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Old 05-27-2014, 08:26 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I don't think solar panels are an unrealistic solution. I would hardly call myself an environmentalist and even I've looked into solar panels. There are a lot of companies that install them. And from what I recall, they weren't even that expensive.
Did you end up getting solar panels?
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Electric cars will be harder to adopt even if they become cheaper due to range and inconvenient fuel-up. I think they might eventually catch on but they'll be a niche.
Unless there's some huge technological leap on the horizon. I mean, computers used to take up entire rooms. I now have the same processing power in the palm of my hand.

Just sayin'...
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Did you end up getting solar panels?
They never came out to give me an estimate. I meant to try another company but I just forgot about it.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:38 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Actually, solar array rather than rooftop is a lot more efficient. Thing is, homeowners are a lot easier to hoodwink. Plus we've got all the tax credits which large solar arrays don't have access to. Facts are energy in this country is dirt cheap and until that changes, no one will really care about efficiency.
Hoodwink, or perhaps some homeowners like paying a bit extra for being "green", the same people pay extra for hybrids [though those almost pay off, if you drive enough miles]. As for energy being dirt cheap, a simple solution would be add a carbon and/or gasoline tax* and lower sales and/or payroll taxes to make up for the higher taxes.

*No, the increase of the gasoline has nothing to do with highway funding. But it makes more sense than a road use tax.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:22 AM
 
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How is a several acre solar power station better than a sprawling suburb? They both take up a lot of land, near the city, increasing the size of the city. Possibly by similar amount.

Even if public transportation uses less energy per person, I don't think they can run PT on solar energy, while personal cars could run on solar as long as each household has their own solar panel. PT running on solar would require a many-acre solar power plant.
Roofs are the best solution for solar as they don't require additional land or real estate, but re-use the space that the house already takes up. Dual-purpose land-use. Also roofs are already there, while if you want to utilize other spaces like highways and parking lots then you have to invest in supporting structures to hold those solar panels.

The speed of public transport is much slower not because of the traffic, but because the bus does not go on the shortest route, it goes into many streets to serve as many bus stops as possible. The light rail is faster, but that does not go everywhere. You have to walk from your home to a bus stop, wait for the bus, take the bus to the light rail stop/station, wait for the train, go by the train, get of at another station, wait for a bus, go by the bus, then walk to your destination. It takes several times more time than going by car. I used public transport a lot in the past.

No one denies your right to live in downtown, so you should not deny other peoples' right to live in a suburb. Now there are regulations like urban growth boundary and protected open spaces that deny the opportunity to new people (aka younger generation) to live in suburbs. Their reasoning is mostly pollution, and taking land from wild life. You either take land for housing, or for solar power plant, or you don't take land but run on fossil fuels.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
How is a several acre solar power station better than a sprawling suburb? They both take up a lot of land, near the city, increasing the size of the city. Possibly by similar amount.

Even if public transportation uses less energy per person, I don't think they can run PT on solar energy, while personal cars could run on solar as long as each household has their own solar panel. PT running on solar would require a many-acre solar power plant.
Roofs are the best solution for solar as they don't require additional land or real estate, but re-use the space that the house already takes up. Dual-purpose land-use. Also roofs are already there, while if you want to utilize other spaces like highways and parking lots then you have to invest in supporting structures to hold those solar panels.

The speed of public transport is much slower not because of the traffic, but because the bus does not go on the shortest route, it goes into many streets to serve as many bus stops as possible. The light rail is faster, but that does not go everywhere. You have to walk from your home to a bus stop, wait for the bus, take the bus to the light rail stop/station, wait for the train, go by the train, get of at another station, wait for a bus, go by the bus, then walk to your destination. It takes several times more time than going by car. I used public transport a lot in the past.

No one denies your right to live in downtown, so you should not deny other peoples' right to live in a suburb. Now there are regulations like urban growth boundary and protected open spaces that deny the opportunity to new people (aka younger generation) to live in suburbs. Their reasoning is mostly pollution, and taking land from wild life. You either take land for housing, or for solar power plant, or you don't take land but run on fossil fuels.
You know this isn't a suburb vs rural thread, right? This thread is about all urban sprawl.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Hoodwink, or perhaps some homeowners like paying a bit extra for being "green", the same people pay extra for hybrids [though those almost pay off, if you drive enough miles]. As for energy being dirt cheap, a simple solution would be add a carbon and/or gasoline tax* and lower sales and/or payroll taxes to make up for the higher taxes.

