Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Consumer Technology

Why We Need More than Rooftops to Win the War Against Climate Change

Many environmentalists claim that we don’t need utility scale solar in our deserts because we could simply solar power America from our rooftops. Technically, this is true. Most houses do have the space for it. However, that fact alone is not enough. As someone who asks people if they would like to get (free) solar on their roof, for a living, I have disappointing news. A surprising number wouldn’t.

I would suggest that anyone who thinks that we can simply put solar on every roof, pick a block in any neighborhood, walk to each house and ask for yourselves.

Here’s what you’ll find:

Only six will have perfect solar roofs: but two of them will have been led to believe that solar power is a socialist plot; two will be renters who only wished they could go solar; and two will be too rich to bother about saving money or the environment. Two would love it, but their spouse won’t allow anything on the roof.

Four will indeed wish they could go solar, but have trees shading the roof, or have a mishmash of gables facing the wrong way (there must be some rule that if you love renewable energy and really want to do something about climate change, your roof will be just all wrong for solar!)

Three more will really just be unable to conceive of making their own electricity from solar. One can’t imagine how solar could be free, but is willing to take a look at it, but really wants to get back to watching American Idol.

One would love to do it but needs to fix the roof first and lacks the money for roof repair. One will be too old to contemplate any change. Only one will say: absolutely, let’s do it – that’s a really terrific idea!

And this is for free solar, because I’m telling them about a solar PPA: it competes with the utility with a lower price per kilowatt hour, so the cost issue has been resolved. This is how I learned that no matter how brilliant the solution to the impediments to solar adoption the free market alone will never put solar on every roof, the way that it put TV cable antennas on every roof.

This is why I support Feed in Tariffs and REC sales, so that people could actually earn cash from their solar roofs, as I think that could tip the scales more. And it’s why I support utility-scale solar. As individual consumers, we are all too fallible to be relied on to solve something as serious as climate change.

Or, here’s an idea. The government should use its wartime powers. It could simply requisition this energy resource beating down on all our roofs… almost as if we were in a war against climate change.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter
Image: Desert Vu

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

How to avoid burning a hole in your pocketbook and protect yourself from consumer scams about free solar panels. Sunlight is one of the...

Clean Power

We’ve all seen the ads for free solar panels on YouTube and Facebook – is there any truth to these claims? We pull back...

Clean Power

Landfills present an appealing option for solar — they are quiet and low profile, attract minimal vehicular traffic, and offer areas no more than...

Clean Power

Minnesota Power is one of the first major US utilities to derive 50% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.