Friday, February 23, 2007

Selling Homeowners a Solar Dream

Selling Homeowners a Solar Dream
Instead of making you spring for $25,000 or more in gear, Citizenrē says it will loan you a complete rooftop solar power system, install it for free and sell you back the power it generates at a fixed rate below what your utility charges. The company hopes to make back its investment with those monthly payments, augmented by federal tax credits and rebates.

Founded by a solar power veteran and a former tech company executive just 18 months ago, and still officially in a pre-launch phase, Citizenrē says it has $650 million in bank funding behind it. Enviro-actorvist Ed Begley Jr. has cut an eight-minute video for the company website, and more than 7,000 people from Maine to San Diego have already signed up for systems. And why wouldn't they? With no upfront costs -- aside from a modest security deposit -- consumers can save on their electric bill and help roll back global warming at the same time.

If you own a home and saw An Inconvenient Truth, you're already sold.

This Blog Is 100 Percent Solar

This Blog Is 100 Percent Solar

Friday, February 9, 2007

Personal eco-actions

Ms. Big Stuff
On the most effective personal eco-actions
By Umbra Fisk 05 Aug 2004

"an excellent book from the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices. Being scientists, the authors studied the answer to your question with alarming thoroughness, developed elaborate ways to calculate the effects an individual has on the environment, picked out the most fruitful possibilities for effective change, and presented opinionated answers in this informative book....
The specifics here are not going to surprise you. Cut down on driving, live close to work, take mass transit when possible, walk or bike when you can, buy the smallest car for your needs, and advocate for transit alternatives in your area. Personal cars and trucks really do spew pollutants, from birth through death."

As I said in an earlier post, be practical and pragmatic.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Reality is Catching Up to US...

The Desperation of George W. Bush
2007-02-08 by Chris Nelder

"... after a career spent casting doubt on global warming science and favoring Big Oil at all times and at all costs, President Bush changed his tune in his recent State of the Union speech, claiming that new energy technologies "will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.""

"The reality is that Bush & Co. are in a state of quiet desperation, slowly and deliberately making partially misleading, partially true statements to show that they know the truth about oil and global warming without it actually costing them too much politically, and without having to actually do anything differently....

"They're just trying to get out ahead of the issues so they don't get crushed by them..."

The first reason is simply that the world's number-one oil field, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, is in decline....

"And we now know that our second largest oilfield, Mexico's Cantarell, is in a catastrophic 28% annual decline. The U.S.'s number-two source of imports could be finished in less than four years.

"Last month the Bush administration sent a team from the Department of Energy to meet with Canada's natural resources agency, to ask them to bypass environmental rules in order to ramp up production from oil sands by a factor of five . . . even though, as has been well recognized already, they have neither the natural gas nor the fresh water to do it.

"...The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its much-anticipated report. Three years in the making, the report is the most comprehensive, global and peer-reviewed study on climate change ever written, bringing together the work of more than 800 scientists, more than 450 lead authors from more than 130 countries and more than 2,500 expert reviewers.

In short, it's humanity's best try at getting the story right.

And the report said greenhouse gas emissions will continue to change the climate over the next 100 years, causing sea levels to rise by a half-meter. Millions will be displaced from their coastal and low-lying communities, causing waves of environmental refugees. Snow in the mountains will disappear, desertification will intensify, oceans will die-and so will people, due to deadly heat waves, as world temps rise by some 3 to 5.8 degrees Celsius....

In the GMO Quarterly Letter 2007, Jeremy Grantham had a sharply worded essay titled "While America Slept, 1982-2006-A Rant on Oil Dependency, Global Warming, and a Love of Feel-Good Data." He wrote:

Successive U.S. administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change, and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain. In fact, we have spent the last large chunk of time in this country with a strong bias to feel-good data at the expense of accurate, hard data in this field. This attitude seems to be reflected in the spin on U.S. economic success, which we've commented on several times, exaggerating, sometimes substantially, the absolute and relative performance of the U.S. economy. It has certainly been reflected in the general desire for environmental issues to be benign and optimistic or to simply go away. [ . . . ]

The U.S. policy approach to climate change (and other environmental issues) has been similarly casual in its unwillingness to plan for the long term. There is now nearly universal scientific agreement that fossil fuel use is causing a rise in global temperatures [ . . . ] Yet the U.S. is the only country in which environmental data is steadily attacked in a well funded campaign of disinformation (funded mainly by one large oil company). This campaign has used and reused the solitary plausible academic they can dig up, out of hundreds working in the field, plus one famous novelist-without qualifications in the field, but, still, for heaven's sake, widely quoted by the administration-and one Danish economist who really doesn't get Pascal's Paradox, but does seem to have shares in The Wall Street Journal.

Clearly, Team Bush is desperate to get on the right side of the climate change issue.

This is only the first half of our case. We'll explore the second half next week.

Until then . . .

-Chris Nelder

Scary, is it not. Now is the time to begin to use every means to use solar energy.

Wind Power?

The Skystream, Next-Generation Backyard Wind Generator, Awarded a 2006 Best of What's New Award from Popular Science in the Home Category.
How does the practical side appear? In the last blog entry, (Tuesday, February 6, 2007)the rationale for solar far and away beat wind, in Massachusetts any way.

I think that the use of solar hot water generation and the new nanosolar and technical advances (see Tuesday, February 6, 2007 blog about the DBK panels) for solar PV panels will probably take the nod from me, but I still have an open mind.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

What the PV Industry Can Learn from Google

So why is Google relevant here? Google is a prime illustration of what Topline Strategy considers a "Short Fuse" technology, that is a technology that has a shorter early adopter period and achieves widespread mainstream adoption far faster than traditionally thought possible. When mainstream buyers consider the cost-benefit of a new technology, they consider far more than just its price -- they see hidden costs and potential risks and build them into their purchase decision. Short Fuse technology solutions are ones whose developers anticipate these costs and risks and design them out right from the start. By doing so, they attract mainstream buyers far sooner than solutions created and deployed under the Long Fuse paradigm of slowly building credibility with the earliest adopters before bridging product and marketing efforts to the mainstream. Google's AdSense solution did exactly that for online advertising and rapidly brought millions of new customers into the market -- customers for whom the favorable economics of Internet advertising alone was not enough.

The full report on the Solar Industry is available in a .pdf, as is the report with some nice thinking/rationale as to why PV is better than wind generation on Massachusetts.

Animated Guide to the GREENHOUSE EFFECT by the BBC

BBC Greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is the natural process by which the atmosphere traps some of the Sun's energy, warming the Earth enough to support life.

Most mainstream scientists believe a human-driven increase in "greenhouse gases" is increasing the effect artificially.

These gases include carbon dioxide, emitted by fossil fuel burning and deforestation, and methane, released from rice paddies and landfill sites.

1500 and 3000 watts per solar panel!

DBK's Multiple Energy Level (MEL) Patent Pending Solar Panels, the JIL-1500 and 3000 solar panels (IEC 61215 certified)use 70 percent of the sun wavelengths instead of 17 percent. This is linked to a DC to AC conversion process that gets the 1500 or the 3000 watts needed to supply your home or business. One or two JIL panels are all that is needed for most homes!; 5-6 panels for most small businesses.

Even more,DBK will be donating over 10,000 of its solar panels to remote areas around the world to build new hospitals, schools and to power new wells for clean, pure water for families and children. Approximately one out every ten panels will be donated to improve the life of a child somewhere in the world.

Wow! What a great and noble aspiration! Kudos to them!