Sunday, June 03, 2007

Amish go Solar Electric big time!


In Ohio the Amish go Solar Electric

The ultra-conservative Christian sect known for their plain dress and avoidance of modern machinery such as cars are embracing solar power.

In Ohio where one of the world’s largest Amish communities live, an estimated 80% of families now have photovoltaic panels. They use the solar power for very basic electrical needs like home lighting, powering sewing machines, and charging batteries for lights on horse-drawn buggies.

The Amish use solar for two main reasons; safety because gas and oil lamps are a fire hazard and also because of legal requirements, the traffic codes there require electric lamps on horse-drawn buggies. Another reason they are going over to solar power is to avoid connecting to the electric grid, as they feel this would thwart their efforts to remain separated from the rest of society.

Previously, some Amish communities have occasionally used generators and windmills to provide power. Recent improvements in solar panels however have made photovoltaic power an attractive alternative.

In technology it would seem that the technically backward have become the front runners, at least in solar power.


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