Friday, September 18, 2009

Being energy dependant by design

Federal and local government doesn’t support solar energy. I guess we’re used to being energy dependant and if we continue on the path we’re on, we’ll continue to be energy dependant.
This week, Gov. Schwarzenegger issued an executive order that requires California achieve his goal of 20% of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. He also pledged to veto legislation that specifies how that goal will be met. California is home to the world’s largest solar equipment manufacturer. It is based in Silicon Valley and it manufacturers no solar panels there. All of its manufacturing is done abroad. In the past 12 months Applied Materials has sold $1.3 billion in solar. None of that will be fulfilled in the US or California. Mr. Governor, why is that? Small sun based industry is embracing solar. The California wine business is converting. In Mendocino’s Anderson Valley many of the wineries run all or part of their businesses on solar power. Navarro Vineyards and Greenwood Ridge leverage extensive solar installations. The Wine Spectator ran a story about thieves using wineries' panels as a parts warehouse . Why won’t California’s government find some way to encourage other businesses to install solar? Applied Materials says the solar market in the US is less stable the California’s budget or its plate tectonics. Before it commits to building solar in California, it has to know the government is behind developing this market. Why hasn’t this been done. California and the US need jobs, we need energy and we need to be able to produce both without being dependant on foreign markets and energy. This would appear to be a “shovel ready” industry ready to grow and eager to solve many problems.

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