It seems like the environmental train might finally be leaving the station! While there is an enormous amount of political and technological work to be done, a national movement towards solar and wind energy seems to be gaining momentum. Yesterday the Oregon Department of Highways announced they would be installing solar panels in highway divides to power lighting on the roads. The Columbia Gorge may soon feature the largest wind power development in the world. In a few months it’s being reported that we can look forward to a Toyota Prius that features solar panels to recharge batteries.
And as an owner of a solar-powered house I can add a personal testimonial. I just received my power bill for last month for the electricity to power a 3000 square foot house. The total – 14 cents. The bill to heat the swimming pool – zero – thanks to the solar water heating system.
Over the next few years there will be enormous debate over how to finance the needed solar and wind infrastructure, but we all have to consider the long term financial implication that makes a renewable power system different than most other investments. The sun and wind cost nothing, and when we pay off the hardware needed to produce the power, our major investment, aside from maintenance, is over, This is far different from fossil-based fuel systems that must be continually fed with an increasingly expensive declining resource.
Outfitting your house with green energy systems can seem a daunting expense, but with today’s high energy prices you can have a pretty quick payback when your electricity for a month costs 14 cents!