We are, I admit, vaguely desperate for solar. We hope (we hope! we hope!) we are getting passive solar designed into the house, but we would love to have a place for active solar (and the $0.12 electric bill the Green House people had for October-November is doing nothing to dissuade us…). However, active solar may be a challenge on our lot.
The property to our south has some gorgeous pecans that provide some passive solar shading to the southern part of our property during the summer months. Because of those trees, any hope of placing solar panels would have to be on the northern side of the property, so the top of the garage would be a perfect place. However, there’s an unfortunately placed juvenile pecan just to the rear of where the garage might go. This tree will shade the garage in the morning hours and, over time, shade more and more of the panels. Not good. Furthermore, because of the neighbor’s trees, that corner is the best corner for a garden, but not after that juvenile grows into an adult.
So….. Which is greener? (1) Cutting down the tree, replacing it elsewhere on the lot, generating electricity, and eating homegrown vegetables? or (2) Leaving the tree, steaming about the Green House people’s less-than-a-quarter a month electric bill, eating Twinkies, and dying 15.3 years earlier because we lived anger-(and cream-)filled lives?
Insert advice below (or the tree gets it!).