Observations of a Non-Scientist about Sustainable Living, Renewable Energy and the Power of the Sun.

Get Organized

WHEN SPIDERS UNITE THEY CAN TIE DOWN A LION.
-Ethiopian proverb

Save some for the next guy.


“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living with a sense of purpose in life




Conclusion:

A sense of purpose in life also gives you this considerable advantage:
"People with a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease."

The conclusions come from over 136,000 people who took part in 10 different studies.

Participants in the studies were mostly from the US and Japan.


The US studies asked people:
  • how useful they felt to others,
  • about their sense of purpose, and
  • the meaning they got out of life.


The Japanese studies asked people about ‘ikigai’ or whether their life was worth living.

The participants, whose average age was 67, were tracked for around 7 years.

During that time almost 20,000 died.
 
But, amongst those with a strong sense of purpose or high ‘ikigai’, the risk of death was one-fifth lower.

Despite the link between sense of purpose and health being so intuitive, scientists are not sure of the mechanism.

Sense of purpose is likely to improve health by strengthening the body against stress.

It is also likely to be linked to healthier behaviours.

Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Of note, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality motivation and resilience.
Nevertheless, the medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators.
The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.”

This research on links between sense of purpose in life and longevity is getting stronger all the time:
  • “A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.
No matter what your age, then, it’s worth thinking about what gives your life meaning.”



Read More:

Find out what kinds of things people say give their lives meaning.
Here’s an exercise for increasing meaningfulness
And a study finding that feeling you belong increases the sense of meaning.

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Cohen et al., 2015).




A sense of purpose in life
Link: http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/12/here-is-why-a-sense-of-purpose-in-life-is-important-for-health

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Future Solar Panels Will Generate Energy From Raindrops


  April 9, 2016

A new solar cell prototype developed by a team of scientists in Qingdao, China may change the way we use solar panels in the not so distant future. 

Solar panel technology has changed the way many people bring energy into their homes, but this type of technology has always posed one concern: panels cannot output optimal power without ideal weather conditions. When you have rainy days or a lot of cloud cover, there is only so much energy that panels can store for later use. While engineers and material scientists have been able to make their efficiency far better over the years, with solar panels that store decent amounts of energy to be used when sun is not readily available, there has never quite been a development like the one discovered this year.

Chinese scientists are now able to create electricity with the assistance of raindrops. This is thanks to a thin layer of graphene they use to coat their solar cells during testing. Graphene is known for its conductivity, among many other benefits. All it takes is a mere one-atom thick graphene layer for an excessive amount of electrons to move as they wish across the surface. In situations where water is present, graphene binds its electrons with positively charged ions. Some of you may know this process to be called as the Lewis acid-base interaction.

These new solar cells can be stimulated by incident light on sunny days and raindrops when it’s raining, yielding an optimal energy conversion efficiency of 6.53 % under 1.5 atmosphere thickness irradiation and current over µA, along with a voltage of hundreds of mV by simulated raindrops.

The salt contained in rain separates into ions (ammonium, calcium and sodium), making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy. The water actually clings to the graphene, forming a dual layer (AKA pseudocapacitor) with the graphene electrons. The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.

These new all-weather solar cells are discussed in depth in the Angewandte Chemie journal.




 Link: http://sciencenewsjournal.com/future-solar-panels-will-generate-energy-raindrops/



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Was Jane Jacobs right?

Jane Jacobs’ 100th birthday

Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter)
Design / Urban Design
May3, 2016


May 4 would have been Jane Jacobs' 100th birthday. We look at her impact.

 

Was Jane Jacobs right?



In Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs took on New York's Master Builder and transformed the American City, Anthony Flint summarizes her philosophy about how cities work best:
Jacobs made four basic recommendations for successful neighborhoods: a street or district must serve several primary functions; blocks should be short to make the pedestrian feel comfortable; buildings must vary in age, condition, and use; and population must be dense. Hudson Street—unplanned in contrast to the grand housing developments of urban renewal—was a perfect example of diversity and strength in numbers, what Jacobs referred to as “eyes on the street.” Whether neighbors or strangers, people are safer in dense areas because they are almost never alone.
Jane also became a touchstone for architectural preservationists; again Flint, writing about the Penn Station battle:
Jacobs was leery of the idea of trying to freeze a neighborhood in time and put it under a kind of museum glass, but she did object to the wanton demolition of historic buildings. ...But the demolition was a turning point, as it forced many New Yorkers to recognize what Jacobs was saying: that new was not necessarily better, and that there was value—human and cultural capital—in the built environment that already existed around them.


