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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where I complain about power

I received an e-mail last night inviting me to join the Alternative Energy Bloggers Network. I went and looked around the site, it looks like a link sharing program, with descriptions of blog posts that discuss energy. The site looks like it is still in it's infancy, and I am unsure of how I would really fit in with the more aggressive alternative energy bloggers out there.

One thing, I don't discuss energy except when I am making plans for my new home, and when I do, it's more about complaining about the price of things. $5,000 US for a solar water heater! No way an average person could afford that. As I said before, it may save you money in the long run, but if you don't have the initial money {most people don't} you are not going to buy the equipment for solar/wind/hydro energy. You'll have to buy the equipment slowly, when you can.

I read an article in Mother Earth News last month about building your own solar panels. My husband says good idea, still not feasible.

So where does that leave us? Passively conserving rather than actively changing. You can complain about consumption until your blue in the face, but until you can make the initial investment affordable to the average person, nothing will change. The consumers will almost always go to the lowest bidder, if Wal-mart sold solar panels, you can bet your farm that more people will go off the grid. It's not only the lack of education, or environmental caring that keeps people from alternative energies, it's the price. $120.00US per unit was the lowest I could find {min 32 units}

Sure there are folks out there that don't care. Yes, there are people that don't understand what the fuss is about or think that alternative energy is just a left wing propaganda. And who knows, it just might be, but what I do know is that those of us that are willing to change, those of us that wish to use alterative power don't always have the funds to do so, and we are left in the dark.

I went to DSIRE to see what type of incentives are available in Kansas after reading an article that stated many states are paying up to 70% of the investment costs. Kansas does not have a program for residential homes, unless you are a non-profit company. {You can check your own state through this link as well}

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Also I have been having problems responding to blogs. I am getting a little tired of blogger not only for this but unable to edit posts, change tags or clean up my side bar without messing up people's feeds.

5 comments:

Carl said...

That has always been my biggest gripe. I would love to go off grid solar however a stand alone solar system would cost an arm and a leg and that would not include Air Conditioning.

Good news is that harbor freight has a small (less then 45W/hour system that would be good for lighting a shed for $250 that includes panels wiring lightbulbs (12VDC CF) and a charge controller just add a deep cycle battery and go.

Im actually thinking about this system for a out building that is further away from the house then I want to run electric for a couple light bulbs.

BurdockBoy said...

I agree, The best us non-wealthy types that are concerned can do is practice conservation and simplicity and slowly work towards bigger steps such as panels, wind mills, solar heater etc. Hopefully more incentives will be sprouting up and the availability of technology will bring prices down.

Anonymous said...

Just as something you might want to check out, I was pointed at this place last year: http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php
I stress, I have NOT checked this out, don't know if it's legit and can't readily identify just how the heck they make a profit.
The gist of it is that if you have grid access to your place (I don't know if you do or not) THEY will install solar, support hardware, etc and sell you the power generated at the current rate your electric company charges for the rest of time. So no upfront costs, you're still paying for power (but it's local and green, and not going up in price)

Anonymous said...

Oh, a side thought since you're talking about power generation. You mention there are rivers nearby your place, do you happen to have a small creek or anything on your land? If you do you might want to look at some of the micro-hydro equipment out there. The small ones that don't take a lot of setup effort are fairly cheap, don't produce a lot of power, but do produce it as long as the water flows.

Phelan said...

Carl, thank for the heads up. I might think abut that for my out buidings as well.

Burdockboy, I hope so too.

anonymous, thank you. I did see something on the company the othe day. Seems a little strange to me, but more research is needed before I can make up my mind.

No, I do not have a creek on our land. We have thought about wind turbines, they seem to be a little less expencive than solar. And being in Kansas, the wind is constant.

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