Just to give you a feel for how popular these panels are, all of these photos were taken on a single day, April 29, 2012 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., on a single side of the road as we drove past. There were many others as well that I just wasn't fast enough to capture. Still, this illustrates that solar collectors are found on houses, barns, industries, retail spaces and in fields.
Update, 9 June 2012: The Austrian Times reports HERE that the city of Graz, Austria is offering an opportunity for everyone in the city to generate their own power from solar cells. Now, even persons renting apartment can save on their energy bills by buying and leasing back their own solar panels in a nearby solar energy farm.
|This is the only photo that is duplicated (a close-up follows) but I wanted to show that the panels extend onto other roofs as well.|
|Much of this entire village is paneled with solar collectors.|
|Different part of the same community.|
|Solar collector arrays on curved rooftops.|
|At first glance, I thought this was an art installation.|
It makes one wonder why, if solar energy is so popular in northern Europe, wouldn't it be an even better investment in the southern United States (for example) where the sun is stronger and cloud cover less frequent? It just seems to make sense in not only reducing the demands on conventional power systems but by contributing to the power grid as well. Granted, it's not a perfect panacea, but after Chernobyl and Fukushima it surely is part of a better answer not only to our power needs but towards a safer, cleaner future.