What is the big ‘deal’ about Solyndra? Why are we letting this company go? Compared to what we spend on subsidizing the oil industry the Solynda loan is a drop in the bucket. The oil industry does not need subsidizing.
If we compare the annual big oil subsidies to the Solyndra loan, we gain the appropriate perspective of the issue.
Eric Curren from the Energy Bulletin outlines the hope of cutting big oil subsidies:
While the GOP House leadership seeks $60 billion in savings from programs including food-aid for pregnant women, public transportation and the EPA, Democrats say they can find most of that amount just from cutting oil subsidies.
Zachary Shahan wrote a great synopsis of the issues we are dealing with regarding energy independence, green jobs and global competition. Here Zachary highlights the main reason that Solyndra was defeated by China:
Bottom line: China has identified solar exports as a national priority, and it has tailored national policies and devoted national resources to achieving that goal. The strategy is working – at the expense of U.S. companies and American workers.
Here David Miller of Solyndra hints at the source of the problem for the US solar manufacturers:
Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops, Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers. This competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that finance solar systems.
The Solyndra technology seems so promising. Bailing out a company like this will return real benefits of improved energy production that fits into the plan of ridding ourselves of the need for fossil fuels. Unfortunately the US currency is based on the oil trade. We will not become energy independent until we change the way our money works.
R. Buckminster Fuller had a great idea as described in his book ‘Critical Path‘. Instead of basing our currency on debt, we change our currency valuation to be a derivative of kilowatt-hours. If the dollar was redeemable for kilowatt-hours instead of being debt that had to be repaid to a foreign corporation, we would change the system to be supportive of energy independence from fossil fuels.
Read more about these issues:
Its amazing that we are still dependent on foreign states for our energy. The military should be the first energy independent organization under the US government to prove out the concepts and create markets of scale to be able to implement scaled down solutions for residential markets.
While energy savings might be nice for civilians, it could be absolutely vital for the military. For example, if a terrorist attack dumped the electricity grid, an energy-independent Fort Bliss — or any military facility — would still be able to function and respond.
From the City of Palm Desert:
February 2, 2010 The City of Palm Desert has announced the upcoming release of $6 million in new funding for its popular Energy Independence Program. Half of the new funds will be dedicated to loans for energy efficiency improvements with the other half reserved for loans for solar projects. The funding will be available to Palm Desert property owners who submit a completed loan application beginning Monday, February 8.
The City’s Office of Energy Management, 73-510 Fred Waring Drive, will accept applications from Palm Desert property owners on a first-come, first-served basis. Property owners can apply in person by appointment only. Applications submitted by contractors on behalf of property owners will be accepted by appointment with a limit of one application per company each day.
Applications will be reviewed by Office of Energy Management staff, with written notification of approval provided to customers when their application is officially complete. Staff will schedule appointments with customers whose applications are complete to review and discuss the loan documents and processing. If an application is deemed incomplete, notification will be sent to the property owner that they must resubmit. Resubmissions will be accepted while funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program makes these energy saving measures more affordable by allowing the City to loan money to residents and businesses at competitive interest rates without the credit checks or appraisals associated with home equity and other types of personal loans. Borrowers can repay the loans over time as part of their property taxes. If the property is sold, the improvements and the outstanding loan balance can be transferred to the new owner.
Check out the only Solar power and Energy Efficiency company owned and operated in Palm Desert, California: Renova Energy Corp.
In an earlier posting I noted that geothermal energy is best in moderate climate zones. I think I may have been wrong and should have said “temperate” climate zones. I am also a geothermal noob. But thank goodness for the internet.
I recently found a site focused on building awareness of the potential of geothermal energy:
The current production of geothermal energy from all uses places third among renewables, following hydroelectricity and biomass, and ahead of solar and wind. Despite these impressive statistics, the current level of geothermal use pales in comparison to its potential. The key to wider geothermal use is greater public awareness and technical support. http://www.geothermal.org/what.html
To remove your status of geothermal noob, check out this PDF from the University of Utah:
It looks like Nevada is geothermal central.
I have a friend that owns an energy efficiency business, and I asked him about prop 7 and how it would affect his business. He said it would shut him down, it would shut down any residential solar installer business, and it would make electricity more expensive. I trust him, but I also wanted to delve deeper. Check out who opposes prop 7 here: http://www.noprop7.com/whoopposes7.html.
It seems that anyone that cares about the state’s resources, people and environment are listed here. They say that prop 7 could cause another energy crises. The proposition was drafted and sponsored by a billionaire from Arizona that doesn’t understand renewable energy, but has been influenced by greed, and does not reflect what California needs.
California needs a plan that rewards homeowners for producing excess energy with solar, wind, geo-thermal or biomass. The citizens can become a decentralized power plant that the utility does not have to build and maintain. The utilities should pay for electricity produced as anyone else does. The utility should get a market discount to account for the cost of distribution to those that do not produce their own energy, but the producers should get paid. It will diversify our production. It will stabilize our energy consumption, and secure ourselves in the case of a larger energy crisis.
Vote no on prop 7 to prevent a power grab from an out of state billionaire!
The War on Terror is the the cover for the real war; The War for the Petrodollar.
We have invaded Iraq because they stopped accepting dollars for oil. Saddam Hussein was toppled in order to set Iraq back on the track of the Petrodollar.
Iran is on the chopping block now because they are not accepting dollars for oil anymore. The nuclear arms scare is a cover for the real threat of destabilizing the American Oil Empire.
The dollar used to be backed by gold. Now the dollar is backed by oil through OPEC. That is why OPEC is allowed to exist, in order to prop up the dollar. If the dollar is not the standard currency for oil purchases, then the dollar will decline into just being a piece of wasted paper. That is what is happening now. Japan now buys oil from Iran with yen, not dollars. This means they can unload the dollars they’ve been holding onto, and a big release of currency will devalue the dollar.
Since America can’t force the whole world to use the dollar to buy oil we will see a decline of the petrodollar. As the dollar declines there will be more incentive for countries to use their own currency to purchase oil. Right now we are in the death throes of the petrodollar, and we will see additional desperate action from our American Empire.
As an American I hate to see any harm come to our economy, but we must face facts and get real. We’ve got to end the Petrodollar on our terms. The way to do it is to first back the dollar with precious metals as is described in our Constitution. Let’s get back to basics and have a real currency, not just funny money.
Also, we need to become energy independent with renewable resources. This way we are not locked into sending money to countries that don’t have good intentions for us. When we buy oil today, some of the money makes it into the hands of terrorists. So we are funding both sides of the war in Iraq. One side is paid by future generation through massive debt, and the other side is paid through the obscene gas prices we pay at the pump.
The rest of the oil money goes to the International Monetary Fund to pay for the debt relief of all the third world nations. We don’t owe the IMF anything. Let’s get off our asses and claim our independence!
Forget biodiesel or ethanol, or even hydrogen. We need this technology now!
Energy Independence is our most important issue right now. It is our national vulnerability. I personally support solar, wind and other types of energy that depend on ambient conditions as they are low maintenance compared to fossil fuels, biofuels and nuclear power. I also think we need to develop our energy distribution system into a decentralized system that emulates the internet. This way power is produced and consumed locally so that the chance for large scale black outs are reduced to almost 0%. This would help national security considerably and there would be no chance for corporations to gouge consumers the way Enron did.
Our economy could be turned upside down overnight by a terrorist attack on Saudi oil distribution lines. We are spending more money on defending our oil interests than it would take to develop technologies that would make oil obsolete as an energy source.
We need to end the oil subsidies and award entrepreneurs that develop more efficient ways to extract electricity from solar, wind and other ambient energy sources.