Energy and national security

 

Thank you for this important article pointing out the numerous vulnerabilities disproportionately faced by low-income residents and people of color during a crisis (“Solar inequalities,” HCN, 11/25/19). After Hurricane Katrina and every subsequent hurricane, I have said to a friend or co-worker that cities should have neighborhood resiliency centers with PV. I’ve been saying that, even if it’s only one home, having one working refrigerator to keep food and medicine safe is a good idea. I’ve been saying the lack of distributed energy (net metering) is a national security issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have a job or bully pulpit where my voice would rise to the surface. Granted, batteries were crazy expensive, and the inverter technologies weren’t designed to flip from grid-tie to in-house easily when Katrina hit. But they are now. Leaving the poor and people of color to suffer, or requiring them to spend money on polluting generators, is unconscionable. Let’s all share this article with friends and elected officials. What is happening in California with PG&E is a travesty. So was what happened in New Orleans’ 9th Ward and in Puerto Rico. Distributed energy and neighborhood resiliency centers or safe houses every few blocks should be funded in any community with more than a few thousand people. PV and battery packs should also be mandatory on senior housing.

Ginger Wireman
Richland, Washington

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