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July 16, 2008

Who would have thought?

One of the ways our country will cope with high energy prices is to find new ways of providing power. Developing new ideas is one area where the American economy shines. What's a good example in this ingenuity. Listen

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"I think this is a great story. A good example is solar canopies in parking lots. Now, what am I talking about? Well, if you look at the amount of parking lots we have in our country - you add them all together - they take up an area the size of the state of Connecticut. They're out there. They're usually open areas, a lot of sun. Of course, we see that in the summer. So one company has come up with the idea of putting what's called solar trees in parking lots to collect solar power, and we may use this power in the future, for example, for people to come up and plug in their hybrid cars to rev up the batteries. So anyway, you put these solar trees in a typical parking lot; it's estimated that that solar power could provide enough energy for 500 homes for a day. So, are we going to see this tomorrow? No, not all over the place. But I think the point is that this is an example of, I think, one of the big strong points of the American economy. There are people out there thinking - all right, energy is a problem, what can we invent, what can we do to cope with it - and I think the solar trees in parking lots is a perfect example of the brilliance of the American economy."

Posted by Dave at July 16, 2008 08:00 AM