Solar Power on the Cheap!

The folks over at Speculist have generated a sub-blog called L2si (short for “Live to see it!”) — as close to the spirit of the Carnival of the Optimists I used to run as I’ve ever seen online.

And here’s the L2si report podcast

One of their current links is on how a guy named Matthew Orosz (yes, Bunny, a Hungarian!) has figured out a method of doing solar power on the cheap, and perhaps just as importantly, solar power on minimum infrastructure.  If it can work in Lesotho, I bet it would work just fine on my roof or back yard… a dirt-cheap 1kW for 15m2 space isn’t all that bad, if you’ve got the space.  Not only that, mounted up high, it would cast shade, which is a big deal here in the belt between N. Texas and central Kansas, where it’s our heat+humidity vs. the Phoenix area’s cauldron dryness going at it for high-temp toughman machismo goodness every summer.

Beyond that, though, (wild speculation begins) Orosz may single-handedly have figured out how to do more for the human race than almost any single person on the planet:  vast swaths of the planet live in abject poverty, and how to bring power to even the middling-developed areas like rural China is a serious problem of the haves and the have-nots.  You need power.  You must have power, or else your hopes and dreams are going to be wedged between staying where you are, at roughly the eleventh century, or else abandoning your home to go to where the people have Power.  And in the meantime, the men who hire and pay the thugs with guns are always happy to see vast populations in utter dependence.  Lower that dependence, and you could bore your readership to tears with the list of all the improvements that can be made.

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