3 Jul 2008 ncm   » (Master)


Whenever I read a serious discussion of the prospects of solar power in the U.S., I read that huge expanses of land would be needed, presumed to be in faraway deserts, to cover with solar panels or mirrors. I look out the window, though, and see huge parking lots all around. These lots are mostly uncovered, but not because people don't want to park in covered spaces. Rather, it would cost money to roof them over. Roof them with solar power collectors, everybody benefits: the lot owner gets another income stream, the car owners get covered parking, and the power company avoids transmission costs and losses.

The same argument applies to sports stadiums. Warehouse and mall roofs would last much longer if shaded, and their owners' cooling bills would be lower. Many bridges would look better, and be safer in bad weather, covered; likewise freeways. It seems to me there is plenty of public and semi-public land that would benefit from another use.

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