Green tech costs are leaving people behind

Too many green alternatives are only feasible for those who have money.

Think about it. Hybrid and electric cars are a far more environmentally friendly alternative, but unless you’ve got a pretty decent income, they are out of reach financially.

Ditto with solar panels.

Who hasn’t thought about trying to get off the grid a little? What with the rising Hydro costs, it’s a tempting carrot.

And don’t get us wrong, we think a new co-op for folks to be able to bulk buy solar panels is a fantastic idea that we hope is a huge success.

But bulk buy or not, the price is not going to be in the range that many in Cowichan can afford.

It’s that initial outlay of cash that is simply not there for many people with modest salaries who are also worrying about basic housing, transportation, food, retirement savings, etc.

This is where the whole green revolution kind of falls down.

Too many of us are just priced out of the market.

It’s not that these folks don’t care deeply about the environment and climate change and the inevitable day when the planet runs out of oil and gas supply.

There’s just not anything they can do to avail themselves of the latest technologies.

That’s not to say that the less wealthy among us are doing nothing.

After all, these are the folks who you are more likely to see riding the bus. Many plant vegetable gardens to help with the cost of food.

But something needs to be done about making green advances something we can all participate in if we, as a collective society, are serious about changing our ways so we don’t kill our planet.

We can’t wait forever for the prices on these technologies to come down on their own.

That’s where something such as our municipalities building solar facilities that can provide power to residents at a competitive cost is a good idea. It’s something we can collectively afford perhaps, that maybe individually we cannot.

Though experience in the U.S. has recently shown that there are issues with big solar farms frying birds, solar is one of the most promising technologies for the future.

And we think the more solar panels going up on individual roofs the better. There’s no reason not to spread out energy production, which would actually avoid the issues large-scale production is facing.

There’s also the possibility of producing enough energy that you can end up selling some of it back to the grid, actually making money off of your solar panel investment.

But we must all be able to participate.

Going green can’t just be a choice available for the wealthy, or we will collectively fail to achieve any measurable success.

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