Christian Solar Energy

Christian Solar Energy November 3, 2015

This came in over the transom.  Seems interesting:

Our Faith and the Environment:

Let us praise God by protecting the environment. As Christians we have an obligation to help stop global warming.

You could help by using solar power for your home. Also why pay more for dirty energy when you can pay less for clean energy? Solar power also increases the value of your house.

Sungevity is a great company with social values. They could install solar power as low as $0 down. They also handle all the paperwork, continually monitors and maintain your system. To get started please go to www.sungevity.com or call 866-786-4255. Get a free quote without cost or obligation. You could get $750 off using Referral Code 608053. Available in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NM, NY, and VT.

C’mon and join the Rooftop Revolution. It’s the right thing to do! It’s your time to shine!

N.J. Joseph

BestSolarElectric@gmail.com

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  • Joseph

    I hope to God it works. There’s a lot of politics involved with solar power as it alleviates the dependency on traditional power providers. They won’t give that up easily. In Ireland, they deliberately suppress the potential for solar power for anything but hot water because it would result in independence from the traditional electrical suppliers. It annoys me to no end. Same thing in cities like El Paso, TX where the sun shines 95% of the year. Solar energy just isn’t promoted, for obvious reasons.

    • Kathleen S.

      Yes, it seems that the big energy companies are always telling us how to conserve energy until we get too good at it. Then they try to still make money off you it seems by charging you more and adding fees.

      Still think it’s a great thing to do.

      Think about all the storms and power outages. You will still be able to keep your food cold, have water, and lights. The Old Order Amish live off the grid and manage very well. I used to shop at Miller’s grocery store in Bird In Hand, Pa. The whole grocery store was run without electric, the freezers, refrigerators, lights etc. It was awesome to see. Cool!! Speaking of ‘cool’, they maintained excellent indoor climate control both winter & summer.

      We can learn much from these people.

      • Pete the Greek

        “Think about all the storms and power outages.”
        – Unless you live in Iraq, your power system is going to be pretty darn stable.

        That said, you’ll have a couple of weeks tops when/if you have outages. In a storm that severe, can you count on your solar system not being damaged and getting enough light to function. That being said, it would be much more cost effective and reliable to have a medium load capable auxiliary power unit and extra fuel.

        That’s not to say that, in the future, solar panels won’t be a LOT more cost effective than they are now. As tech improves, it may be the way to go. Right now, absent soaking the taxpayers for subsidies and rebates? Not really.

        • Joseph

          That’s kind of the point. There seems to be a distinct lack of effort designing solar panels that are cost effective and strong enough to withstand the elements over time. The conspiracy theorist in me has me believing that it’s because the energy business is much too politically powerful to allow the plebeians to get off their teat. For a while, during the early days of wind energy, the Irish government was allowing some rural farmers to build their own wind turbines… that was initially stopped. Now the only ones allowed to build wind turbines in Ireland (marring the landscape, btw) are countries like the UK and those in mainland Europe. That’s right, the energy doesn’t even stay in the country. Just like Shell diesel. Pretty sad really how corrupt the government is here.

          • Pete the Greek

            That really sucks.

            Hey, on a slightly related note, you seem like the kind of guy that might be interested in this group. Not sure if you’ve heard of them before:

            opensourceecology.org

            Here is the link to their TED talk. Watch if first.

        • The UK grid will lose 24/7 availability, by plan, within the next two decades, or so said the head of the UK grid a few years back on BBC4.

          Yes, the UK is planning to leave the 1st world.

          • Pete the Greek

            Well, the US is planning to leave as well, just in a different way.

      • PalaceGuard

        Hereabouts, SDG&E prohibits you from running your solar in an outage, in order to prevent “backwash” into the lines that could zap their repairmen. You *can* get a switch setup to take you offline, which is fine during the day. Most solar salesweasels will not mention that option, and go deer-in-the-headlights when asked. I also suspect that the SDG&E will charge you to come out and throw the switch back once the outage is over.

        • Pete the Greek

          As far as switching over…

          On our family farm back home, we had a professional electrician install a switchover on our pole. But we have a large, diesel powered backup generator (bought surplus from the military). Yeah, you do NOT want to try to plug directly into your main line absent that, even on the sly.

          Only times we ever had outages was during massive ice storms, longest for about two weeks. During that time, we had almost no sun.

      • iamlucky13

        “Think about all the storms and power outages. You will still be able to keep your food cold, have water, and lights.”

        No you won’t, unless you spend a few thousand dollars extra to get a “grid interactive” setup with a battery pack large enough to keep the fridge and lights running for a day or two.

        Normal rooftop solar installations are not capable of running independently – obviously not at night, but also not even during the day. You need to have an inverter capable of regulating voltage and frequency on its own instead of simply matching what the grid provides and switching between grid and battery power, plus a battery pack to store energy and deliver it in the on/off pulses we usually use it in.

        Actually, you’ll usually have water, at least for a couple days, because municipal water supplies generally have enough stored locally in elevated towers where it can flow without pumps operating for that long.

        • PalaceGuard

          “Actually, you’ll usually have water, at least for a couple days, …” Unless you live in a rural town uphill from the nearest reservoir, and the water company just kinda forgot to have an extra fuse on hand to replace the one on the pump that went up in the wildfire. Nothing like planning ahead, and that was definitely nothing like planning ahead. Only took them a week and a half to get it all fixed. I was grateful to be on septic for that one.

    • PalaceGuard

      Is there actual sunshine in Ireland? The pics I see are always beautiful, but cloudy!

