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New Research Upholds Simple, Local Solar Solution


New Research Upholds Simple, Local Solar Solution

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The future of solar energy, often envisioned as an island of reflective panels amid an ecologically sensitive desert outpost, may have a more simple, and more local solution.

A Stanford University study published earlier this week found that utility-scale solar development built alongside existing infrastructure, on rooftops or in backyards, may be more than enough to power whole communities.


A good, well thought out, program to alleviate or remove one of our greatest threats and provide a power solution.

  • I’m sure it will get squashed. Fifty years ago, I wrote that we probably would not see solar power until they figured out how to hang an electric meter on a light beam.


I think your right. Cheap solar panels threaten the present energy mob and their centrally controlled power distribution scheme.


This is Bernie Sanders 10 million solar roofs plan in a nut shell, excluding the upscale to corporate angle. Way better to deal out the corporate leaches as much as possible.

Power up 10 million roofs as fast as possible, and when they are done, do 10 million more.


The reason behind Solar Farms and big Electric generation facilities is the small time rate payer subsidizes corporate energy consumption. If the companies that need that kind of power (giant solar farms or Nuclear power plants) really had to pay for it directly and also gain approval of the electorate most would never happen.


How about college students doing a solar summer. Students could dedicate building roof top solar arrays on the houses of elderly home owners homes, teach and work with church members, do HUD project on buildings that do section 8 housing subsidies & get HEAP check. Renewable energy where each building is its own power source is a matter of national security. Each building having it’s own power source would lower energy cost and make a $10.50 an hour job worker nearer sustainability and an ecological quality of life.


Good idea! Sort of a Peace Corps at home, as it were.

  • A very powerful idea!


Liking your idea…but of course, it makes too much sense.


Whoazzer said:

What could this unintelligible babble possibly mean? In college we called this kind of uneducated writing “primer.”

What this article is really saying is what it doesn’t actually say – by what it infers or implies, that solar energy is beneficial and benign. Solar energy doesn’t run on the sun, it runs on extractive, exploitive, corrupt, poisonous mining interests. This combination of progressive thought and naive wish fulfillment is exactly our problem.

Photovoltaic panels are mostly made of silicon (sand). All we have to do is quit making wasteful electronics and autos and defense industry garbage which cause 99 percent of all mining products and we will kill two birds with one stone.

Solar has ZERO emissions after a low-impact manufacture. The Empire just never gets tired of hiring disinformation artists to protect expensive and dangerous nuke and coal industries. Rooftop Solar scares Wall Street because they will no longer control the means of energy production.



I just got a portable solar generator, that puts out up to 300 watts and have been playing with it. I’m able to run a 75 watt stand fan all day and not turn on the air conditioning except on really hot or smokey days. I really like it. I’ve also got a solar-powered roof vent that is the coolest thing in the world. Seems to lower the thermal temp in the attic by about three or four degrees.

I have yet to tackle big loads like the 700 watt refrigerator and the 2 horse water pump or an air conditioner. But I like the pic on this article and will probably copy the roof arrangement. Anyone know if there’s still a Federal tax break or matching funds for installation? My neighbor did it back about 2005 and it cost him six grand to do his whole house with the Feds matching six grand for the whole thing.


As long as utility companies can make profits off of solar panels there wont be a problem…But once citizens can become their own power source then utility companies will fight it tooth and nail…Corruption at its finest.


whereas its good that Stanford kids have published this study. But OMG their Prof is remiss in not teaching them history FIRST? Good Grief Charlie Brown, is this a NO BRAINER of WHAT? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Households with a modest rooftop solar array gain the means to more closely monitor and reduce energy consumption. Matched to an EV battery pack to store electricity, households also gain a choice; electricity for household purposes or for driving. In an emergency grid failure, this combination is a backup power supply that can keep important electronic devices operating - phone, lights, radio, TV, computer, fridge, etc. When the EV is a plug-in hybrid, their relatively small battery pack (5kwh), compared to the Tesla ‘S’ pack (85kwh), the array is consequently smaller, less expensive, and complements regional utility grid more ideally. Should we design grids to support 100 Tesla or 1700 plug-in hybrids; 100 Nissan Leafs or 500 Ford Fusion PHEVs? PHEV tech has a limited driving range of 10-20 miles on electricity alone. This limitation leads to shorter drives whereby more trips become possible without having to drive; walking, bicycling and mass transit become more viable travel modes, incidentally supporting the growth of local economies which can inevitably displace the global economy.