Jane also became a touchstone for architectural preservationists; again Flint, writing about the Penn Station battle:
Jacobs was leery of the idea of trying to freeze a neighborhood in time and put it under a kind of museum glass, but she did object to the wanton demolition of historic buildings. ...But the demolition was a turning point, as it forced many New Yorkers to recognize what Jacobs was saying: that new was not necessarily better, and that there was value—human and cultural capital—in the built environment that already existed around them.
But her words are an anathema to many in the so-called market urbanist school, who see all of this preservation of older buildings as an impediment to development; as Steve Waldman explains, these market urbanists...
...argue that cities should eliminate restrictive zoning and other regulatory barriers to development, then let the free-market create housing supply. In a competitive marketplace, high prices are supposed to be their own cure. Zoning restrictions, urban permitting, and the de facto capacity of existing residents to veto new development are barriers to entry that prevent the magic of competition from taking hold and solving the problem.
Which is where we are today, with economists like Ed Glaeser, Ryan Avent and writers like Matt Yglesias and Alex Steffen persuading many that Jane Jacobs was wrong, and Felix Salmon defending crappy towers filled with rich people by saying "Better we have a living city with a couple of less-than-perfect buildings, than a stifled one governed by nostalgists and Nimbys." Glaeser has written that "An absolute victory for Jacobs means a city frozen in concrete with prices that are too high and buildings that are too low."
Toronto street viewNothing but banks and chain stores to be seen on this street/ Google street view/Screen capture
In fact, in Toronto, the city where Jane Jacobs lived the last 37 years of her life, you can see what happens if you let this happen. Yes, there is a boom in housing, with lots of relatively affordable small units that are full of a monoculture of childless young people, with the ground floor plane filled with a monoculture of chain restaurants, banks and drugstores. Because as Jane wrote in the Death and Life of Great American Cities,
[Businesses] that support the cost of new construction must be capable of paying a relatively high overhead. If you look about, you will see that only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or heavily subsidized can afford, commonly, to carry the costs of new construction. Chain stores, chain restaurants and banks go into new construction. But neighborhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings. Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do.
florence market

