Monday, April 7, 2008

Solar vs. Redwoods

The New York Times has a very interesting article today about a case that recently reached the courts in California. This case pits two neighbors against each other. One couple planted several redwood trees, which are shading their neighbors solar panels. Both neighbors are making environmentally concious desicions; redwoods are excellent at sequestering CO2, and provide a home for birds, solar panels provide clean and renwable electricity.
An axcerpt from the article cites the law, under which the neighbor with the solar panels is taking the redwoods owners to court, "under a 1978 state law protecting homeowners’ investment in rooftop solar panels, trees that impede solar panels’ access to the sun can be deemed a nuisance and their owners fined up to $1,000 a day.".
In this case I think that I support the Redwood planters. They planted their trees before their neighbor installed his solar panels, so the solar man should not have installed panels that would be shaded by these trees. Redwoods are native to California, and need to be protected, whereas people can have solar power anywhere that it is sunny.

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