Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A response from Grizno

I'm sure you know the feeling. As you read a blog/article you see the author taking some recent hopeful press release (about solar PV tech improvements that promise 50% cost reductions in the next few years--in this case) and twists the info around until you are practically facing despair because all this wonderful progress means nothing.

Mostly I just move on to the next blog, but this time I decided to strike back. Although this particular website does not offer a comment section (THE NERVE, I SAY!) undaunted I did find an email address with an invitation to I fired off my response. Well thanks to a quasi responsible blogger known as Lou Grizno, I was taken seriously and my comment (and Lou's reply) are now an official contribution to today's The Cost of Energy blog.

I do not dispute anything that Lou says in either the original post or the response. Solar PV is expensive when compared to the utility meter electricity rates. But the underlying premise that electricity from solar and electricity from the utility are equal is irresponsible. Either can power your computer monitor, but one of them is wrecking our environment.

It is like saying a shirt made in the US (following best employment and labor practices) is expensive when compared to one made by slave labor (or even modern day sweat shop labor). It is, but only in terms of $s. Is exploiting men, women and the environment ok as long as the end product is super cheap? or as long as the exploitation is done out of sight?
Grizno is perpetuating the story/fiction that it is ok, while kind of agreeing that it shouldn't be.

Self-hypocrisy alert...I don't own any renewable energy capacity, I live in the city, guzzle gas and suck down utility power at an enormous rate. But I have the decency to feel bad about it and am working on ways to improve the cost/benefit of renewables.


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