Friday, September 23, 2005
I was having a conversation with a recent Hurricane Katrina victim. She said that FEMA is either paying for generators, or reimbursing people for their purchase if they lost electricity for a significant amount of time. She wondered if a solar generator would be covered as opposed to one that ran on gas or diesel. Solar generators have several advantages. One being the obvious environment-friendly, tree-hugger factor, but a more practical one being that they don't need to be refueled. If your electricity is knocked out, chances are that you also don't have readily available access to open gas stations (as they are also closed due to power outages). Even if you do, who would want to buy gas when they can have free sunlight? Hurricanes typically draw up most available moisture and provide a few beautiful sunny days after they pass. The added value of the solar generators would be that you could still use them to lower your monthly bills after your normal electricity is restored. Since the common complaint about solar energy is that it is too costly to purchase initially, this may be a great time to get it for free. If you have friends or family affected by a hurricane, mention the idea.