Thursday, January 04, 2007

NYT Article on Solar Power in California

In today's New York Times is an article entitled Plugging into the Sun on the wave of solar power systems being installed in California. It contains the following testimonials:

WILLIAM LEININGER is not your typical environmental zealot. A Navy commander who works as a doctor at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, he is a Republican and lives in one of California’s most conservative counties, in a development of neat lawns and Spanish-style houses....

As a member of the military who has been deployed to the Persian Gulf three times, Dr. Leininger has been affected by the nation’s foreign oil habits more than most. “The need for stable oil supplies is the big reason that we spend so much time in the Persian Gulf,” he said. “Decreasing our national energy consumption is in my self-interest.”

Another guy they interviewed also has similar motives:

Mr. Felton, 67, said that a solar system did not make sense when he built his house in 2000, but that the rebate, as well as rising electricity prices, persuaded him to install the system last year. His pragmatic concerns were also informed by broader issues. “I’m not a hippie greenie,” he said, pointing out that with a background in nuclear engineering, he strongly supports nuclear power. “But solar is certainly a way to get off foreign oil.”

Sounds a bit like my story, although I'm not in the military or a big nuclear advocate, I'm also not a severe critic of either (but the present administration's policies, however, that is another matter).
It is interesting that people worried about foreign supplies go first to solar power like I did. I applaud all attempts to going solar and to increase green energy sources. The data point to transportation as the biggest sector using foreign oil, however, and we really need to fix that. Plug-in hybrids anyone?


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