Solar Energy

– the Future of Las Vegas?

Covered Parking and Solar Panels - Nice!

Covered Parking and Solar Panels - Nice!

Just in case you did not know, one of the great benefits of living in Las Vegas is the abundance of great weather and the over 300+ days of sunshine we average every year. While there has been plenty of not so favorable news about the delays in construction for another massive multi-billion dollar resort in Las Vegas, in my opinion, the real potential for long term economic growth for Las Vegas is the massive potential of solar energy.

Yeah I know… it’s been said that it’s too expensive, inefficient, yada yada yada. But Technology is an amazing thing when you put the right minds to work. Take a look at this story in Science Daily about a new break through by MIT Researchers.

“Sunlight has the greatest potential of any power source to solve the world’s energy problems, said Nocera. In one hour, enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

James Barber, a leader in the study of photosynthesis who was not involved in this research, called the discovery by Nocera and Kanan a “giant leap” toward generating clean, carbon-free energy on a massive scale.

“This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind,” said Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London. “The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem.”

The global climate change problem can be debated but I’m not interested in debating that segment. What I am interested in is:

“Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera’s lab, have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun’s energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.

From my take on the story, the cost is relatively inexpensive and the efficiency is greatly improved. With all of the potential of using all of the sun we enjoy in Southern Nevada, will there soon be a day when we can install solar panels on our Las Vegas homes that will be efficient enough to power the entire home and plug in one of our cool new Electric cars (American made by the way) and pass up the gas station?

For a city as rich in solar potential as Las Vegas… the opportunities available are endless. I’m wondering which casino will be the first one to set up covered parking like the picture above that allows visitors to plug in their cars while they visit?

I currently only know one New Las Vegas homebuilder offering solar panels and other advanced energy (and water) efficiency that comes standard in their new homes. Other builders should certainly be doing the same and offering more then just another new home. (Not only can they offer something as beneficial as saving the new Las Vegas Homeowner money, there appears to be some really nice tax incentives for them to do so.)

For Las Vegas homeowners looking for more information on rebates and incentives for installing solar panels, you can visit this site.

I’m certainly curious to know how many people would be more interested in purchasing Las Vegas homes with solar panels – then Las Vegas homes without. Feel free to comment with your answer.

Paul Francis, CRS
Las Vegas Real Estate