October 3, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

'Finally heading in the right direction'

‘Finally heading in the right direction’

New York City’s towers are the tallest in the world, but if it were up to Thomas Ludwig (46), they’d all be a fraction taller. He displays his solar panels on the roof of his office so that a sofa, barbecue or even a hammock can fit under them. “If it rains, we can stay here.”

Ludwig created the structure with his firm Brooklyn Solarworks, which has been operating since 2015 with 70 architects, engineers and designers. All the panels on its roof together provide enough energy for eight New York households.

He walks to the edge of the building and points across the street: more panels. “They too are from us. Finally things are moving in the right direction. ” Ludwig believes that solar panels will spread like a virus and soon cover all the million buildings in the city. With climate news from Washington, his dream comes true.

The phone is red

Following earlier Senate approval, the House of Representatives also approved the Inflation Relief Act on Friday, which makes $369 billion available for climate change. “This legislation will keep our planet alive,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Sixty billion dollars, in the form of tax credits, will flow to clean energy companies. Half of this is earmarked for the development and production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and the extraction of the necessary minerals. Private individuals will get tax refunds over the next ten years if they install solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps.

Since the law was passed, the phone at Brooklyn Solarworks has been hot, director Ludwig says. When climate is in the news, he always sees an immediate increase in interest in solar panels. “But with this news, now that climate investment is really coming…”

Ludwig, up until now busily gesticulating at the large table in his ostentatious conference room, is silent for a moment. He contemplates through the window and sees all the graffiti-sprayed ceilings he wants to tackle tomorrow. “It’s huge,” he says, “something like this has never happened before.”

On the ‘Solar Coaster’

The Historic Treaty has a long, difficult history. As early as 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen warned Congress about the dangers of climate change. “The greenhouse effect has been discovered and is now changing our climate,” he said. In the following years, several major climate laws were proposed, but one failed in the Senate and another in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the effects of climate change, with numerous heat waves and floods, are becoming increasingly visible to Americans.

Having worked in the solar energy industry for fifteen years, Ludwig follows the political debates closely. He knows better than anyone that public money is essential to the transition to clean energy. Tax credits have been available to New Yorkers who install solar panels for years, but those amounts have dwindled over the years, and there was concern that the program would disappear altogether. So the climate law is good news for the 645 solar companies operating in the state.

“We were in a place “Solar Coaster”, laughs Ludwig — a roller coaster of sorts for those in the clean energy industry. They got on a roller coaster ride when Joe Biden became president and announced big climate investments. If negotiations go well in recent months, their arms are up in the air. But each time no agreement was reached, arms descended again.

New Yorkers get just three percent of their energy from sunlight — about average for the entire U.S. — while New York has more sunny days than average, 244 and 205. Part of the problem is tall buildings. Installing solar panels on multiple high-rise towers is expensive and inconvenient. The buildings are old, the electrical systems are corroded, and fixing the roof is a hell of a job, according to the law. Now that the money has been released from the government, Ludwig can get off his solar coaster with relief, he says.

Not just for upper castes

According to Princeton University researcher Neha Patankar, “Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to revolutionize”. Pathankar works at Zero Labs, a consortium of clean energy scientists.

“The cost of clean energy will drop dramatically for consumers,” he says. America will get a makeover: new wind farms and solar parks will be built in many places. In 2020, ten gigawatts of solar power was produced in the United States, and this is expected to increase to 50 gigawatts per year over the next five years. According to the White House, two years ago there were 240 million solar panels in the United States. By 2030, with the help of climate investment, it could be 960 million.

What makes the legislation even more special, Patangar and panel builder Ludwig both say, is that clean energy will soon no longer be something for the elite. Companies that install solar panels in poverty-stricken neighborhoods receive additional tax incentives. “People who don’t think they’ll be able to generate their energy from sunlight in a thousand years will soon be doing it,” Ludwig says.

Climate experts unanimously say that the time has come for Americans, once the world’s biggest climate polluters, to take drastic action against global warming. Additionally, he wrote, “it gives more credibility when U.S. diplomats ask other countries like China and India to do the same.” The New York Times Last Friday.

The White House thinks CO240 percent emissions by 2030. But many climate researchers think that percentage could be much higher. “It’s amazing,” says Patankar. “This law is going to change America forever.”

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