March 29, 2007

Solar Energy

In theory solar energy is a great idea, in practice however, it is unpractical to use on a large scale basis. It does work great for things like calculators, trickle charges, etc.

The average American household uses about 866kwh per month of electricity. A typical home solar system can product 1600kwh per YEAR in a sunny climate and only 750kwh per month in a cloudy climate. Most systems have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. As with anything, there are routine maintenance items that need to be considered in reality, but are excluded from this discussion.

The basic household solar system has an initial cost of around $10,000. Therefore it will take over 60 years to recoup your initial cost in a sunny climate and over 123 years in a cloudy climate. (Assuming $0.08 per kwh plus a $12 fixed cost for electric, the monthly bill would be about $81. $10,000 divided by $162 for sunny climates and $10,000 divided by $81 for cloudy climates).

Assuming a lifespan of 20 years, a $10,000 solar project would cost the homeowner around $0.31 per kwh in a sunny climate and $0.66 per kwh in a cloudy climate.

Why mention this?

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes funds for a solar panel wall project at the Department of Energy’s Forrestal Building in Washington D.C. The bill authorized the use of $20 million for this project in 2006. The project was put on hold. In February of 2007, HR 798 authorizes the use of $30 million for this project.

Do we really need the federal government spending $30 million on an inefficient way of producing electricity? The federal government already has enough inefficiency’s! We don’t need any more.

Just my thoughts.


Roland said...

There is a cost to cleaner fuels. But I agree that spending is too far out of control. Too bad it won't stop them.

Anonymous said...

In your second to last paragraph, you mention "HR 798 authorizes the"...what does HR stand for?

Wesley Matthews said...

Good question. It is a way to organize and define the type of legislation.

Here are the letters that you may find in front of a number on a piece of legislation.

H.R. stands for House Bill
H.Con.Res = House Concurrent Resolution
H.Res = House Resolution
H.J.Res = House Joint Resolution
H.AMDT = House Amendment

Replace the H's with S's for the Senate bills.

The Unseen One said...

Symbolism over substance. The Halmark of American Leftism. It looks good, but does nothing to actually solve the problem. After all, if there is a problem, there is something around which to rally the troops!

Billiam said...

Typical. Solar, corn-a-hol, etc. are not the solution. Neither is Government funding. The answer, if you truly want to get away from fossil fuels, is the free market. Give tax breaks, but NOTHING else for research. And keep the oil companies out of it. It's in their interest to keep petrolium products in the forefront. This is not to disparage them. After all, it's what they make money on. Until such time as a viable alternative is available, however, to all the enviro-nuts out there, if you want to be less dependent on foreign oil, then let us drill for our own!