Trying to sell the public on renewable energy production with the words solar capacity and potential does not seem intellectually honest. Capacity is simply “the ability to contain.” It does not indicate, yet alone promise, how full the container will be. And potential is only an expression of possibility, not a promise of fulfillment.
Our legislators are pushing renewable solar energy in Minnesota by setting solar energy standards. Can they also regulate the number of hours the sun must shine in Minnesota to make our “solar gardens” (rural eyesores) viable? The year I decided to use solar outdoor Christmas lights my tree had a very dim glow for about an hour a day. Perhaps our legislators need to personally experiment with solar energy before they legislate.
Then there are the solar energy contractors who are hoping to make big bucks selling solar panels to Minnesotans. May I suggest, “buyer beware”? You may be investing in a product that works very well in sunny Arizona, but not so well in Minnesota. I’m not against renewable energy, but we need to concentrate on systems that work here. Wind, for example, produces Minnesota energy regardless of the lack of sunshine or inclement weather. If you are hoping to make a profit on solar energy, you might want to move to Arizona. Even then, do not let the terms capacity and potential mislead you. Do your homework and good luck.
Suecarol Schuler, ROCHESTER