CC BY 2.0 Jane Jacobs/ Wikipedia
May 4 would have been Jane Jacobs' 100th birthday. We look at her impact.
In Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs took on New York's Master Builder and transformed the American City, Anthony Flint summarizes her philosophy about how cities work best:
Jacobs made four basic recommendations for successful neighborhoods: a street or district must serve several primary functions; blocks should be short to make the pedestrian feel comfortable; buildings must vary in age, condition, and use; and population must be dense. Hudson Street—unplanned in contrast to the grand housing developments of urban renewal—was a perfect example of diversity and strength in numbers, what Jacobs referred to as “eyes on the street.” Whether neighbors or strangers, people are safer in dense areas because they are almost never alone.
Jane also became a touchstone for architectural preservationists; again Flint, writing about the Penn Station battle:
Jacobs was leery of the idea of trying to freeze a neighborhood in time and put it under a kind of museum glass, but she did object to the wanton demolition of historic buildings. ...But the demolition was a turning point, as it forced many New Yorkers to recognize what Jacobs was saying: that new was not necessarily better, and that there was value—human and cultural capital—in the built environment that already existed around them.
But her words are an anathema to many in the so-called market urbanist school, who see all of this preservation of older buildings as an impediment to development; as Steve Waldman explains, these market urbanists...
...argue that cities should eliminate restrictive zoning and other regulatory barriers to development, then let the free-market create housing supply. In a competitive marketplace, high prices are supposed to be their own cure. Zoning restrictions, urban permitting, and the de facto capacity of existing residents to veto new development are barriers to entry that prevent the magic of competition from taking hold and solving the problem.
Which is where we are today, with economists like Ed Glaeser, Ryan Avent and writers like Matt Yglesias and Alex Steffen persuading many that Jane Jacobs was wrong, and Felix Salmon defending crappy towers filled with rich people by saying "Better we have a living city with a couple of less-than-perfect buildings, than a stifled one governed by nostalgists and Nimbys." Glaeser has written that "An absolute victory for Jacobs means a city frozen in concrete with prices that are too high and buildings that are too low."
Toronto street viewNothing but banks and chain stores to be seen on this street/ Google street view/Screen capture
In fact, in Toronto, the city where Jane Jacobs lived the last 37 years of her life, you can see what happens if you let this happen. Yes, there is a boom in housing, with lots of relatively affordable small units that are full of a monoculture of childless young people, with the ground floor plane filled with a monoculture of chain restaurants, banks and drugstores. Because as Jane wrote in the Death and Life of Great American Cities,
[Businesses] that support the cost of new construction must be capable of paying a relatively high overhead. If you look about, you will see that only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or heavily subsidized can afford, commonly, to carry the costs of new construction. Chain stores, chain restaurants and banks go into new construction. But neighborhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings. Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do.
florence marketLloyd Alter/ market in Florence/CC BY 2.0
Jane Jacobs did her research just by looking around and watching the sidewalk ballet, but others are now using more sophisticated methods to show that she was right. at the University of Trento and his team have examined six cities in Italy to test Jacobs' four conditions of multiple functions, small blocks, mixed age and relatively high density. Instead of eyes on the street, they used big data: Technology Review explains:
De Nadai and co have come up with a much cheaper and quicker alternative using a new generation of city databases and the way people use social media and mobile phones. The new databases include OpenStreetMap, the collaborative mapping tool; census data, which records populations and building use; land use data, which uses satellite images to classify land use according to various categories; Foursquare data, which records geographic details about personal activity; and mobile-phone records showing the number and frequency of calls in an area.
Their conclusions: “Active Italian districts have dense concentrations of office workers, third places at walking distance, small streets, and historical buildings.” Denise Pinto of Jane's Walks in Toronto tells Luke Simcoe of Metro News:
When Jane wrote about her observations of the street, she was working from her own opinions and experiences. We often don’t look at those as rigorous, but we should. The way people experience their cities is important. It comes down to how we all co-exist in this messy system of the city.
milan and rome
Marco De Nadai
It should be noted that one can build new buildings at reasonable density, keeping Jacobs' four conditions in mind. Rome and Milan and other European cities are quite dense without going tall. New buildings don't all have to be sparkly towers but can be midrise, infill, transit oriented development. Who knows, perhaps even the nostalgists and NIMBYs will welcome it.




Source: http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/was-jane-jacobs-right.html?utm_content=buffer881ba&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Trends shaping the grid of the future




Trends shaping the grid of the future


A Deloitte study finds 'alternative energy’s shift to the mainstream is largely complete and likely irreversible'

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Solar Deities


Construction for the first phase of Morocco’s Noor 1 power plant is nearing completion. Once complete in 2020, the solar farm will be the largest of its kind in the world. 

But even now, the plant’s half-million solar mirrors are already visible from space.

There’s no question that solar power is the future, an energy trend that’s fueling the development of massive solar farms in such places as California, China, and elsewhere. 

And where better to put these plants than in the desert—areas that feature plenty of sunshine and vast expanses of land that are otherwise useless and inhospitable. 

Morocco’s up-and-coming Noor 1 CSP plant is a prime example. 

The first phase of this concentrated solar power plant, which is being built in the Sahara Desert near the town of Ouarzazate, is almost finished. 

In the middle of nowhere: the plant is 10 miles from the closest town.

A Massive Solar Power Plant Is Taking Shape in the Sahara Desert

A Massive Solar Power Plant Is Taking Shape in the Sahara Desert 
A view from the ground (Credit: AP)

http://gizmodo.com/watch-a-massive-solar-power-plant-take-shape-in-the-sah-1752261396


Sun Gods and Sun Goddesses

Is it any wonder ancients worshiped the Sun?

