Monday, August 17, 2015

Here Comes The Sun

Over the past few weeks, the Pres and I have been entertaining...ideas, that is. While the entertaining has not been "fun,"it has been a learning experience.  Contemplating "going totally green" for a few years now, we've been scrutinizing solar companies.  As it stands now our home is heated/cooled by geothermal, which is energy very efficient.   Anyway, appointment after appointment...morning, afternoon, early evening...we entertained prospective companies.  I took notes while the Pres and I asked for answers to our what seemed endless list of questions.



Although the actual install will not happen for a while, the preliminary work will begin soon. Yes, it requires the removal of a few trees most of which are "leaners," crooked or crippled and which cast shade on the South/Southwest side of the roof.

And yes, I have mixed emotions about their removal. However, the Pres has talked me into to the benefits of having solar...I think.




So, here is where I'll be for a while.  We've been digging holes and amending soil, preparing for the relocating and planting of existing shade loving perennials.  We've already moved the borders of a few of the beds that will be disturbed when the trunks are removed.  Remember all those darn rocks I picked up and used for borders?  GONE...or will be soon once the tree removal, stump removal and grading begin.

While the Pres is not as eco-friendly as I am, it has not been an easy decision for me.   However, knowledge is power and in doing some research, I did come across this bit of information from the following link:  EnergySage

HERE’S HOW THE MATH WORKS

According to American Forests, one tree stores about 0.5 metric tons of CO2 over its lifetime. We’ll assume that removing one tree lowers the net reduction of switching to solar by the same amount. Additionally, we also need to factor in the CO2 emissions involved in manufacturing the solar panels being installed. Producing a typical 5 kWh solar system emits about 10 metric tons of CO2, so the total CO2 emissions associated with removing one tree and installing a residential solar power system are about 10.5 metric tons.
For the removal of the tree to make sense, the net CO2 reduction will need to exceed 10.5 metric tons. That seems like a lot at first, but when you calculate the CO2 emissions you will offset by switching to solar from fossil fuels, it isn’t much at all. Your solar panels should generate at least 6000 kWh (ours will generate a minimum of 10575 kWh) of electricity per year, and should last for approximately 25 years.This means that over the lifetime of your panels, you will produce about 150,000 kWh of emissions-free electricity. This translates to a whopping 103 metric tons of CO2 offsets over the life of the panels!  At this point, the choice should be obvious, but in the interest of being thorough, we’ll still do the math. Subtracting the original 10.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions needed to install the panels from the 103 metric tons of CO2 benefits they will generate results in a net benefit of 92.5 metric tons of CO2 offsets– the equivalent of planting more than 180 trees. While it’s not good news for the tree in question, it’s phenomenal news overall.
We recognize that there are other factors to be considered, too. There’s an expense for removing a tree (anywhere from $75 to $1,000+) so that could extend your payback period slightly. There are other less quantifiable factors to consider as well. The trees in question could house wildlife, shade your home during the summer, or provide aesthetic or other “quality of life” benefits. How these costs affect the equation is a function of your personal preferences and may or may not change the outcome. For most people, though, removing one or more trees to install solar panels is an excellent investment – from both a financial standpoint and an environmental standpoint – and shouldn’t stand in the way of upgrading your home with solar.
~~~

When I read this and many many other articles regarding solar, the mere mention of removing trees that "house wildlife" got to me.  However, first let me tell you the trees in question have never had any nests.  I believe that is because we are surrounded by our remaining heavily forested acreage on three sides.  This is where our local wildlife reside.



Giving you and those at
a glimpse at going solar.

5 comments:

eileeninmd said...

I think going solar is a great idea! I would think a few trees missing will not affect your wildlife. Great post! Enjoy your new week!

Rambling Woods said...

Lost my long comment drat it.... I would love that, but I would have to see if that is even possible here... Michelle

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh I am so jealous! I would LOVE to go solar. It just isn't in the budget for us anytime soon, but maybe one day we'll get there.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Well, I'm sad that I haven't kept up to date with your blog but happy that I've gone back as far as the flower fences. A few responses: 1. I LOVE that you are going to go solar Bravo to you and the Pres.! 2. So glad that you took a few hours and released some stress at the beach. Checking heart rates has to be pretty scary. Overall, though, it sounds as though the Pres. is on track for a full recovery. YES! 3. That fawn is SO beautiful. What a capture! 3. Yay for trumpet vines! 4. I hadn't realized you do Tai Chi. I had some lessons for a few months before I moved from Quebec, but somehow, let it go. I've always though I will go back to it some day, though for now, my gym classes seem to be keeping me happy. Do you have a picture of yourself doing Tai Chi? All the best for now. Hope to stay in better contact.

Sandra said...

great idea on solar... i did not read the excerpt because 4 sentences in it was like a math problem and math freezes my brain.... i do know we need trees and our state killed to many of them and now are struggling to go green with trees and plants

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