I Got Solar in Strange Places

Solar Power is cropping up in some weird places. While it’ll take some time for sunlight to become the fuel of the future, already solar power is being adopted by individuals and communities you might not expect.

The city of Rizhao, for example, is a poor coastal city in China. While the per-capita income is significantly lower than surrounding cities, almost every flat surface is covered in solar panels. Of course, these aren’t the electricity-creating kind, they’re the hot-water-creating kind. 99% of the hot water in the city comes from roof-top solar, and all the streetlights are powered by photovoltaics. Though it’s a poor city, Rizhao has turned solar power into an economic engine while becomming one of the ten cleanest cities in China.

And then there’s the Amish. You wouldn’t think that the Amish would be early adopters of anything (as many of them aren’t ready to embrace innovations such as buttons on pants) but solar seems to be right up their alley. Amish families are the leading per-capita adopters of solar in Pennsylvania. Their values of self-sufficiency and moderation are served perfectly by the panels.

So, as it turns out, poor people in China and the Amish are leading the way into the future. It’s about time we caught up.

Via Green Options
and Wired Blogs