Friday, November 20, 2009

Solar Rant

I spent today at the launch Ceremony cum Conference (their spelling not mine) for the Hong Kong Green Building Council. I won't bore you with the details but one thing that is quite evident and has been getting on my t*ts for some time is the worldwide obsession with Zero Carbon Buildings is a load of tosh- the only Zero Carbon Buildings are mud huts fit for a caveman. All these Zero Carbon buildings are is buildings that consume x% less energy than normal rubbish buildings and make up the shortfall through inefficient locally generated power sources. Like PV panels that take 40 years to pay back their investment cost- it just doesn't make sense! There was a good reason why we moved to centralised power stations all those years ago- they offer economies of scale. And so centralised solar power stations also make sense- like this one, where reflectors that track the sun can maximise their effectiveness. It's all just a 'feel good factor', like carbon offsetting might make you feel that flying isn't bad for the environment. More emphasis should be put on quantifiable numbers, such as kilowatt hours consumed per m2 per annum, not bullsh*t tack on 'green features'. Rant over.