PV manufacturers not competitive against utility power

We think it happened because the people demanded it. They forced utility companies to build them and treasury departments to issue checks to help homeowners pay for them. Fossil fuel and nuclear industry have received a $100 billion dollars in incentives and they’re the most profitable industry on the planet and certainly the most polluting (nothing can hold a candle to nuclear waste with plutonium and radioactive waste with a life of hundreds of thousands of years.)\n\nMost of it was installed on farms, fine, but what if it had all been on homes in our neighborhoods where our kids, friends and neighbors could have seen them think. What a great impact as hundreds of thousands of stories of families spread thru the media every week for years about their solar powered homes and business’. Continue reading

Solar Power Int in Los Angeles

Solar Power Int., in Los Angeles was excellent. We cruised Beverly Hills, had drinks and listened to music and pitched ideas around for new movies at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the Polo Lounge, then headed to Hollywood  to measure handprints. The Trina Solar Party was visited by Pamela Anderson asking for donations for Haiti and we had our pictures taken with Frank and Tim of American Pickers at the airport. We also got lost looking for Venice Beach ended up surrounded by power plants and oil tanks in the middle of the night.\n\nAs usual there were ton’s of people. To get in cost $250 to $300, if you couldn’t score free ticket’s, which we did, for six, at the last minute, thanks to Christy my daughter. There were 6 of us at the show, Adam, Louis, Christy, Jeremy, Juan and myself, very funny. We rented a nice big  house in a questionable neighborhood but incredibly close to everything.\n\nToo much information, TMI, was everywhere. It was overwhelming. We saw old friends at every turn, David Katz, Sam Vander hoof, John Schaffer, Roger Efird, Tom Dwyer, Alan King, Romulo Bissetti, Jawid Shawriar, and many more.\n\nWe did not find cool new products, unfortunately. It was more  important to renew relationships and make new ones. Someone told us the Asians like to meet first and quote later so we all tried to pour on the charm. Juan Bernal was especially obnoxious with his charm, 1 word of Chinese, which he repeated insistently: shea shea,  shea shea,  shea shea.\n

We did find that solar panel prices have not changed

\nIf anything, they have increased and the problem of supply is still with us. If you want to do a quick megawatt in the next 2  months it may be hard if not impossible to get anything. Some companies, the largest are sold out for the first quarter and even one for the first half of next year. The solution still depends on Germany’s politics.\n\nMidnight and Xantrex are coming out with some some new larger charge controllers that our engineers were really excited about. The off grid product booths for smaller modules, refrigerators, batteries looked kind of slow compared to all the suits surrounding the big grid tie related product manufacturer’s booths.\n\nLot’s of big projects out there are propelling the industry along at an excellent rate. Two of our colleagues have done quite well. One is close to a possible landing of a 15 MW project in the Caribbean and another actually won a 20 MW project in California. You could sense that big projects were being discussed in booths all around. I was privileged to participate in one conversation between a large manufacturer and a client who had just won a project that was well over 200MW.\n\nThe word “Terawatt” not Gigawatt was on banners and mentioned several times in our tour around the show. I don’t even know what a Terawatt is but it’s at least 1000 Gigawatts which is a 1000 Megawatts I think. Its hard to visualize.  I can remember the installation of the United States’ first Megawatt plant. Considered an amazing feat at the time that was performed by ARCO in Carrizo Plains, Cal.  Seems like yesterday. each huge array was on a heliostat, unfortunately, it didn’t work because all the modules cooked because of the mirrors they added to the modules. I actually thought it was a plot too kill off solar energy by the oil company by making solar energy look real bad, apparently it didn’t work. All the panels worked but they turned brown form an electro chemical thermal reaction in the EVA laminate sheet. The first B modules were thus created and sold at .10 on the dollar and they were renamed Carrizo Golds by the Kusianivitchs, relatives of the Kusians, friends of mine from Tucson who grew up right down the street from my house. “It’s a small world and everything in it is connected by a gossamer thread” said Ruth Gordon (she played the nosey neighbor in Rosmary’s Baby and was a great character actress).\n\nAt the show I also ran into several more people who got hooked on solar like I did when they saw a solar oven shoot up to 300 degrees F.\n\nNow I am just totally rambling again, but honenestly, I really don’t think anyone reads this thing.\n\nHad a vision the other day as I looked up at the Sun with my eyes closed by the pool: I was standing on the Earth looking out through space through thousands of tiny stars, you could see and  feel the distance between you and the Sun. And, you saw and felt its incredible power. We will figure out how to tap into it economically without incentives sooner or later it just seemed so overwhelmingly powerful that it has to happen. It’s man’s energy source destiny, and we all know it.\n\nGod I hope nobody reads this crap. Oh well someone has to say it, it might as well be me.\n\nWhat comes after a terrawatt anyway, a cuadrawatt?