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Egor Sanin's picture
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Seasoned engineering professional currently making a transition into the renewables industry. Learning and sharing perspectives on the energy transition.

  • Member since 2020
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  • Nov 18, 2020
  • 629 views

This is the kind of thing that drives learning and engagement. Local is important. We see evidence that individuals tend to be more educated and involved in politics when they are involved with their local community. Likewise, I think that if people are aware of and participate in energy initiatives at the local level, the global energy transition will be greatly assisted.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 18, 2020

Reminds me of the added benefits of putting solar panels in elementary schools too-- engage the kids about it, teach them, and see what community benefits might come down the line. This is really neat, though. Feels like some fun apocalyptic or steampunk vision where we still have PV tech but need to use rudimentary tools to make it work!

Nicholas Klank's picture
Nicholas Klank on Nov 18, 2020

Don't know if you saw this but a school in Arkansas has leveraged their solar savings to pay their teachers better. 

 

https://energynews.us/2020/10/16/southeast/this-arkansas-school-turned-s...

 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 19, 2020

Very cool-- talk about a win-win

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Nov 19, 2020

If you want to do a an art project using PV, great, make it small and put it in a city park where everyone can see it.

If you want to do a jobs program, fund it with taxes, not electricity sales (as that disproportionately effects the poor).  And I bet there are more beneficial make-work programs than taking something we already build and making it more expensive (the WPA left behind a lot of great parks, bridges, stadiums, etc).

I for one, have an idealogical preference for long-lived infrastructure.  Maintenance always costs much more than initial production.

Egor Sanin's picture
Egor Sanin on Nov 19, 2020

For sure I agree, and by no means am I suggesting that this is a viable at scale way to actually bring energy into the grid.

At the same time, making things cheaper is one of the ways we've run our environment into the ground. Bottom line isn't always the only consideration. In fact, in terms of the renewables industry, I find that perspective ironic.

But yes I don't think this article is suggesting to drop your extruded aluminum and head for the forests.

Henry Craver's picture
Henry Craver on Nov 26, 2020

So many feel-good solar projects fail in the longterm. Remember what happened when Elon Musk tried to save Puerto Rico with his pannels? I don't buy the whole community engadgement piece. People don't want to think about power. They just want it to work. 

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