On Feeling Weird About Tesla
Hank Green
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Another way of looking at it:

I have a few friends and acquaintances who have had the means to equip their homes with solar panels. This has not, heretofore, been an inexpensive undertaking. But in doing so, some of them end up selling back energy to the grid. One friend recently mentioned that he has a credit of $6000 (I’m pretty sure that’s what he said) on his electric bill, from selling back electricity.

Our discussion of this topic gave us the opportunity to talk with his teen-age daughter about privilege, and how privilege begets privilege: the people who could most benefit from the ability to have “free” energy and sell it back are the least likely to be able to afford the initial infrastructure.

I’ve thought about that a lot. The other night, I was thinking about it, and about how far solar energy has come recently. Even places with a lot of rain and clouds will soon be able to harness solar power, and prices will inevitably come down.

What makes this possible? Well, in part, it’s the people who could afford it when it was more expensive — prohibitively expensive—and invested early. Would advances have been made if no one had bought in early on? Would companies have assumed there was no interest, and abandoned the efforts?

I certainly see your points. It’s possible, though, that if this is an area you believe in—finding alternative sources and means of transportation—then investing in it isn’t “luxury” so much as it might be “contributing to the advancement of technology in a way that not everyone can afford to, and helping invest in / pave the way for more affordable, innovative solutions in the future.”

One way of looking at it, anyway!

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