Costs of Your Own, Personal Green Space

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on July 31, 2009

The John Locke Foundation‘s Michael Sanera today discusses one of his favorite shows — “This Old House” — which he explains has “gone green.” He relates that while often the always-wealthy eco-homeowner loves to show off his alt-energy gadgets and conservation innovations, the price tag is often downplayed — or not even mentioned. A recent episode illustrated this:

The proud homeowner, Alan Worden, showed Kevin (O’Connor, the TOH host) his off-the-grid power plant. First, they stopped at the 28-panel, 4,000-volt photovoltaic solar array that cost $22,000. Even Kevin, not bashful about his green advocacy, noted that since it was a cloudy day, the solar array must not be producing much power. Alan, in a slightly embarrassed tone, responded that the output was less than one-third of its potential output, but no problem, he had a wind turbine on the other side of the house. I could almost hear the viewers gasp when the camera focused on Alan’s $25,000, 5-kilowatt, vertical-axis wind turbine. By the way, the turbine was not turning. Kevin seemed to snicker when he saw it and remarked that it probably put out a lot of energy in the usually high coastal wind conditions.

No sun, no wind, no electricity, no problem. When Alan does have sun and wind, he explained, he sends the power to his battery storage facility. Off they went to the garage-size shed that housed several large columns of batteries. By this time, Alan was too embarrassed to mention the price.

The green, rich, and famous never worry about costs; discussion of money is so tawdry,” Michael writes. Same goes when they try to impose their extreme environmentalist values on the rest of us.

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