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Hurricane Sandy: Leaders Urge for Solar Energy
By Tyler Collins

Hurricane Sandy barreled over much of New York and New Jersey and left power lines and pitch pine poles destroyed in its wake. With the increasing frequency of natural disasters, and the inability of antiquated copper wires and wooden poles to withstand such disasters, thought leaders are questioning the sensibility of the current power system.

In a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, David Crane, president of NRG, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, suggest the use of solar photovoltaic technology to reduce dependence on the electricity grid and fossil fuels. By installing solar panels on the roofs of millions of homes, stores, and factories, electricity can be generated even when the grid fails.

With the 80% drop in price of solar panels over the past five years, the cost of solar is as currently the same or lower than the price of grid power in 20 states across country.

The author’s note states that much of the costs (25-30%) of solar energy installation come from regulatory barriers.  Another important fact: Unlike all fossil fuel power sources, once a solar installation is built, the raw materials needed to generate power from the sun is zero (sunlight is free).

Crane and Kennedy, Jr. urge for the removal of costly regulations for solar energy so that infrastructure can be built that will not fail in the event of natural disasters, as seen with Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast.

Read the original article here.

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Posted: January 2, 2013