Tag Archive | solar energy equipment

San Francisco Requires New Buildings To Install Solar Panels

Workers install solar panels on the roof of a home in Camarillo, Calif., in 2013. San Francisco has recently decided to start requiring rooftop solar systems — electrical or heating — on new construction up to 10 stories tall.

Anne Cusack

San Francisco will soon begin requiring new buildings to have solar panels installed on the roof.

It’s the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement, according to Scott Weiner, the city supervisor who introduced the bill.

The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the city’s Board of Supervisors, builds on an existing California law requiring new buildings to set aside 15 percent of the roof as “solar ready” — clear and unshaded. That law applies to residential and commercial buildings 10 stories or shorter.

Now, instead of just preparing the roof for solar panels, such buildings would need to actually install some form of solar energy — either electricity-generating panels or solar heating units.

It’s a step toward San Francisco’s goal of meeting the city’s electrical demands with 100 percent renewable energy, Wiener notes in his statement.

“Activating underutilized roof space is a smart and efficient way to promote the use of solar energy and improve our environment,” he says. “We need to continue to pursue aggressive renewable energy policies to ensure a sustainable future for our city and our region.”

The legislation itself is even more explicit about San Francisco’s particular interest in finding energy sources that don’t contribute to climate change:

“As a coastal city located on the tip of a peninsula, San Francisco is vulnerable to sea level rise, and human activities releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere cause increases in worldwide average temperature, which contribute to melting of glaciers and thermal expansion of ocean water — resulting in rising sea levels.

“San Francisco is already experiencing the repercussions of excessive CO2 emissions as rising sea levels threaten the City’s shoreline and infrastructure, have caused significant erosion, increased impacts to infrastructure during extreme tides, and have caused the City to expend funds to modify the sewer system.”

Reaction to the ordinance has been mixed. Two of San Francisco’s former environment commissioners, both advocates for solar power, celebrated the news.

Fortune magazine notes that the new requirement is an extra hurdle for development in a city where new construction is already “notoriously difficult.”

But Engadget suggests the impact of the law might not be that dramatic — San Francisco isn’t seeing a ton of new buildings that are under 10 stories tall, the website says.

And Vox argues that boosting city density might have an even bigger impact on carbon levels than the solar panel law.

The new requirement goes into effect at the beginning of 2017.

The Advantages of Using Solar Power for Homes

There’s nothing wrong about being environment friendly. In fact, the Earth needs it because of the many problems it is currently facing such as global warming. To generate electricity, fossil fuels are needed but with the continuous burning of fuels, global warming will also become worse. Because of this fact, people are already opting for solar powered homes nowadays. You don’t need to be rich and famous to use solar power since the solar systems are more affordable these days.

There are advantages in using solar power for homes. How much are you paying for electricity bills every month? Many homeowners have aching pockets because of the costly electricity expenses. One way to reduce your bills is by opting for solar power.

You don’t need any wiring if you use solar power systems. For instance, for your garden lights and water features, you can use solar power. Most of the gadgets have darkness sensors and you no longer have to worry about turning them off. Solar lights are readily available and you will just need to take them out and place them in the right place where you want to get some good light.

Solar power is environment friendly. It is an excellent form of renewable and clean energy. You won’t contribute to pollution unlike fossil fuels. By using solar power systems like the solar cooker, solar thermal systems, and solar generators, you can cook without emissions. Thereby, you can help in saving the environment.

During the initial phase of using solar power, you will need to spend money. Just think of it as an investment where you can benefit in the long run. With under $500, you can already use solar power in your home. Solar power is free since you will use the sun’s energy to create electricity. You can make use of solar lights, solar panels, etc. Don’t cut off your conventional electricity supply even when you’re already using solar power. It’s not always sunny all throughout the year and so you will need to traditional electricity during rainy days. The best thing about solar power is that you can decrease your monthly electric bills. If you can convert your home into a full solar powered house, you can surely benefit greatly and you will not worry even if fuel prices increase.

Power outages usually occur when there are problems but as long as you have solar power, you can enjoy using electrical appliances continuously. For those who are interested in solar power, you can start with simple projects like the water features and lights in your garden. These features are easy to develop and you won’t need any wiring.

In everything you find here on earth, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. True enough, solar power has many advantages but you also need to look into the disadvantages. You need to weigh things first before you consider opting for solar powered homes.

Today, you can easily purchase solar power devices like flashlights, pool purifiers, ventilator, mosquito inhibitors, heaters, fountain pumps, radios, lighting, and many others. Prepare to spend for the solar power devices but don’t worry. After several months, you can now start saving a lot of money on your monthly bills. Think of it as a one-time investment and in the future, you can surely earn huge profits.