This is for all the folks that like to say, "We can't...it's tooo hard!
"It costs too much!"
"I don't wanna!"
Meegaswewa Village, Sri Lanka.
On a slightly larger scale, here's a little something they whipped out in Taiwan (photo and story provided by guardian.co.uk);
Taiwan recently finished construction on an incredible solar-powered stadium that will generate 100% of its electricity from photovoltaic technology! Designed by Toyo Ito, the dragon-shaped 50,000 seat arena is clad in 8,844 solar panels that illuminate the track and field with 3,300 lux. The project will officially open later this year to welcome the 2009 World Games.
Building a new stadium is always a massive undertaking that requires millions of dollars, substantial physical labor, and a vast amount of electricity to keep it operating. Toyo Ito's design negates this energy drain with a stunning 14,155 sq meter solar roof that is able to provide enough energy to power the stadium's 3,300 lights and two jumbo vision screens. To illustrate the incredible power of this system, officials ran a test this January and found that it took just six minutes to power up the stadium's entire lighting system!
The stadium also integrates additional green features such as permeable paving and the extensive use of reusable, domestically made materials. Built upon a clear area of approximately 19 hectares, nearly 7 hectares has been reserved for the development of integrated public green spaces, bike paths, sports parks, and an ecological pond. Additionally, all of the plants occupying the area before construction were transplanted.
Non-sports fans in the community have a lot to jump up and down for as well. Not only does the solar system provide electricity during the games, but the surplus energy will also be sold during the non-game period. On days where the stadium is not being used, the Taiwanese government plans to feed the extra energy into the local grid, where it will meet almost 80% of the neighboring area's energy requirements. Overall, the stadium will generate 1.14 million KWh per year, preventing the release of 660 tons of carbon dioxide into atmosphere annually.
Cool, huh? Think they thought of doing that when they built the new Shea? Yeah...not so much, I'm afraid. Here's a post from another writer, who I think is totally brilliant (and not just because he thinks the same way I do). After I posted my last entry, I found this guys article, which not only solidifies my opinion, but offers other benefits to the Solar program I had described that hadn't occurred to me. This is the article as it appeared in altenergy.com, and I'm including a link to the mag in the links section on the right;
Solar Federal Buildings Program
I love Harvey Sherback of Berkeley, California. He is the fact to my froth, the intellectual to my emotional, the left brain to my right. Harvey Sherback or Berkeley, California; you complete me.
The Federal Government owns approximately 500,000 buildings, including the White House. A half million buildings; that's a lot of rooftop space. Because our Government is the country's single largest energy consumer, using 1.6% of all the power generated in our nation I recommend a "Solar Federal Buildings Program". The Program will cover as many of these rooftops as possible with solar-electric roof panels, substrates, roof-shingles and tiles.
But I digress. Is the idea of panels simply too mundane? Want something creative, something nouveau, something fresh? Very well, alternative energy connoisseur! I give you solar balloons! Click the pic to read about them;
As mentioned in the article, "The design is also ideal for a multitude of off the grid applications, with the potential to bring power to deserts, isolated islands, ocean-bound freighters, and heavily forested landscapes. Additionally, the balloons’ eminently deployable nature makes them perfect for disaster and emergency situations, since the balloons are quick to set up and can be delivered via air."