MB425 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Solar is Hot in Chilly Vermont

Every energy technology pathway presents its own set of problems, and any choice must begin with efforts to reduce demand. Renewables such as solar, wind, and hydro, dramatically reduce the impacts of our energy system compared to continued reliance on nonrenewables of all kinds, including nuclear, especially when considering the life cycle of these alternative technologies. Building a renewable energy system in Vermont in effect brings the impacts of our energy use closer to home. The downside, well, we need to live within our own energy system. The upside, we have much more control in how that system develops. And given a 20-30 year lifespan of solar and wind, we avoid lock-in that you find with nonrenewable technologies. I'm optimistic that Vermont can take this on effectively, but we need to do so with due consideration to human and natural communities. At the same time, we cannot afford to check our pace too much. We'll need to learn as we go, thinking in terms of energy systems, rather than any one element. There is no easy solution, but we have much that we can do right now with existing technology, as demonstrated in this article.

I've also done a preliminary look at the issue of land use required, particularly in relation to biodiversity. While the study is not conclusive, it appears that we have considerable capacity here in Vermont, and would do well to continue to prioritize siting options, for example, as urban in-fill for solar PV. Find the report here: http://sciforum.net/conference/wsf-4/paper/2619

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by MB425 on 11/14/2014 at 9:16 AM

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