“Solar Energy” discussions of the two distinct types are frequently muddled: Passive Solar & Active Solar. Ironically the “Active” version, with the symbolic PV (Photo-Voltaic) roof panels generating electricity is usually the first visual image when hearing “Solar Energy”. We’ll discuss Active later and the significance of both working in tandem.
One of the biggest challenges with getting people to adopt residential solar applications is to help overcome the initial investment needed. With numerous state and Federal tax incentives available, there is no greater time to invest in solar energy than now.
Our region’s electric power companies’ fuel mix is:
Non-Hydro Renewable 3%
(Source: U.S. EPA)
Electricity from the Sun
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (NWUUC) is combining energy conservation and a 22.7kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to reach its goal of a zero carbon emission facility.
The first phase of the solar PV system is a 20-module array installed in January 2009. Upon completion of all phases of the PV system there will be a total of 108-modules covering the sanctuary roof.
When completed the solar PV system will generate 2,540kWh/month or 30,480kWh/year of clean electricity.
Offsetting the same amount of electricity generated by coal-fired utility power plants will have the equivalent of one these annual positive effects on the environment:
- 47,905 pounds of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere
- 50 barrels of foreign oil not imported
- 2,466 gallons of gasoline not consumed
Engineer/Environmentalist Addresses 5 Misconceptions
By now, you’ve probably heard of the term “fracking” and have a foggy understanding that it has something to do with extracting natural gas from the ground. Unfortunately, the term has been spun to mean something new, unnatural, and rife with bad consequences, says engineer and environmentalist Greg Kozera.