Thursday, December 9, 2010

Solar In Northern States Will Make Sense...Someday

Clearly I am on a solar kick, probably because it is just so damn sexy.

That and I recently talked some friends' ears off about the power grid and why we need more efficient means of distribution for alternative energy to work, so I'm just going to save that discussion (rant) for another day.

Today I was sitting around noticing how miserably cold it is outside and how happy I am that my radiant heaters are now fixed so they don't sound like espresso machines anymore.  Then a really broken line of thought broke out of my head:

Cold made me think of radiant heat
  Radiant heat made me think of microwaves;
    Microwaves made me think of food;
      Food made me think of a sandwich;
        Eating a sandwich made me sleepy;
          Being sleepy made me angry at the microwave for making me hungry;
            Thinking of the microwave somehow made me think of solar power.

Weird? Yes... But here we are.

At first I thought how it is too bad, by living in Chicago, solar power wouldn't make too much sense due to the lower levels of sun exposure during the fall and winter months.

However, after thinking more about it, solar would make a ton of sense for Chicago during the summer.  The single biggest line item on most people's electric bill is their air conditioner running during the brutally hot Chicago summer months.

It would be wonderful if solar got cheap enough where you could have a small panel to provide the electricity for an air conditioner without the traditional fear of a huge electric bill at the end of the month.

We aren't there yet, but peaking around the corner*, I do believe it is realistic that within the next 5 to 10 years solar power will have a low enough price tag that it could actually make sense to have some panels that you are really only using for a few months out of the year.

*..."peaking around the corner" made me think of this owl.

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