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Old 05-29-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
randomscooter
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Wall Street firm makes record bet on rooftop solar power

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059981337
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Since I'm partial to Solar this is good news. However to put it in perspective investment in all Renewables was 250 Billion in 2011.

http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/money...-2004-2011.gif

Plus the NY Times has some sobering news about Solar Panel quality.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/bu...e.html?hp&_r=0
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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Citibank is also behind this bike sharing project, it's being done on a very large scale and could help reduce car and cab use.


http://citibikenyc.com/
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cityboy View Post
Since I'm partial to Solar this is good news. However to put it in perspective investment in all Renewables was 250 Billion in 2011.

http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/money...-2004-2011.gif

Plus the NY Times has some sobering news about Solar Panel quality.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/bu...e.html?hp&_r=0
Isn't the Solar Panel manufacturing centered around China because American companies haven't really jumped into the market? That would certainly raise concerns about quality given Chinese compaies track records.

Hopefully American companies get into the market and apply the innovation that use to be the trademark for this country and then the advances in technology will lessen the cost.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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I heard that British Petroleum is quietly taking out 100 year leases on office building and warehouse rooftops etc.

One can imagine that solar panels will go through multiple generations of improvements. It will potentially mean ripping out the old and starting over with the new again and again.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
Isn't the Solar Panel manufacturing centered around China because American companies haven't really jumped into the market? That would certainly raise concerns about quality given Chinese compaies track records.

Hopefully American companies get into the market and apply the innovation that use to be the trademark for this country and then the advances in technology will lessen the cost.
Yes, exactly. Most manufacturing is in China. It said there were problems in the US too. It seems that there is extreme pressure to turn a profit so companies are taking shortcuts. It mentioned that even reputable companies are starting to farm out business to vendors.

I recall that when I was much, much younger, made in Japan was associated with inferior products. That has changed now so hopefully it will be the same for China manufacturing.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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China has most of the solar cell manufacturing because of massive government subsidies. Those are now being reduced, and the Chinese solar industry is getting ready to crash:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...cial-says.html

http://www.delawareonline.com/articl...solar-industry

This is the usual outcome when government tries to be too specific in its interventions, and to pick and choose winners and losers. The other outcome is massive corruption (see detail in these articles, and in the US, Solyndra).

Solar is a great idea that will eventually come to pass. But it's not the only great idea out there. The free market does not do a good job of dealing with dwindling resource situations, and I agree that government must intervene to drive things in the right direction. But I think government's intervention should simply be to increase the price of fossil fuels through taxation, and then let the market do what it does well, which is to decide what technologies will rise up to the opportunity.

Unfortunately, increasing the price of gas is a non-starter politically in this country. Everyone wants a big noisy truck to go a couple miles to the supermarket...
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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I totally agree that raising the price of fossil fuels will hasten the development and viability of alternative fuels and conservation. However, this government should not be given more money. The taxes "raised" would have to be directly correlated with giving folks a tax break for using less fuel or converting to more efficient machines. Of course that leads to another set of complications beginning with the dysfunctional tax code.

Or as an alternative raising taxes on fossil fuels and using the proceeds to buy easements and land to add to this nations park or forever wild lands would be a program I support.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Right now there's a bit of a 'land grab' going on due to the rebates that subsidize solar installations. Some consumers could get burned if they don't do their research because there are a lot of outfits claiming installation expertise that they don't really have. I'm not at all worried about the quality of the solar cells or inverters themselves, any more than I'm worried about my Chinese manufactured laptop, TV, camera or cellphone.

I'm about to be an object lesson here: we're installing a 10.5KW solar array. This will make me a net power producer, even after converting from oil powered hot water to electric. I will have the generating capacity to run a geothermal heat pump and thus be energy independent on the home front. The geothermal bit will wait, though. I don't think the technology is far enough along, especially for a very old house like mine.
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