One of the things that presents an uphill struggle for clean energy, and in particular solar and wind technology, is the cost of installation. Although we’ve improved, solar energy still costs more than conventional electricity, especially since the cost of installation comes before the benefit. When individuals buy a solar panel array with all its required systems, it costs a lot.
Maybe I’m the last to think of this – or maybe it’s been tried – but I’ll ask anyways: why don’t communities buy solar resources? An ideal situation would be a large strata corporation such as a group of townhouses. If they were to buy solar panels en masse, would they get a break on the purchase price and perhaps terms of loans? As well, (and I speak as a layman) I wonder if duplication of systems – batteries and inverters come to mind – could be eliminated. Would everyone still have to have their own? Perhaps these things could be located in a single building that serviced the entire strata.
Townhouses that were consuming little electricity – typically when the occupants were on holidays – would still contribute to the community grid, increasing the electrical resource to the group, or even selling it back to the local utility.
Social media is a new way of using existing, off-the-shelf technology. It didn’t require inventing a new kind of computer or internet – it’s just a new way of using existing resources. In our search for cheaper energy, maybe we can look into new ways of using what we already have.