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June 2009
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Solar is the Future?

Wind vs. Solar – what is the future for providing sustainable, efficient energy. People argue both sides of the fence that each is superior to the other. I’m still undecided, although I do believe on an individual, house-to-house level that solar is far superior to wind (I can’t exactly install a massive wind turbine in my back yard but I can install solar panels on my roof).

BC housing complex upgrades with grid tie solar power

In a recent news release from Carmanah Technologies they announced that in Surrey, BC there was to be a large solar installation as part of a social housing upgrade. BC is committed to sustainable social housing and as such is installing solar panels on many of the 29 buildings and 127 town homes. By the middle of 2010, when installation is meant to be complete, the solar panels should have a capacity of 129kW.

I believe that more developments like this will be in our future; installing solar panels on an individual basis is simple and practical. Places like Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Rona sell the solar panels (photovoltaic cells).

Nobel Laureate dismisses wind

Jack Steinberger, the 1968 Nobel Prize winner says the wind projects should be cancelled, solar is the future. Why? His argument is quite simple. When the wind is not blowing we still have to rely on backup power. However, we have already tackled to solar energy storage problem. Solar on a large scale can involve mirrors and lenses, concentrating the energy; known as solar thermal energy. Again the technology to store this energy already exists, which again helps to discount the wind technology.

There will be a place for both in the future. I think wind will be on a smaller scale than originally anticipated and that solar will become part of household construction and upgrades.