*No, the increase of the gasoline has nothing to do with highway funding. But it makes more sense than a road use tax.
Or at least the ego emissions one can emit

Most of the homes I see with solar panels are high-end, tend to be larger. It's really a multitude of things. With tax credits, solar is actually pretty affordable if you're somewhere like I am with a ton of sunny days. As far as generation on a kWh basis excluding tax incentives and free money loans from the government, it's still more expensive than fossil fuel generated electricity.

Going down the route of a sin tax for carbon emissions is certainly a possibility. That's how Tesla is turning a profit combined with $10,000/$7,500 rebates on every vehicle it sells. Honestly, that kind of works now but never would if electric cars were to ever become mainstream. We simply can't afford to give some large percentage of people who buy a new car $7,500. Plus you have the problem of actually funding roads. Gas taxes do pay for a sizable percentage of roads, and electric cars obviously don't use any gas. So what do you use to backfill the lost gas tax revenue, the $7,500 per vehicle subsidy, and so on? Or more to the point, who do you shift the tax burden of subsidizing the tax cuts for the wealthy? It's not hard to imagine a scenario where the wealthy are driving around in electric cars they were paid $10,000 to buy, charging them on solar the government paid for with both tax incentives and carried the financing on. Meanwhile the lower-income people are driving gas powered cars as those are cheaper and paying higher sin taxes on gasoline and energy. Maybe that's equitable since they don't pay any income taxes, but it's certainly a shifting of the tax burden.
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
We simply can't afford to give some large percentage of people who buy a new car $7,500.
We already give tax deductions to people who own second homes, which costs us billions per year in tax revenue. I don't think tax credits for electric vehicles (or any other alternative) would necessarily blow a hole in the federal budget. You could even make it where the credit sunsets after seven years or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Plus you have the problem of actually funding roads. Gas taxes do pay for a sizable percentage of roads, and electric cars obviously don't use any gas. So what do you use to backfill the lost gas tax revenue, the $7,500 per vehicle subsidy, and so on?
General revenues. We're already doing that anyway. You'd also have to start tolling select roads, which I don't see as being that draconian of a measure.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:55 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Going down the route of a sin tax for carbon emissions is certainly a possibility. That's how Tesla is turning a profit combined with $10,000/$7,500 rebates on every vehicle it sells. Honestly, that kind of works now but never would if electric cars were to ever become mainstream. We simply can't afford to give some large percentage of people who buy a new car $7,500. Plus you have the problem of actually funding roads. Gas taxes do pay for a sizable percentage of roads, and electric cars obviously don't use any gas. So what do you use to backfill the lost gas tax revenue, the $7,500 per vehicle subsidy, and so on?
I was considering more fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids, not as much electric vehicles. For example, look at Japan. While hybrids here are considered vehicles made to make a statement in the US, in Japan they're among the best selling vehicles. Why? Partly from high gas prices. Sales tax, gas tax (or payroll tax) could be modified in some combination to be revenue neutral. If the US had higher gas prices, transportation energy use per capita would decrease. But gas is sticky enough, even with fuel efficient vehicles, revenue wouldn't decrease proportionally.
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:10 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
How is a several acre solar power station better than a sprawling suburb? They both take up a lot of land, near the city, increasing the size of the city. Possibly by similar amount.
I think it would be less, we'd need to look up how much space solar energy uses per kwh. Maybe later. As for roofs, while high density environments have less roof space per person, medium density environments (rowhouses, some type of two/three family homes) still have some roof space that can be used. And single family detached homes close together can use solar almost as well as more spread out detached homes. Higher than typical suburban densities can still support solar panels [note BajanYankee in high density Brooklyn considered solar panels].

Quote:
The speed of public transport is much slower not because of the traffic, but because the bus does not go on the shortest route, it goes into many streets to serve as many bus stops as possible. The light rail is faster, but that does not go everywhere. You have to walk from your home to a bus stop, wait for the bus, take the bus to the light rail stop/station, wait for the train, go by the train, get of at another station, wait for a bus, go by the bus, then walk to your destination. It takes several times more time than going by car. I used public transport a lot in the past.
Any bus system that needs to go on numerous detours is either badly designed or in a place that has a transit unfriendly layout. Well used bus routes typically follow something close to a straight line rather than a slow zig-zag. People who need to go off-route are better with a high frequency grid [see Jarrett Walker] rather than forcing lengthy detours. Rail works best if a large portion of its users are in walking distance to the starting and end point, so usually a somewhat dense area. Or at least one end of the trip, so most common destinations are nearby a station. A rail system where many ride a bus at the beginning and end of the trip means rail isn't working well.
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