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Hydrae
01-27-2010, 05:43 PM
Pretty cool stuff. We should be investing money into this instead of banks. I figure a billion or two could set up several manufacturing plants around the country (you know, jobs?). By making them in bulk the price would inevitably drop to where it is much more viable as a serious energy alternative. Decentralizing our power sources would also be a great move for our security concerns.

http://weareaustin.com/content/fulltext/?cid=46652

Solar panels installed at Austin Water Utility office Printer Friendly Version
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 @09:17pm CST

view largerThe City of Austin is rolling out a new trend in solar technology.


On Tuesday crews began installing a thin solar film to the roof at the Austin Water Utility's office in South Austin.


The 900-plus laminate panels stick to the roof like tape, a technology which is more efficient than heavier panels.


General Manager Mark Rangell with Texas Solar Power Co. Says, "These panels actually start producing energy when the sun is lower in the sky and stop producing further down in the sunset. Meaning that on a cloudy day these guys are producing more energy that the average solar module."



Once the installation is completed, it will become the city's largest solar roof top system and will cut the buildings energy consumption by 30-percent.

whatsmynameagain
01-27-2010, 06:25 PM
because these companies dont have the funds of gas, coal, and oil companies. those special interests control where the money will go and it certainly wont be away from them..... if we had spent more on windmill manufacturers and solar panel manufacturers it would make costs across the board drop on everything. hell, it could offset inflation, but that makes too much sense. our govt goes to the highest bidder.
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Donger
01-27-2010, 06:44 PM
Yes, they'll reduce the energy costs by 30%, but what did they cost? ROI really is a pesky thing. That being said, my wife just mandated that I replace all the incandescent floodlights in out house (30+) with CF bulbs. Little f*ckers cost $4.00 a piece. And, I've now got 30 perfectly operational incandescent bulbs in a box in the garage.

Oh well. Made her feel good.

Hydrae
01-28-2010, 08:04 AM
Yes, they'll reduce the energy costs by 30%, but what did they cost? ROI really is a pesky thing. That being said, my wife just mandated that I replace all the incandescent floodlights in out house (30+) with CF bulbs. Little f*ckers cost $4.00 a piece. And, I've now got 30 perfectly operational incandescent bulbs in a box in the garage.

Oh well. Made her feel good.

That is at least part of my point. By increasing production, costs per unit should come down. Not to mention the possibility of increased interest in developing improved technology that will lower costs as well.

I am not usually an advocate of the government spending any of my money but if they are going to do so, put my money where your mouth is. This addresses both security concerns (decentralized power supplies) as well as providing clean energy to assist with the environment. Oh, and it might create a job or two to aid with the economy. I am not sure I am seeing a lot of downside here.

Cannibal
01-28-2010, 09:16 AM
Austin, TX is one of the most (if not the most) evironmentally progressive cities in the Country. I've done work in that city and they are on the forefront of the green movement. For them it's not just the environment, it is energy efficiency. They have a "green energy program" for developers and provide incentives to build "green".

banyon
01-28-2010, 09:31 AM
The solar shingles Dow Chemical created are interesting to me. I think they could really change the way utilities are distributed.