Saturday, July 12, 2008

GM to build world's biggest rooftop solar station in Spain

General Motors, not exactly known for environmental cleanliness.. well.. they apparently have been making BIG investments in solar power. The current bit of news is a rooftop solar power plant they are planning to build onto the roof of a factory in Spain. It is a 10 megawatt installation and will apparently provide more power than required by the plant, because they intend to sell some power to the local power company. The installation will cover about 2,000,000 square feet of the rooftop. The plant assembles more than 480,000 vehicles per year.

GM currently has two of the largest solar power installations in the United States on the roofs of its Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, California parts warehouses.

Rooftops are prime territory to install solar power systems. The rooftop already exists meaning the solar power installation does not consume land in its own right. Instead a rooftop solar power installation is reusing land that is already being used.

This is so interesting ... a roof of a single factory has enough square footage to install a 10 megawatt solar power plant. So just think for a moment, how many factories and office buildings and warehouses are existing.. how many square feet of rooftop there is, and how much electricity could be generated from the sun if that otherwise empty rooftop space was repurposed to solar energy?

If a company as environmentally dense as GM can do it, then why not all others?

The problem with the energy crisis the world is facing right now is the "energy" driving our society is coming from a limited resource. Energy can come from many sources some of which are nigh on limitless, such as the sun or wind. There would not be an energy crisis if the energy system were based on these nearly limitless resources.

I'm carefully saying "nearly limitless" because scientists say the Sun will burn out several billion years into the future. Uh, that's limitless enough for me, how about you?

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