Monday, January 26, 2009

Things I'm Not Quite Sure About pt. 1

So this was in the P-G and the Trib today.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today led off an all-day seminar for city building inspectors, planners, engineers and redevelopment officials on the potential for, and problems with, solar energy here. The mayor said that by fall, city government plans to install its first solar facility -- a hot water heating system -- on a fire house, either in Observatory Hill or Westwood....

Meanwhile, a city task force aided by research firm Sandia National Laboratories will continue to look at ways of evaluating other city buildings for transitioning to solar power, and ways of removing bureaucratic, financial and technical barriers to putting solar systems on private buildings...
Now, on one hand you have a move by the City to try to reduce dependence on sources of power that cause greenhouse gases.

On the other hand, you could probably do something comparable by something as simple as making sure the firehouses close their doors when they leave or turning off lights when people leave conference rooms.

On another hand, you have an opportunity to encourage local solar manufacturing and electrical services.

On a further hand, you have a city without a whole lot of sunny days which will still need to draw additional power from other sources during the winter months.

On a fifth hand, you have an opportunity for a really sexy public relations coup for the mayor, who can look all "hip" and "green" and "jiggy"... if the kids still use those words anymore.

On a sixth hand, it would probably be easier to plant a whole lot of trees in the City.

On a seventh hand, buying, installing, owning and maintaining large solar arrays on public buildings is probably not cost effective, which would necessitate some sort of leasing arrangement with private power firm to use the space to return additional power to the grid, with some extra power being generated for the city.

On the eighth hand, well, if you've gotten this far, you're probably an octopus.

I guess what I'm saying is that there are probably a whole bunch of really good compelling reasons for installing solar equipment in and for the City, but there are costs (both up front and opportunity) that probably offset much of this. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the City money and making the City more environmentally responsible, but it would probably be a whole easier to throw a whole load of insulation into 414 Grant Street, keeping all the hot air inside.


Anonymous said...

I recommend "While America Aged to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Eight ... eight ... I forget what eight was for but NINE ... NINE ...

O said...

Yeah, yeah they do it all the time.