Ahead of his time

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. -Thomas Edison, inventor (1847-1931)

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Solar Panels over Parking Lots

After seeing this on the news yesterday, I had one of those moments of – Duh, why didn’t I think of that? (a feeling that also happens when viewing contemporary art) In Sunnyvale, Ca, the parking lot of Applied Materials is covered in solar panels. Electric vehicles can charge up in that lot.

Why are we not covering every single parking lot south of San Francisco with such structures? I remember listening to a Science Friday on NPR that talked about solar panels and part of the problem is that there isn’t enough room for solar farms near where the power is needed, i.e. urban areas.

Well, doesn’t this just solve that problem? How many parking lots, huge parking lots, are there in L.A., in Pheonix, in Houston, that are just baking in the sun 300+ days of the year? Why are we not demanding these solar farms be built? They could be a revenue source by charging people to recharge their cars while they are at the mall or the movies or at Disneyland or the golf courses outside Palm Springs.

Why are we not doing this? Are projects like this in the Stimulus Package?

p.s. why are there golf courses in the desert?