Where's my silver lining?
WE'VE almost completed the time-consuming process of putting solar power on our roof and I have become very anti-cloud.
A milestone was reached when the system was plugged in and a flow of electricity was pumped into the grid. At the suggestion of the electrician I went to look at the meter box and there, as proof that an era had begun, I watched the meter turn back. This is quite a simple but amazing event and would be great during non-ratings periods if only it happened at night. I started to plan what to do with all the carbon I was saving.
After the electrician had left I went outside every hour to see how much power we were generating. At one point the power dropped alarmingly and I thought something had gone wrong with the installation but then I realised a cloud was over the sun. I waved my arms but this had no impact. Cursing the cloud had no effect either. It drifted over the sun like an eclipse.
I soon realised that clouds were costing me money. I thought about climbing on the roof and shining a torch on the panels but I can't stand heights.
I started to blame the government: what was the point in having a subsidy that encouraged people like me to put solar power on the roof if they let clouds get in the way and ruin all the gains? Bad planning, no commitment to infrastructure, why hadn't the government planned big fans to push clouds inland where they were wanted? At 60¢ a kilowatt-hour some clouds were costing me 10¢ each. Wet days were financial disasters! Now I knew why the government had abandoned its generous rate paid for solar power. It was too embarrassing for the public to know the government was powerless to address the fundamentals. The clouds were reigning supreme, just like the banks.
I planned a website devoted to raising awareness about the cloud menace, a Twitterverse devoted to those who had successfully beaten clouds and a GetRightUpEm campaign aimed at forcing the government to invest in my fan concept.
But it all got so hard I figured I was better off grinning and bearing it so I sat down, drink in hand to watch my solar-powered plasma. Five minutes later the sky went black and the TV stopped working.
Clouds, I hate 'em.