Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Energy of the Future; Energy of Now!

My good friends and neighbours, José and his daughter Laurence, have recently gone into the Electricity business (agricultural diversity).

The roofs on both these long old wooden 'séchoirs' (tobacco drying sheds, very similar to the one we own), are now covered with solar panels, and all the electricity produced goes exclusively to the French National Grid (do enlarge the picture to see properly).

I believe it'll be about 15 years before the initial investment is paid off, but after that it's pure profit from the sky.

I know there's some doubt over the pollution caused by the manufacture of such panels, but I'm sure that'll be sorted out before too long.

Isn't this what we should all be doing? We're certainly considering something similar for our séchoir; but for our own domestic use only, not to light up the whole of France. I'd love to watch TV, or run the washing machine, knowing that the electricity came free.

It'd be a big investment, but to be self-sufficient in both electricity and water is no longer a dream; it's available to all of us (yes; at a price).
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  1. You can probably see by the dried earth and clear blue sky, that we are already in need of rain. We haven't seen any for a month, and for the season of sowing, planting, and hay-making, that's something of a disaster. Even my rain-dance isn't working!

  2. Have a BBQ - that normally works for me. Have a BBQ and rain will come.

  3. Wash the car and hang laundry out to dry. Never fails.

  4. This makes me happy. WT finances large scale solar farms. We've been discussing panels for the manor.

  5. MBJ. I've just done both.... still nothing.

    Willow. We're at the 'discussion' stage too.

  6. I love the solar panel idea. Wind turbines too.

    As for rain, I don't know . . . Plan a wedding or picnic.

  7. Over here in our area now once the electric hot water breaks down we are not allowed to replace it with the same it must be solar which i think is a great idea, we are soon to do that as it would be easier to do while we are still working...as for full solar we are still under discussion , our daughter is about to do renovations and had planned to go all solar and was talked out of it...the builder said wait a while,as it will advance even more be a lot cheaper as all the companies are having a great time at present and things are not as good as they can be...so we will sit on it a little while it is a huge layout over here finacially to start,when you look around our little town almost every house and garage is covered with them..interesting times thats for sure there is even a wind turbine on the farm up the hill I love to see it going full force.

  8. I think solar panels are such a good idea and well worth the investment. I counted 52 on the side of the roof - they should do their bit for the national grid!

  9. We drove across Alligator Alley from Naples to Miami last week. Every road light we passed had its own mini solar panel underneath it. Brilliant!

  10. We recently had a quote for solar panels and the jury is still out - eleven years pay back time, energy cannot be stored but goes to the national grid not for us in the evening when we would want it. And last but not least the panels look plug ugly.
    Next I'm going to research ground source heat and will happily have our scruffy lawn dug up if it fits the bill.


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