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green dilemma of the day: tree or solar?

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Feb 22, 2012 01:07 AM
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by bubba of the bubbles ( last modified Feb 21, 2012



We are,I admit, vaguely desperate for solar. We hope (we hope! we hope!) we aregetting passive solar designed into the house, but we would love to have aplace for active solar (and the $0.12electric bill the Green House people had for October-November is doingnothing to dissuade us…). However, active solar may be a challenge on our lot.

Theproperty to our south has some gorgeous pecans that provide some passive solarshading to the southern part of our property during the summer months. Becauseof those trees, any hope of placing solar panels would have to be on thenorthern side of the property, so the top of the garage would be a perfectplace. However, there’s an unfortunately placed juvenile pecan just to the rearof where the garage might go. This tree will shade the garage in the morninghours and, over time, shade more and more of the panels. Not good. Furthermore,because of the neighbor’s trees, that corner is the best corner for a garden,but not after that juvenile grows into an adult.

So…..Which is greener? (1) Cutting down the tree, replacing it elsewhere on the lot,generating electricity, and eating homegrown vegetables? or (2) Leaving thetree, steaming about the Green House people’s less-than-a-quarter a monthelectric bill, eating Twinkies, and dying 15.3 years earlier because we livedanger-(and cream-)filled lives?

Insertadvice below (or the tree gets it!).




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