The solar farm parking lot makes so much sense, yet appears to be rare in practice. I have seen a few cases of industrial parking lots covered with solar panels. The power is generated right where it is used, the cars get some shade, and the ground is already paved and is not degraded by the additional use. Many if not most industrial parking lots have good solar exposure. Commercial parking lots, especially in cities, are likely a more mixed bag, but could be workable.
Denise Kersting wrote: I think most in our country are just looking for the absolute minimum they have to pay especially for an item like electricity, that can't be shown off like a big screen tv, or a fancy car. I have hopes that this can change,
DH and I are convinced that most folks live pay check to pay check and beside the big screen tv and the fancy car all they are interested in is their football and beer.
I think to get everyone to go green is by doing it yourself and convincing just one other person by example. Then if that other person can convince someone ...
My electric company has a solar tour every year. They have a educational presentations then there is an opportunity to met local solar installers. Then they tour homes with solar photovoltaic systems and they even have a kids' solar car building workshop. Plus they even have a loan program that provides up to $20,000 in financing for solar projects.
We would like to go solar and are planning it in a small way but are not able to finance $20,000 for the fancy system.
Anne Miller wrote:We would like to go solar and are planning it in a small way but are not able to finance $20,000 for the fancy system.
I think this is the real answer to Wesley's original question, which was "What would be a good idea for selling green energy systems to everyone even though they are very expensive?"
And the answer (it seems to me) is "You can't." The question seems to assume that people have money but they just aren't spending it correctly. In reality, most folks simply don't have any "surplus" money that would let them buy the expensive alternative to the cheapest available thing that meets their daily needs.
Sure, there are rich and upper middle class and even middle-middle people who do have that luxury. But most people are stumbling through economic life with a list of urgent bills and a list of potential catastrophes hanging over them. "When is that tire going to blow and how am I gonna buy a new one when it does? Is my cavity going to start hurting again, only this time more than I can bear?" They pay the essential bills, they *hope* they have enough left over for beer and pizza, and they pray (or whatever they do instead) that the catastrophes don't happen too soon.
There's just no room in that lifestyle to spend 20% more on electricity because it's the right thing to do. If you can't make the green electricity actually cheaper, you can't sell it to people who are financially behind, and that's most people.
One of the reasons permaculture offers some hope is that it can enable people to meet some of their needs without so much dependence on mandatory monthly bills. Maybe I can't afford a $20,000 solar system (I can't) but it only cost me $2.00 to buy hops seeds on eBay; those vines now shade a couple of my windows during the heat of summer, and that big electricity bill is a bit smaller. Take this to geoff lawton extremes (sometimes I'm tempted to call his more lyrical effusions about abundance "Prosperity Gospel Permaculture") and maybe you can actually relieve people from the financial pressure they're under. If you've got money in your pocket and confidence that your bills are covered, then you might be amenable to a "pay 20% more for electricity because it's the right thing to do" pitch. But I really think you have to fix the financial strain before you can sell green anything that costs more than the normal grey stuff.