LETTERS to the Editor
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Focus on EVs
Like many energy experts, you are failing
to question certain assumptions (see “
Resolving the Biofuels Dilemma” by Carol Werner,
July/August issue). The problem is not the
energy; it is the technology we use to get
mobility, the internal combustion engine.
If we continue to try to use internal combustion engines, we will see all manner of
environmentally destructive solutions proposed, such as oil shale and coal-to-liquids
and biofuels. The convergent solution is to
kill the ICE and use a more efficient technology to give us personal mobility: electric. At
over 90 percent efficient, an electric vehicle’s drive system is nearly twice the energy-efficiency gain of changing from incandescent lights to CFLs.
We must understand that we don’t want
gasoline; we want mobility. Stop thinking
in mpg and start thinking in mp$. If your ICE
car gets 30 mpg and gas costs $3 per gallon
(ah, those were the days), you are getting
your mobility at a rate of 10 miles per dollar.
A well-designed EV will easily get you 10
times the MP$. China has built over 40 million EVs. Israel is creating Project Better Place
to eliminate the gasoline vehicle in less than
If you power that EV with PV, you have
not only created a renewable, green solution; you have also taken charge of the entire
supply chain for powering your mobility, as
well as bought a hedge against future cost
increases. No more wars for oil, no more
fears of peak oil, no more greenhouse gases
from the transportation sector, no more tune-ups or oil changes. …
When people realize this, we won’t be
able to get the new technology fast enough.
We will wonder why we ever hung on to our
old ICE cars for so long.
Boulder County, Colo.
for Solar Ready
The American Solar Energy Society should
set a goal for America to have 25 percent
of all new homes built solar ready by 2015.
A solar-ready home has a planned, well-thought-out place for olar water heating
and/or solar electric equipment and a chase
to connect solar panels to other equipment.
Solar ready lowers the costs and other barriers to adding solar at the time of sale or at a
Here are reasons that this would be a
good campaign for ASES:
• It is easy for people to join in and ask,
“Is this home solar ready?”
• It is easy for builders/architects to
participate in that there is little upfront cost.
• The program would get more key
people talking about, considering and planning for solar.
• The program is voluntary and does not
require (but could include) actions by governmental bodies.
• It would likely stimulate more passive
• It would be a truly nationwide program
that could be promoted in all 50 states
regardless of the level of state and local
SACRAMENTO MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT
A quarter of all new U.S. homes should be
built solar ready by 2015.
Why this would be successful:
• People want solar, and this creates an
easy way to ask for it: “Can I see your solar-ready homes, please?”
• It gives builders and architects a way to
please customers without a large upfront
• Builders would be creating the optional possibility to sell more solar.
• System costs could be included in the
This is an achievable and meaningful goal
that ASES has the tools, contacts and nationwide leadership to make happen. If not ASES,
then who will do this?
Heartland Renewable Energy Society
ASES’ Kansas Chapter
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