Above, solar panel construction in Wayne National Forest, Ohio.
I know this is a ridiculous proposition, but if you never try, you never… experience rejection. I want solar panels for my abnormally long roof, but I can’t afford them yet. I propose a trade – in return for promotion, maybe a local or Canadian green energy company would like to lend or donate to me some solar panels? I would at the very least like to heat all the building’s hot water using solar/light energy. Older equipment/ adjustments or swaps etc are fine; beggars can’t be choosers. Yes, it’s half-selfish, but I’d like to publicly demonstrate how much power one building can collect even in Vancouver’s rainy climate. Apparently as solar panel technology improves, significant amounts of energy can be collected even in less sunny weathers. As some readers know I live in what was once a small wooden mission church near Vancouver’s Chinatown. While it’s small for a church, it has a surprisingly large, long roof – perfect for solar panels. It would be interesting to get the building as off-the-grid as possible – but not entirely off the grid, since I’d like to participate in BC Hydro’s grid tie-in program by which any surplus energy produced can be fed back into the grid (explanatory pdf is here) for a credit. Only a very small number of British Columbians are currently doing this – less than a hundred. If the BC government won’t properly support green energy R&D, citizens have to! I’m so disappointed by the current BC government’s antediluvian attitude to green energy (Offshore drilling! Shale gas! Massive private damming/diversion projects on pristine BC rivers without any form of environmental assessment whatsoever, following the near-complete dismantling of the Environment Ministry! And massive gov’t subsidies for the development of all of these corporate projects, while virtually zilch for green energy startups! Go see the musical!). I would like to see far more forward-thinking local policy in terms of significant subsidies for green R&D, a field in which British Columbia could have been more of a world leader had our leaders been more visionary. We’re running out of time to capture that edge. We need to insist on more political will.
One of my favourite solar companies is Zomeworks of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in business since the late 60s, and I’ve written about them before. But these also seem interesting: Home Energy Solutions, Energy Alternatives of Victoria, BC; and Canadian Solar in Ontario.
Photos are from sources worldwide via Flickr’s Creative Commons. Click on each photo for more information. Directly below, spot the solar panels in San Francisco.
Above, the UK Embassy’s solar panels in Rome, by UK in Italy. Below, energy for a Thai village.
Above, solar panels on Brighton Earthship, a green development in the UK.