Posts Tagged ‘SOLAR 2009’

Meet and Greet at SOLAR 2009

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

My impressions of Buffalo are mixed. I am staying downtown, which is all but deserted except for the participants of SOLAR 2009. There is not a solar panel in sight, which leads one to ask how the solar conference ended up here. Next year, I think it is in Arizona, which does seem to make more sense. I did see a bus run on natural gas, but nothing solar. The architecture is depressingly modernistic, or Stalinist revival. One building could easily pass for the brother of one of the famous Stalin skyscrapers in Moscow. And the city court looks about 15 storey and is almost completely windowless; that is right, windowless. There are a lot of statues of buffaloes, which should come of no surprise.

Arriving in Buffalo for SOLAR 2009

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

As you fly in, you cannot help but notice the new wind mills dotting the landscape in the rural areas outside the city. They are all relatively small, not the huge windmills that you see in some of the areas near Palm Springs in California. I remember meeting a man back in the 1980s who was adamantly against windmills because of the humming sound that they made. As we surge into the future of alternative energy, we are going to have to figure out ways to accommodate a little humming, but there undoubtedly will be new battles with legitimate arguments on both sides of the aisle. Exhibit Number One of course is the battle between trees and solar panels in California, and that will be just the tip of the iceberg.