SFGate.com wrote two articles concerning the future of solar in San Francisco. (#1, #2) I’m going to respond to the comments citizens made, and also some of the misguided claims of the article themselves. I’ll do Article 1 today, and the other article in a few days.
From the Article: “Among Bay Area counties, San Francisco ranks last in terms of solar energy installed per capita.”
Well, duh. How many people rent in SF vs. say, Walnut Creek, CA. Land owners with tenants have no incentive to install solar because their tenants pay the power bill. This statistic is utterly useless. The statistic that makes sense is solar power PER OWNER OCCUPIED HOUSEHOLD, which would be the most accurate measure of receptivity to solar. My guess is San Franciscans would kick butt in that solar statistic. But that number is hard to get, and the people won’t know the difference so let’s just make our point with a BS solar statistic. Twisted statistics in media that mean zip but sound like they mean something are probably my biggest pet peeve ever.
From the Article: San Francisco is setting the bar nationally and internationally for what cities can do to address global warming
Nationally, yes. I am in Shreveport, Louisiana right now, been here for a week. ZERO solar rooftop sightings. Internationally? HELL NO. Are you kidding me? If we
“Set the Bar” than we set it at one inch and Germany is Manute Bol on stilts with a jetpack. Set the bar. Please.
Rck Comment: The San Francisco solar map recommended in the article is visually striking but very misleading.
Yes, it is. It’s the Zillow.com of Solar Power… But it’s waaay better than nothing. It gets people excited about solar just the same way zillow gets people excited about their home value. Sure, the numbers are all wrong, and there’s no way you can get enough detail from google maps to calculate shading, orientation, and rooftop real estate, but it has info, links, and it gets the ball rolling. If you want correct data you have to do what Dr. Barry Levine, a San Francisco CS teacher is doing, and that involves local municipal involvement and human labor, so it’s not scalable… yet.
Rck Comment: Solar thermal electric is reportedly more efficient than photovoltaic.
Yes, it is, but it’s not cost effective for residential. Solar thermal electric is a technology that is based on aiming lots of mirrors at a steam powered generator, and requires a giant area, costs lots, and supplies more power than your house can use (for which PG&E is not going to write you a check). More efficient does not equal cheaper. Photovoltaics are the only game in town for San Francisco solar electricity, and it’s gonna be that way for years and years.
Last modified: October 17, 2018