting it in a bank.

And yet, clean sustainable energy is something we absolutely must do, we just need to bring the cost down I guess. (And tax the externalities of that damn cheating coal.)
bolson: (Default)
What's the biggest thing I can do to make my household more energy
efficient? Insulate it. Well, that's expensive and hard (but totally on the
to-do list for next season if not this).So, what's the next big thing that
we all get reminded to do? Change lightbulbs. It's easy and cheapish and
relatively effective for that amount of work. So, I took stock and I have
over 40 lightbulbs I could replace. Half of those have a
smaller-than-standard socket as part of some decorative fixture in the
ceiling fan. Another quarter are much shorter than common bulbs. Between
these constraints my choice in CFL replacements will be somewhat limited,
but I'm pretty sure I've seen the right kinds of things out there.
bolson: (Default)
"When demand for oil and coal increases, their price goes up. When demand for solar cells increases, the price often comes down." - Al Gore, 2008-07-17


http://www.epa.gov/oms/rfgecon.htm says:
113500 BTU per gallon of gasoline

1 BTU = .293 watt hour
1 gallon of gasoline = 113500 BTU = 33.26 KWh

My electric last bill came out to: $.21 / KWh
$6.98 per gallon of gas in electric equivalent.

Except that car engines are terribly inefficient and relatively little of the BTU heat energy of gasoline is actually used in motion. Batteries and electric motors are probably much more efficient (but I don't have a good guess really how much).
bolson: (Default)
"Junkies find veins in their toes when the ones in their arms and their legs collapse. Developing tar sands and coal shale is the equivalent." -- Al Gore
From his new slideshow (28min):
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/243

And a reminder of what I think is the most brilliant policy suggestion:
Revenue-neutral tax shift: replace income tax with carbon tax.
bolson: (gd)
Al Gore's Speech Accepting the Nobel Prize
In which he makes the comparison of Global Warming to Hitler and the People In Charge now who do nothing are like the people in charge back then who did nothing or were appeasers.

This nugget is what I think is the most awesome:
"shift the burden of taxation from employment to pollution"
How much of that could we really do? Make income tax lesser and more
progressive and tax pollution instead? Hell yeah!
2007-12-10 13:13:36 (Monday, December 10 01:13:36 PM)

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