Greek Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion - Harald Sund/ Photographer's Choice RF/ getty Images


In ancient cultures, where you find gods with specialized functions, you'll probably find a sun god or goddess.

Many are humanoid and ride or drive a vessel of sort across the sky. It may be a boat, a chariot, or a cup.

The sun god of the Greeks and Romans rode in a 4-horse (Pyrios, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon) chariot.

There may be more than one god of the sun. The Egyptians differentiated among the aspects of the sun, and had several gods associated with it: Khepri for the rising sun, Atum, the setting, and Ra, at noon, who rode across the sky in a solar bark.

The Greeks and Romans also had more than one sun god.

You may notice that most sun deities are male and act as counterparts to female moon deities, but don't take this as a given. There are goddesses of the sun just as there are male deities of the moon.



Is it any wonder ancients worshiped the Sun?

Name  Nationality/Religion  God or Goddess or ?
 Amaterasu Japan Sun Goddess 
Arinna (Hebat) Hittite (Syrian) Sun Goddess 
Apollo Greece and Rome Sun God 
Freyr Norse Sun God Not the main Norse sun god, but a fertility god associated with the sun.
Garuda Hindu Bird God
Helios (Helius) Greece Sun God Before Apollo was the Greek sun god, Helios held that position.
Hepa Hittite Sun Goddess The consort of a weather god, she was assimilated with the sun goddess 
Arinna.Huitzilopochtli (Uitzilopochtli)  Aztec Sun God 
Hvar Khshaita Iranian/Persian Sun God Earlier than Mithras.
Inti  Inca  Sun God  
Liza West African Sun God
Lugh Celtic Sun God 
MithrasIranian/Persian Sun God"Mit(h)ra(s) and the Myths of the Sun" David H. Sick. Numen (2004)
Re (Ra) Egypt Mid-day Sun God An Egyptian god shown with a solar disk. Center of worship was Heliopolis. Later associated with Horus as Re-Horakhty. Also combined with Amun as Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. 
Shemesh/Shepesh Ugarit Sun goddess 
Sol (Sunna)Norse Sun Goddess She rides in a horse-drawn solar chariot.
Sol Invictus Roman Sun God
The unconquered sun. A late Roman sun god. The title was also used of Mithras
Surya Hindu Sun God Rides the sky in a horse-drawn chariot. 
Tonatiuh Aztec Sun God
  
Utu (Shamash) Mesopotamia Sun God 




http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/sungodsgoddesses/a/070809sungods.htm



Anxiety: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened”. –Michel de Montaigne




Have you seen a happier #elephant before? Meet #Chanchal ! Read more about her here; http://bit.ly/1RvTbmJ 
Embedded image permalink




Friday, October 16, 2015

Virus could boost Solar Cell Efficiency

 



Nature World News@NatureWorldNews 6 hours ago
Genetically Engineered Virus Could Boost Solar Cell Efficiency, New Study Shows [VIDEO]  




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CLEARING THE WAY FOR SOLAR


2013

TODAY’S STUDY: CLEARING THE WAY FOR SOLAR



A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; Encouraging Solar Development through Community Association Policies and Processes

Philip Haddix, June 2013 (The Solar Foundation)

Abstract

Community associations play a vital role in protecting a homeowner’s investment in their residence and property. In the case of solar energy, association covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) and architectural guidelines can dissuade some owners from pursuing an opportunity to enhance the value of their property while reaping important environmental benefits. Recognizing this, many state legislatures have enacted “solar rights” policies limiting associations’ ability to prohibit or restrict solar energy devices. Often, these state-level provisions are a necessary, but not in themselves sufficient, means of ensuring homeowners have access to solar energy and its benefits. Fortunately, there are a number of relatively simple actions an association can take to encourage solar development without further ceding their authority to impose and enforce rules designed to protect the value and quality of the communities they govern. This guide, written for association boards of directors and architectural review committees, discusses the advantages of solar energy and examines the elements of state solar rights provisions designed to protect homeowner access to these benefits. It then presents a number of recommendations associations can use to help bring solar to their communities, including: (1) improving processes and rules through understanding the technical aspects of solar energy and how restrictions can negatively affect a system’s performance; (2) improving the clarity and specificity of association solar guidelines and making them easily accessible to homeowners, and; (3) convening stakeholder meetings to produce practical guidelines that accurately reflect the needs and values of the community.




