solar power

The sunlight falling on an area this size would power the USA.

No, it’s not April Fools’ Day, it’s the future.

When you look at the types of renewable power available – hydro, geothermic, wind, etc. – only one has the potential to completely supply the world’s energy needs — solar power. Did you know that harnessing just 0.02 percent of the solar energy that reaches the Earth would power the world? The map above shows how much surface area is required to power the entire U.S. using solar power.

Like a bad boyfriend, we’ve heard solar’s unmet promises for decades. But unlike that boyfriend, solar has worked to meet those promises. It’s cheaper, thinner, less obtrusive and now, transparent.

As you can imagine, one of the impediments of traditional solar is the space it requires coupled with its typical unattractive industrial appearance. Tesla has created slim-profile solar panels and most recently solar shingles that blend into residential rooftops. These types of rooftop solar collectors have the ability to fulfill a home’s electrical needs.  But what about multi-story residential or commercial?


A home that didn’t pull out of the Paris Accord

I like to walk with a purpose, an endpoint. Sunday was just such a day when, as a real estate writer, a cool open house is a great endpoint.  One option asked me to “imagine living in an Italian villa” (yeah, no). Then I came across the walk-worthy 9317 Midway, which looks very modern (good), but also has a fascinating story to tell, which was hinted at when I saw the rooftop solar collectors and Tesla gear in the photos. Not to be outdone by their environmental fortitude, I slipped on my shoes and headed to the open house (so there!).

The home contains five bedrooms and four full bathrooms over 4,257 square feet. It rests on nearly two-thirds of an acre (112’ x 237’ lot). It’s listed with Robert Plessinger of Keller-Williams Park Cities for $1.75 million.

The home is on Midway just north of Northwest Highway. For those in less urban environments who like a little walkability, the home of across the street from the strip center housing Fernando’s and La Madeleine restaurants and other retail outlets including the coming soon Central Market. Oh, and did I mention that this stretch of Midway has sidewalks!


I love this post on Huffington Post by Anna Clark, who also writes for Joel Kotkin, and who I totally need to re-connect with.

Anna is the Green Queen of not just Dallas, but Texas. In her op-ed piece for The Huffington Post, she writes that while the Dallas series may portray as as the center of oil gushers and relentless consumerism, we are actually one of the biggest leaders in creating and producing renewable energy. To whit, I did not know this:

” Half Price Books was the first to install a public electric vehicle charging station in its parking lot, and energy retailer TXU recently unveiled two more chargers at Dallas City Hall. Houston-based eVgo, partnering with national retailers such as Walgreens and Cracker Barrel, has also installed six Freedom Stations in the region, some of which include level three chargers, giving EV drivers up to 50 miles in 15 minutes. Such companies are helping us adjust to the transition to electrification and other 21st century technologies.”

Some of the other things Anna brings to light on her site/blog never make it into the narcissistic main-stream media. (Shocker.) I know T. Boone Pickens is spearheading legislation to transition hauling trucks to natural gas, a cleaner burning and necessary, if controversial, domestic energy source. Course, he’s in the biz and the media says he has a vested interest, which he does, but if that vested interest gets us off fossil fuels, what’s wrong with that? I have a vested interest in this blog! She also tells us about Elizabeth Dry, a public school teacher who launched the Promise of Peace Garden, and Jeanne McCarthy, who leads the non-profit Real School Gardens.

“Both these leaders are introducing community gardens to impoverished children in North Texas.”

I am kind of tired of everyone thinking that just because we like our Jimmy Choos and Loubies, and we drive to our homes in the suburbs, we are not green. One of my biggest pet peeves is my beloved New York City where density rules. Yes, everyone lives on top of one another and you don’t need a car in New York City. You can WALK, and boy do I when there. But New Yorkers create so much garbage! They use take-out containers for everything; plastic containers by the boatload. Recycle it, sure, but can it really be used again?  Who can dry clothes outside on a line in New York City? It’s a totally disposal environment.

Anyhoo, if you haven’t, check out Anna’s great blog. I am so re-connecting with her — in a New York minute! Oh and check out her book: Green, American Style.