      • iamlucky13

        A common in joke in Ireland is, “I’m looking forward to summer. I hear it’s going to be on a Thursday this year.”

        In seriousness, sun breaks are reasonably frequent in Ireland, but multiple days in a row of clear skies are rare.

        Solar panels do generate electricity when it is cloudy, but not nearly as much as when it’s sunny. Depending how heavy the cloud cover is, you could get anywhere from 1/2 as much power as on sunny day to 1/50th as much power as on a sunny day.

        Texas, despite the bigoted stereotypes (which among other problems, ignore the fact that Texas has the 4th largest number of democrats of any state in the nation), actually has nearly as much total renewable energy as California and more on a per capita basis.

        The difference is Texas figured out that wind is far more cost effective in that state than solar and focuses most of their development on wind. California also has a decent amount of wind capacity, but sinks a lot more taxpayer money into solar.

  • Pete the Greek

    This has all the smell of those ‘BUY GOLD NOW! IT’S THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO!’ ads on the radio.

    “Let us praise God by protecting the environment. As Christians we have an obligation to help stop global warming.”
    – So, trying to slap the Christian badge on to sell a civilian legal rifle is DOUBLE PLUS UNGOOD, but slapping it on overpriced tech that soaks taxpayers for subsidies, totally cool. Got it.

    • PalaceGuard

      Or those, “patriotic” and “veteran” ads for this that or the other.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I’ll stick with the energy producer that pays our bills and keeps us off the streets.

    • Nate Winchester

      I’m sure there’s some very tacky humor to be mined from Catholics being the arbiters of what is acceptable Christian swag. 😉

  • Matt Swaim

    Sungevity. It would work if the sun would hold stiller.
    I kill me.

  • If you’re actually paying less then it’s a no brainer, even if global warming was exposed for the farce that it is. But the government is subsidizing that solar energy. Taxpayers are paying for the solar panels. There is no cost savings from a cost/benefit perspective. Now if you want to go ahead and claim that welfare for personal gain, then by all means get “your share” of the free stuff.

  • MClark7

    Pretty sure other foms of energy, eg as nuclear power, also soak the taxpayers for subsidies.

    OTOH the letter does sound more like an advertisement. Run the numbers for costs and savings and make an informed decision for your household.

    • iamlucky13

      They do, but not nearly as much. Nuclear subsidies are about $800 million in the US, which works out to 2-3% of the wholesale value of the electricity the nuclear industry generates. This is mostly indirect subsidies such as government maintenance and oversight of the fuel production and waste disposal infrastructure. Fossil fuel subsidies work out to a similar percentage. These subsidies could all be eliminated with no major impact to these energy sources.

      Solar gets a 30% direct subsidy just from the federal government at the installation stage of the process, with other subsidies occurring upstream for manufacturers. State subsidies usually add on top of that. Full market price net metering usually amounts to a roughly 50% subsidy (ie, power companies are mandated to pay 100% of retail price to buy electricity they would normally pay half that for (the grid that delivers the electricity costs roughly as much as the electricity itself)). My own state of Washington has an absurd solar “production incentive” that pays the solar system owner roughly 500% of the retail value of electricity regardless of whether they deliver it back to the grid or use it themselves.

      A common misconception about nuclear power is that the government pays for waste disposal and reactor decommissioning at the end of a reactor’s life. In actuality, the nuclear plant operators pay an extra tax that funds waste disposal (or did, until a certain president falsely masquerading as environmental concerned cancelled the program, set us back 30 years, and set the stage for the next Hanford mess – they still pay the tax, but the money spent so far was more or less thrown out by said president). The nuclear plant owners pay for decommissioning themselves, and are required to save up the money to pay for it ahead of time.

      If we wanted a sensible low carbon electricity portfolio, it would be based on nuclear power replacing all of our coal use and most of our natural gas use, complemented hydropower in the regions where it is viable, wind in the regions where it is viable, and solar in the regions where it is viable.

      Solar is particularly interesting for use in the southern parts of the country, because peak solar production occurs at roughly the same time of year and time of day that peak electricity demand does. It’s equally interesting for just how bad of a fit it is for northern parts of the country, where the opposite is true. It also can not be depended on solely anywhere because of the intermittent nature of it – and no, batteries are not a solution unless you want the price of your electricity to triple.

  • ivan_the_mad

    They have the right end in sight, although I doubt the efficacy of the means. Reducing consumption and ensuring a house is properly insulated and sealed are much more cost-effective and immediate means to achieve the same end. I think alternative construction technologies to stick frame will scale better, decrease energy demand, and provide better return than solar and wind (which is not to discourage research into those and related technologies, but I prefer to concentrate first on low-hanging fruit – some call it laziness, but I call it economy of effort ;).

  • PalaceGuard

    I’ll take a look at it, although my prob with going solar is that, in California, you need a minimum average monthly electric bill of $150 or more to even begin to break even. By that standard, I don’t qualify.

    • PalaceGuard

      Went to the site. Still not what I would want, or what would be cost-effective for me. (Also, BTW, despite the letter above, there is no reference which I could find on the site to Christian values.)

  • If you are planning to stay in that house for the next 20 years, this might be worth a risk but check your math twice and don’t count on present subsidies lasting the full period. These rooftop rental schemes kill home resale value.

    As for the christian aspect, we do not have a christian obligation to stop global warming. We have an obligation to care for the environment along with a lot of other obligations. Sacrificing the poor on an environmentalist altar to stop global warming is not a christian act. It’s important that we carefully discern what is actual environmentalism and what is hucksterism and scam that ends up going against what Christ wants for us.