Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘solar voltaics

The Solar Taxi

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Guy Dauncey writes in Common Ground about a Swiss teacher who has been driving around the world in a small electric vehcile with a bunch of sloar panels on a trailer. His name is Louis Palmer and he was in Vancouver in early July. Like me you will probably have missed him. The major media, of course, failed to notice. But you can follow his progress on his own web page.

I will leave the last word to Guy

The moral of this story is that you don’t need to be a genius to invent the future and help save the world. You just need to believe in your dreams, and when it comes to the details, ask other people for help.

And there is more about why electric vehciles are important on the Alernet

Written by Stephen Rees

August 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

Solar Panels on the Roof

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Only in the UK you say? Pity


We, a family of four, have produced 92% of our electricity usage from the roof of a century-old terraced house in south-east London – laying to rest the idea that Britain is not sunny enough for solar power.

I am fairly sure that I would have noticed if anyone was doing this round here. And, no, it is not only in the UK – the Germans, he says, are doing it even better.

The up front investment seems a bit steep – and why am I not surprised that the government there backed off sharpish once the take up rate showed thay had made it “too attractive”. Britain generates a lot of its electricity from coal and will have to start importing natural gas again as its own supply of North Sea gas is dwindling. So you would have thought that a bunch of householders volunteering to provide some additional green generating capacity would be good news.

It also seems to me to much more popular than anything to do with run of the river hydro, which was supposed to be so much better than big dams but now seems as popular as a root canal.

It has been a while since I toiled in this field, but I do recall an exhibition in Delta where the residents lined up to complain about Delta’s by laws which prevented them from even heating their water with the old fashioned black panel type solar heaters (I had one of those back in Ontario).

I thought the behavioural stuff was interesting too – but then no-one interviewed the family about Dad’s obsession with turning things off. I can just imagine the eye rolling when he talks about hair dryers. (Of course, I do not even own such a thing.)

The weather in London is not greatly different to here – although they get much less rain (it used to average 24″ a year in our school weather station). We are further south (49 not 51 like them) so that might help too. Although I do not recall snow in April in London

Written by Stephen Rees

April 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Posted in energy

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