Thursday, August 03, 2006

Further to my previous post.....

..... I was surprised to find that the Guardian had printed some of my letter on the same topic today. Surprised because (a) I didn’t think it was one of my better ones and (b) they often ring up before publishing to check that the letter comes from who it says it comes from, but they didn’t this time.

Here’s the full version:

Dear Sir

By all means let's be "In praise of ... solar power" (Leader - Tuesday August 1, 2006) but, in the immortal words of the Who, let's hope "we don't get fooled again". Solar panels have to be manufactured and installed; this requires energy. Purchasers should ask how long will it take the gizmos to produce as much useable energy. Until that time is reached their output can't be considered to be 'green'. Unfortunately the answer both for solar panels and for domestic windmills, like the fashion statement which David Cameron is having installed, may well be longer than their expected lifetime.

yours faithfully.

Shame that they missed out the quote from the Who.......


At 14:54, Blogger Lobster Blogster said...

I wonder if the manufacturers of the first wheels had been set such a high test as yours whether we would have ever seen any of these new-fangled wheels coming into production.

At 17:51, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Thanks lobster for your comment. A couple of differences between wheels and renewable energy devices:

I don't think early wheels were sold by commission driven salespeople;

wheels are simple mechanical devices, renewable energy devices are quite complex and require some knowledge of thermodynamics, mechanical and electrical engineering to understand.

As my post says, I'm all for renewable energy. I do think however that people are going to be sold some rather suspect devices on the basis of the sorts of exaggerated claims that used to be made, for example, for double glazing.

Does that matter in a free market? Not really except that if people spend six thousand quid on a device that is unlikely to out a hundred quid's worth of electricity a year, they might think that 'they have done their bit for the environment' and happily go on driving their gas guzzlers and flying around the world. But they wouldn't have....

see also Pootergeek's post about the Independent and his comment in response to 'Buy a sphere'


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