Solar panels: not for looks, for environment

By Stephanie Saviola

“Ugly” and “hideous” are just some of the words residents of Oradell, N.J., are using to describe the newest addition to their tree-lined suburban streets.

Solar panels have been appearing all across New Jersey as part of a $515 million solar panel project investment by PSE&G—a public service electric and gas company—which mandates that 23 percent of the state’s energy must come from renewable sources by 2021, according to a New York Times article.

Residents have been complaining about the appearance of the panels, which are usually installed on top of the already unattractive telephone poles and power lines. The size of the panels are 5 by 2 1/2 feet and might not be the most attractive thing to look at, but people need to get over the vanities of the streets they live on.

In fact, all streets should be equipped with solar panels so that we can become more efficient. “Earth Hour” was great, but steps could be taken every day to ensure we put more effort

into conservation. Skyscrapers across major cities could have them installed on their rooftops to power buildings that stay lit all day and night.

Why shouldn’t all towns be converting to renewable energy? It will not only be cost effective, but will use fewer resources overall.  According to the article, PSE&G officials said the panels have to be placed where they are for maximum sun exposure.

It’s unfortunate that residents have to turn something that has a positive impact on our environment into something negative. People need to overlook the unsightly panels and think about the bigger role they’ll play.

According to PSE&G officials, one solar panel can produce enough kilowatts per year to light four 60-watt light bulbs, 24 hours a day for six weeks. While this may not seem like a significant number, that is only one panel.

If towns and cities  throughout the country had thousands of panels, the efficiency would be much greater. People could also see results on their electric bills by using alternative energy.

Some residents complained that they weren’t given warnings about the panel’s installation. This was wrong; they should have had some say or at least been notified as to what was taking place on their  streets. However, to ask that they be moved to other locations or deconstructed altogether is ridiculous.

All towns should welcome these panels as “hideous” as they may appear.  Those tree-lined streets the residents enjoy so much  can only benefit from this change  and not be harmed.