January 08, 2003

Photovoltaic Investment

Category: Environment

San Francisco: The Moscone Center has just unveiled plans to install a massive photovoltaic array on the roof. Despite the fog (though SOMA is one of the sunnier parts of town), the project is expected to pay for itself in about 6 years, generating all the electricity the center needs.

That's incredible news, considering how expensive pv cells used to be. The best thing about the project, is that it's exactly the kind of massive investment that will bring the price of solar energy within reach of the average consumer. If more cities copy SF's lead, the investment will help bring prices down to levels that will see most of us installing panels well within our lifetimes.

Other forms of alternative energy, including "solar towers" and hydro schemes, are just as clean as pv cells, but they take up such massive amounts of land that we can't rely on them as the only solution. Additionally, the ability to buy and manage your own generating system, and even sell a surplus back to the grid, is especially appealing. You can even get pv shingles!

More links: [Votesolar][how foggy is your SF 'hood?][buy your own]

Posted by Nick at January 8, 2003 07:47 PM | TrackBack

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