Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus and Solar

According to the NY Times this weekend, the Long Island Power Authority is about to spend $14.4 million on solar and other energy efficient programs. Between the stimulus package increasing federal support for solar and renewable energy, NYS Gov. Paterson's solar energy goals, and LIPA's growing interest in alternative energies, the 2015 goal of 40% of NYS energy being derived from renewable sources seems a bit more than a fantasy. In fact, after rebates and incentives, putting solar on your roof could run about $10,000. Depending upon the building site, that could be paid off over time, with the average LI household paying $1,882 a year for electric. But the site is important and must get direct sunlight. The house above designed by Bouler Design Group, was turned on axis to capitalize on a direct southern exposure. Better yet, it is completely energy independent. By combining biodiesel, geothermal, and photovoltaic systems, the house is a prototype of what's possible for our future. My favorite part is the roof. Check out the "slate" shingles, which actually integrate the photovoltaic system without the panels. After its Shoreham debacle and the second most expensive KW in the world, wouldn't it be wonderful for Long Island to lead the way in renewable energy innovation?

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