24 May '15, 8pm

Trees or solar, which is better for the environment? #SUNday

Trees or solar, which is better for the environment? #SUNday

What a dilemma for environmentalists: trees, or solar energy? Both are good for the environment. Both are beloved by the environmental community. Both fight global warming. But sometimes, you just can't have both. That's what happened in Sunnyvale, Calif. From 1997 to 1999, Richard Treanor and Carolyn Bissett planted eight redwood trees at the edge of their property. In 2001, neighbor Mark Vargas, installed a 10 kw solar system on his roof and trellis, to power his home and charge his electric car. The solar system worked just fine. And the trees grew, as trees, especially redwoods, tend to do. And the trees started to cast shade on Vargas's solar panels. Vargas asked the neighbors to trim the trees back from as much as 12 meters to 4.5 meters. Treanor and Bissett (who drive a Prius) said no. In December, after several years of mediation and, one has to assume, decidedly c...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/sol...

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