September 1, 2008
Appeared in San Fernando Valley Sierra Club newsletter in September, 2008.
Bureaucratic Red Tape Casts Dark Cloud Over California’s Solar Initiative
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D
Bureaucratic red tape seriously hampered the California Solar Initiative. Illustration by Willis Simms.
California’s Solar Initiative (CSI) went into effect in January 2007, promising to boost solar electric-panel installations on both residential and commercial roofs. Instead, the law has seriously backfired because of bureaucratic red tape.
CSI aimed to put CA at the forefront of solar-generated electricity by offering customers rebates subsidized via the imposition of a surcharge on electricity bills. The plan was that increased demand would drive down costs over time and eventually make the program self-sustaining. However, two fatal flaws in the law have literally boomeranged its stated intent.
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September 1, 2007
- Appeared in Orange Coast Voice as Solar Energy Made Simple: How technology uses the sun’s power, September 2007, page 10.
Grabbing Some Rays or Solar Made Simple
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
Installing solar panels on a little less than 30 million homes and businesses could power the entire nation.
There is a wellspring of hope that 2007 is the tipping point in the fight against global warming.
This is the year that the hundreds of experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded, with near certainty, that global warming is for real. It is the year Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth turned “greenhouse gases” into an everyday household expression.
With the finger of blame pointing squarely at the reckless burning of fossil fuels, renewable energy has become the hottest of topics. Whereas renewables of every ilk will most likely fill important energy niches, solar energy dwarfs all others in ultimate potential because of the sheer abundance of sunlight.
Global energy consumption in the year 2004 averaged about 15 trillion watts (terawatts, TW), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface (120,000 TW) literally exceeds this global demand thousands of times over. In fact, Read the rest of this entry »