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Solar Energy

From: Don W.
Sent on: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:24 PM
Yes the general support of atheists for science means we support the scientific consensus on the environment. There is nothing in the Bible saying that God wants them to support fossil fuel companies against this consensus. However, that is one of the contentious battles we have with many of those who are religious.
I have been impressed with the dramatic market achievements of the Germans on solar energy. One of our proposed questions to the DC candidates at our forum: Germans install solar energy systems on residential roofs for about $2 per peak watt. In DC multiple vendors are able to do it for $4 per peak watt or slightly less. A major difference is that in Germany there are no required permits and inspections reducing costs by about $2,000 on average. There is a web based form that needs to be filled in no more than two hours. A German installation is typically done in two weeks or less. The complexity of the American process can requires much more time and higher profit margins. What would you advocate to bring DC costs down to something closer to the average in Germany?
A big part of the difference is this differential in permitting and inspection costs. Much of it is also lack of experience. Another big part is the time spent in the sales effort in acquiring customers. Of course, a big fat part of the differential is a difference in the net profit margin. Obviously with a much longer sales cycle (perhaps six months instead of two weeks) a bigger profit margin is required.
I think this is again an area where we need to get out of debating mode and push the political process. This is especially so if we can get electricity that is cheaper than what we now pay for from the grid. The technology is near the point where that can be what we get. All we need is a range of governmental policy changes to get it done. Washington DC has enormous roof area. Many of our office buildings are of the same or similar height. That means those roofs are not shaded by other buildings. This is an ideal city to become the solar revolution city in our region.
From: Chad <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, March 23,[masked]:16 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] AND no Anti-Liberarianism till Sunday

You asked about what values we may share as atheists specifically within this group. Surely among our numbers there is no quarrel concerning the axioms of the natural world and the falseness of religion. However, personal values concerning what we do individually to address environmental issues, animal welfare issues, to raising our children would be of particular interest to me. As a bleeding heart liberal vegetarian with a toddler I would wade right into such topics.

Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:

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