I’m a big fan of distributed solar (rooftop solar), and I’ll tell you why. It’s super easy: No big solar arrays in desert tortoise habitat; no expensive never-ending environmental studies; no angry special interest groups; the list goes on.
This is something I mean to blog about in more detail, but for starters let us all agree that the amount of taxpayer money we have poured down the renewable energy drain under this administration is repulsive. $535 million for Solyndra alone, the bankrupt solar company that was supposed to do…what, exactly? And I’ve seen estimates up to $20 billion ($20,000,000,000) in taxpayer dollars thrown away on renewable energy companies under our grossly misnomered (my word) stimulus efforts. Remember, results only count in sports.
Look, for the $535 million we could have installed around 90,000 kilowatts of rooftop solar, and that’s a conservative estimate. An average grid-tied home requires a 2kw to 5kw system to offset at least half of its utility use. In a state like Arizona, that’s a lot homes adding rooftop solar, as many as 19,000 with 5kw systems.
Look, we’re not going to wean ourselves from coal anytime soon. Our immediate goal should be to supplement coal in the most expedient manner possible – distributed solar – so that we can reduce our coal reliance and associated negative externalities. It’s the smart thing to do.