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The emperor’s new solar panels

“What kind of fool could believe in forever?”
    ~ Danny Wilson, “Broken China” from the album Meet Danny Wilson (1987)

They’re all made by companies over the sea
Whose names you won’t recognize since
A decade ago these firms had yet to be
And maybe won’t be, ten years hence.

They tell you the warranty’s twenty-five years,
What’s more there are no moving parts.
The buyer believes that the top glass adheres
To the truth of the marketing arts.

The cheap vinyl backing expands with the heat,
Contracts in the cool of the shade,
And truly won’t move if the sun doesn’t beat
Which isn’t when power is made,

Then once there have been enough days in the sun
You’ll observe upon examination
The seal of the glass to the vinyl’s undone
By a breakdown called delamination.

Once water gets inside, a process transpires
To render the panel infirm,
Though even at best to pay off it requires
A decade-or-more working term.

The big no-name brands say they have a solution:
A backing of glass and not vinyl.
Check out the new line — it’s a whole revolution!
Just order now; all sales are final.

Now dual-pane glass isn’t new under the sun
Where it fogs till our views are obstructed.
Shall solar home owners want in on the fun
Before years of field tests are conducted?

No worries, to build these is such an admission
Your order will hit the sales channels
And leave you no juice as you can’t requisition
The emporer’s new solar panels.

If ever you can, though, then how would you guess
It’s a guinea pig’s role you’re adopting?
What’s new but seems long in the tooth won’t cause stress
In the brave new world for which you’re opting.

Who benefits from keeping folks in the dark
And these quality problems unsolved?
The big power industry leaves not a mark
That its empire is at all involved.

    May 2016

Thanks always returns

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