Infographic: What if Fukushima had Leaked Solar Panels?

By Matthew Wheeland - April 14, 2011
Infographic: What if Fukushima Had Leaked Solar Panels?

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Infographic: The Hidden Cost of Gadgets

Ok, so these days, in developed countries like the United States, the average household has about 35 electrical appliances. The average annual cost of using these appliances is about $1,100 and if you live in a state where electricity is expensive*, that annual price tag goes up to about $1,600 a year.  In five years, you’ll pay somewhere between $1300 and $1900 a year to use your fleet of devices, and that’s only if you don’t buy anything new to plug in between now and then.
Not likely. Analysts say the small electrical appliances market is still growing like gangbusters . Baby boomers are moving to the South and Southwest where houses are big and air conditioning use is high. The electric car market alone is expected to present a significant new draw on the grid nation-wide. All good for the economy, right? There are just a few problems. For one, in the U.S., grid power is fired primarily by dirty fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, so any increased pull on the grid means more CO2 and particulate matter in the air. The other is that utilities are raising their prices, on average, by six percent every year.
The question, then, is this: as the average houshold’s energy needs increase, will people be willing to pay a higher and higher percentage of their income to utility companies every year? Or, will they reach a tipping point where they see their own roofs and yeard as a way to reduce or even eliminate this growing annual spend?
*California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Alaska, or Deleware.


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