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Go Solar–Everyone’s Doing It!


Yesterday’s post was about something unsettling–climate change unsettles me, anyway–so today’s is about something we can do to address the problem.

A new study called “Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovolatic Panels” finds that for every 1% increase in the number of solar installations in a single ZIP code, there’s a 1% decrease in how much time passes until the next solar installation.

What this means is if you have the money, and you own a home, you should invest in solar power. Not only is it a great investment, but it will leverage peer pressure to motivate your neighbours, and soon solar installations will be going up left, right, and centre. And the climate will thank you for it.

Well, the climate probably won’t actually thank you.

h/t Climate Progress

7 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    12/04/2011 9:54 PM

    I really wish we had the money to install solar. We’ve got south-facing roofs on our house, a storage shed, and our 1 1/2 story garage – 3 prime locations, plus plenty of room in the back yard (a long, thin lot). Just no money. :(
    Though we will gladly accept all donations…. ;)
    It just amazes me with the number of large roofs around here (farm houses, barns, chicken farms, etc.) that there are no solar panels around here. I know the county is one of the poorer ones in the entire nation, but not even on government buildings? Even the technical college in town doesn’t do solar.
    Time to turn up the heat? :)

    • 12/05/2011 1:33 AM

      I think it definitely is that time! Wasted roof space–not acceptable. Just like wasted lawns. They should all be converted to vegetable gardens!

      Sadly, I have neither the money, nor the house, nor the lawn to act on any of the above. Though the moment I find myself positioned to invest in solar and other renewables, I definitely will be!

  2. 12/05/2011 9:49 PM

    Installing solar panels is at the top of my list of things to do once I own a home! I’m curious to know if the social diffusion effect varies at all between neighbourhoods based on their location… suburban sprawl neighbourhoods vs. higher density residential areas just beyond the core of a city?

    • 12/17/2011 12:18 AM

      I’m not sure, but I think you’d have to account for income. I’d assume those living in suburbia would be more likely to have the means to install solar panels, and so the trend would grow quicker there.

  3. 12/09/2011 9:41 AM

    I too would like to, but the initial cost is a bit staggering. On a recent cruise, a couple at our table (from Mass) installed panels in 2011, and he had interesting stats to share. Unfortunately, I can’t remember them.

  4. 12/09/2011 10:02 AM

    Forgot to say, did you know that the Brisbane, Australia’s city Christmas tree is solar powered?

    • 12/17/2011 12:19 AM

      I didn’t, that’s great! My respect for Aussies has been increasing steadily in recent months.

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