Dear Editor: Several recent letters here have called for solar panels on roofs as a way to "go green" without transmission power lines. With the electric power being generated at or near where it is used, no need for those ugly poles and high voltage lines.

That may work in the desert southwest, but not in Madison, because here we have trees and farmland. The rural areas grow food and the city streets are lined with trees. Most yards also have trees. In the summer the tree leaves shade the houses, including the roof, which cools them and reduces AC use. That also reduces the efficiency of solar collectors. In the winter, the sun is lower, days are shorter, and roofs are covered with snow, especially in well insulated houses.

If we are going reduce greenhouse gas emissions with wind and solar, that means putting the turbines where the wind blows (the Great Plains) and the solar collectors where the sun shines (the Southwest).

Another option is nuclear.

Jim Blair


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