Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Solar

A shadow of doubt and practicality hangs over the Greens

The Greens candidature for the City of Melbourne centers around a catch phrase of "A solar panel on every roof" delivering renewable energy for Melbourne.

Whilst the push for clean renewable energy is a worthy cause issues of practicality make it impossible to install a solar panel on every roof. Most of inner Melbourne with the exception of the tallest buildings are in shadow. Solar panels just would not work in a high density built environment. What happens if you or your neighbors invest in the installation of a solar system and a building near-by is later built that casts a shadow across your roof, do you have the right to claim or seek compensation for the loss of sunlight. Melbourne's planning scheme provides for four hours of sunlight at the equinox and in many circumstances in the inner city this is not achievable. The Solar dream is just that. A dream limited by the practical realities of physics more so then political policy. The City Council's luxury six star administration building itself has failed to deliver in the promises with many features of the building's design not living up to expectations or functionality. An independent building performance audit should be undertaken and less self adulation and promotional activity. But that would place another dent in the City Council's reputation of competence and an honest performance appraisal is beyond comprehension.

The Greens are not in a winning position to secure the Lord mayoralty but they will secure a seat at the Council table. Hopefully the Green's will make a positive contribution to Melbourne's future development but ideology should not supersede or dictate realities on the ground or as the case may be "up on the roof".

1 comment:

Andy said...

I read recently that the technology for solar panels is advancing very fast and new more efficient panels are being developed. If this is correct are we better off waiting for the more efficient panels before buying and using them. We are considering it for our catering business in Melbourne, http://www.elizabethandrews.com.au

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