I. Introduction

Community associations play a vital role in protecting a homeowner’s investment in their residence and property. Through established rules and guidelines governing whether and how certain activities can take place in the communities they manage, associations work to protect and enhance property values and ensure residents are able to enjoy a high quality of life. In the case of solar energy, however, the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) limiting residents’ rights of ownership can have the opposite effect – depriving homeowners of an opportunity to enhance the value of their property, preventing them from fully embracing a clean energy technology that helps protect human health and the environment, and negatively impacting the economic value of their investment in an alternative means of meeting their energy demand. Given this, several states have adopted measures restricting or clarifying the restrictions associations may place on solar energy systems in their communities. On their own, these state laws (or “solar rights provisions”) are often not sufficient for striking the balance between association and homeowner interests required to allow solar energy to flourish in these communities. Fortunately, there are a few relatively simple actions associations can take to help facilitate solar development while allowing them to continue to regulate activities that might threaten the value or enjoyment of the communities they govern. This guide provides communities with straightforward recommendations and resources designed to reduce association-based barriers to solar development. Because state solar rights provisions (where they apply) influence which actions an association is permitted to take, a significant portion of this guide is dedicated to examining, classifying, and understanding these laws. Before delving into these topics, however, it is important to understand the basics of solar energy and the benefits it can bring.


click to enlarge

II. Solar Energy: Basics, Benefits, and Barriers

The Opportunity

Association-governed communities hold immense potential for solar energy development. According to the Community Associations Institute, associations represent over 25 million housing units. Of these, approximately 13 million (52%) are structures most suitable for residential solar installations – such as townhouses and homes in gated communities or subdivisions (i.e., properties governed by homeowners associations as opposed to condominiums or cooperatives).2 If only 5% of these homes were to invest in an average-sized residential solar energy system, it would add 3.3 gigawatts (GW) of clean power capacity to the electric grid – as much solar energy as was added in the entire U.S. in 2012.3 This figure represents an annual reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of over 6 million tons,4or the equivalent of taking over 1.1 million vehicles off the road.5

Photovoltaic (PV) arrays are by far the most common form of residential solar installation. These systems collect photons from the sun and convert the energy they contain into useful solar electricity. The fundamental unit of a PV array is a solar cell, composed primarily of a semiconductor material, where the conversion of light to electricity takes place. As the output of these cells is relatively small they are packaged together into larger units called modules (or panels), which in turn are combined to form PV arrays. Apart from the PV modules, there are a number of “balance of system” components required for the array to function – including inverters, mounting or racking equipment, disconnect switches, combiner boxes, and wires and connectors.i Figure 1 below provides a basic illustration of how these components fit together to form a residential solar electric system.


click to enlarge

The Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy, like many renewable energy technologies, is highly regarded for its ability to produce electricity with limited environmental impacts. A national poll, conducted in fall 2012, showed that over 90% of Americans support solar energy development.6 Despite this strong level of support, many may not be fully aware of the broad range of benefits solar energy provides or that residential solar energy is a highly advantageous application of the technology…

Association Motivations to Restrict Solar

Despite the value of these benefits and the availability of the technological means to obtain them, solar energy continues to face significant barriers (both public and private) at the local level. In community and homeowners associations, these barriers typically take the form of CC&Rs and guidelines limiting solar development. It is important to keep in mind, however, that an association is not necessarily acting arbitrarily in developing and enforcing these restrictions. In fact, there are a number of legitimate reasons an association would want to restrict solar energy development in the communities they govern. As later sections of this guide will show, it is possible for a solar-savvy association to develop carefully crafted and clearly worded guidelines that promote solar energy development while protecting other community interests, including:

Community Aesthetics

Planned communities are often designed with a particular aesthetic theme or appeal in mind. Subsequent development or property improvements that are incongruous with established community aesthetics can diminish property values or threaten owners’ ability to use and enjoy their property. Prioritizing aesthetics over solar development often means restricting a solar energy system’s size, placement, tilt, or orientation (or all of these). As discussed in Section IV of this guide, such restrictions can have a negative impact on a solar array’s electricity production, which in turn reduces the economic value of the solar investment.