Excuse me, but solar technology has been in existence for decades/scores of years and, until the election of St. Raygun, was well on its way to becoming commonplace nationwide. Houses were being built with solar panels and rainwater catch basins; alternative energy innovations and research were expanding rapidly and then the vast majority of federal funding came to a screeching halt thanks to Raygun and his henchmen (cabinet secretary appointments ) In Phoenix, Arizona, I lived in a house (adobe brick) built in 1908 that had solar panels on the roof that heated the water year-round (held in built-in tanks with plumbing to the kitchen and bathrooms) and the windows had interchangeable canvas covered “screens” that were dampened to cool the air (and shade the house interior) that blew through the opened windows in the summer…both were original from the time the house was built. There was also a rainwater catch basin at the back of the house that captured water, especially effective during the monsoon season when brief, heavy rainfalls were prevalent.


Why just solar? In urban areas with many high rise buildings you could use horizontal and vertical wind turbines attached to the high rise buildings to take advantage of the higher velocity winds that blow through amerika’s urban canyons! Such setups should be able to take care of the electrical needs of many high rise buildings and possibly the needs of many of the city’s smaller public and private buildings. In smaller cities that don’t have many high rise buildings, but do have large shopping malls, cities can employ both solar panels along with smaller type wind turbines in the large mall and high school parking lots to produce electricity and hot water for both public and private buildings!


The solar solution always sounds so wonderful, but when I looked into it, it was so terribly expensive I didn’t pursue it. I cannot afford the panels, and even if I did get them, it would take more than 10 years to come near recovering my investment via savings. In the end, like many of my friends, I am forced to pay rapacious electrical bills. Solar energy is for the rich only. Those who celebrate it should admit this up front in their jubilant articles. Until the high cost is addressed, the idea of solar energy is just a dream, nothing more. And since the fossil fuel people own the government, I doubt any change will ever occur, not in the USA.


Z54, thank you. I have seen some rather attractive wind turbines on the internet. They seem to solve the issue of “ugly, noisy” devices, etc. However, when I looked into them, I found they would cost me far more than I could afford in my lifetime. Most Amerikans simply cannot afford these machines. Until cost is effectively addressed, they are not much more than expensive toys. The issue is compounded when you realize there is no political will to change anything, certainly not if it conflicts with Big Oil and the monopolies that currently supply electricity.


Glass is a wonderful product. Float glass for windows (along with screens)
improves homes and other buildings enormously.
Think about what your home would be without glass. So this is not an essay against glass. It isn’t even an essay against using glass
for solar energy collecting devices whether they are for heating hot air, hot
water or making electricity.

These devices use low iron hardened stippled glass. It is important to understand the components of the energy collecting devices so we don’t designate them with false labels
such as green, renewable or sustainable. This essay looks at the energy, equipment and the economies of scale in
making float glass.

This is an essay challenging business as usual. The earth and those born today can’t take anymore business as usual. Unfortunately, I am not allowed as a new user to link to an essay show in video, charts, pictures and essay just what is involved in making float glass.


The Masschussetts clean energy center where my daughter is doing her Coop already has an excellent model for this. The Center has dedicated funding from utility bills. Instead of just 1-offing solar installations they go into communities and try to enlist many houses, apartments or other buildings to install solar panels en masse. The advantage is that when a bunch of houses in a neighborhood install solar they can benefit from a bulk rate for panels and also makes it more efficient for the installers. Instead of wandering all over the installers can systemically work from house to house in closer proximity.
Also the Clean Energy Center works to line up loans, subsidies and funding.
This increases solar installations many times for a given neighborhood.