click to enlarge

Tree Preservation and Planting

Tree coverage can not only contribute to a community’s aesthetic appeal, but can provide important environmental and economic benefits as well. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), a harmful greenhouse gas, and help trap other pollutants that can threaten human health. These and other plants help manage stormwater runoff and reduce soil erosion. Shade produced by trees can increase comfort both inside the home (reducing the amount of sunlight entering through windows – thereby helping to manage cooling demands) and outdoors. Unfortunately, shade from trees can block a solar collector’s access to sunlight and impair its ability to function as designed.

Health and Safety

Associations may also wish to control the placement of solar energy systems in order to ensure residents’ health and safety. Fortunately, industry certifications, product safety standards, and local and national codes governing electrical and structural work have greatly reduced the need for associations to assume this responsibility.

III. Solar Rights Provisions

The economic feasibility of a homeowner’s investment in solar energy hinges on the amount of solar electricity a system is able to produce, which in turn depends upon the amount of solar radiation (i.e., sunlight) the system collects. As noted above, the control some CC&Rs give to associations over whether and how a solar energy system can be installed can negatively impact a system’s access to sunlight and result in a significant reduction in the value of the homeowner’s investment. Recognizing this, many states have chosen to ensure solar access through legislation containing either a provision protecting solar rights –the ability of a homeowner to install a solar energy system on his or her property – or allowing for the creation of solar easements, which are legally binding agreements that protect a system from future obstructions.

Solar rights provisions target public and/or private prohibitions or restrictions on the installation of solar energy systems, and are therefore the aspect of solar access law of greatest interest (or concern) to community and homeowners associations. As of the writing of this guide, 22 states have adopted solar rights provisions that expressly limit (to varying degrees) associations’ abilities to exercise control over solar energy installations through their CC&Rs.

Common Elements

Solar rights provisions pertaining to community or homeowners associations vary significantly between states. Some add only a few lines of broad language to existing state statutes, while others are much more specific on which policies or practices are permissible and on the roles and responsibilities of the parties to which the laws apply. Despite this diversity, a review of current solar rights provisions reveals a number of common elements that help protect citizens’ rights to go solar.


click to enlarge

Statement of Legislative Intent…Voiding Prohibitions Against Solar…Allowable Restrictions…Applicability to Structures…Awarding of Attorney’s Fees…Grandfathering Clause…HOA Policy Creation Mandate…No Avoidance or Delay…Provisions for Ground Mounted Systems…

Typology of Solar Rights Provisions…Type I: No Limits on Restrictions…Type II: Undefined “Reasonable” Restrictions…Type III: Qualified “Reasonable” Restrictions…Type IV: Quantified Restrictions…

How Associations Can Facilitate Solar Development…Advance Community Education on Solar Energy…Array Size…Array Orientation...Array Tilt…System Shading…Clearly Define what is Permissible…Community Aesthetics…Tree Preservation and Planting…Health and Safety…


click to enlarge

Coproduce a Lasting Solar Solution

While borrowing or adapting language from existing examples of solar guidelines will suffice for some associations, others may have difficulty in identifying current standards that both conform to applicable solar access laws and reflect the unique values and preferences of the communities they govern. In these cases, associations may wish to convene a meeting of relevant stakeholders in order to coproduce a set of design guidelines for solar. Such gatherings would provide a forum for community members to communicate their values and preferences, forming the basis for standards that are meaningful and uncontroversial. These ideas can then either be tempered or strengthened through the participation of a diverse set of professionals whose expertise will help define the limits of what is technically practical, legally permissible, or most impactful in terms of balancing competing interests and serving the needs of the community.

Though it may be difficult to bring all stakeholders to the table, there are several advantages to taking a coproduction approach. Obtaining the direct participation of a wide variety of stakeholders helps ensure the standards produced by the effort reflect the diverse perspectives of the groups they impact. Such a strategy allows all stakeholders to have access to the same relevant information and can help break down communication barriers between homeowners and association representatives through its encouragement of face-to-face discussions…


Source: http://www.NewEnergyNews.net/