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Presidential hopeful McCain flip flops on Solar Power

When Senator McCain visited California in February 2008 for the California republican primaries he pretended to support solar energy by receiving his endorsement from Arnold Schwarzenegger at a solar power manufacturing company in Los Angeles. What a prefect place to fool Californians, since we’re so pro-solar down here. Well the California republican primaries are finished and Senator McCain is changing his tune! Today, McCain made it very clear that he does not support subsidies for solar power, although he did promote incentives for nuclear power (sounds a little like Bush to me). At an event hosted by REI, a major player in the outdoor and clothing industry, the CEO of the company explained to McCain what REI is doing to minimize their impact to climate change. McCain asked a straightforward question to the executives, “What do you want me to do?” The CEO of REI went on to explain that the company plans to install solar panels on their retail shops in Arizona, California and Oregon although there are no federal incentives to help with the costs. McCain’s response was shocking, he stated that he is skeptical of subsidies in general, although does support them for nuclear power and the oil & gas industry. He noted that the over-subsidization of the Solar Industry in the 1970s led to “some pretty shoddy material.” McCain said, “When government jumps in and distorts the market, then there’s unintended consequences as well as intended.” Then tell me why we give BILLIONS of dollars to big oil every year in subsidies? Is it because they are funding the McCain campaign? I seriously don’t understand this guy, hes from Arizona for Pete’s sake! There is an abundance of free energy falling from the sky everyday, and this guy is promoting nuclear power? Which is dangerous and could be used as a weapon in a terrorist attack! McCain needs to understand we need to follow the footsteps of the countries who have already established great energy polices and use renewable energy as a large part of their portfolio. Distributed energy is the future no matter if McCain is president or not, the people want solar power and solar power they shall...

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eBay goes solar!

Just like every major corporation that knows the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy, such as solar power is expiring the end of this year is rushing to get solar power installed on their business to take advantage of the generous federal tax credit coupled with the state rebates, really makes it a no brainier for corporations based in California. Google, another dot com company showed off their large solar power system last year and now it seems like EBay is now jumping onto the Bandwagon. SolarCity installed the 650 kilowatt solar power plant on Ebay’s north campus in San Jose, California. Ebay’s solar power installation is the largest commercial installation in San Jose. The solar power system will save EBay around 0,000 in electricity costs for just in the first year of operation. According to Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s chief executive officer, “While many companies talk about environmental responsibility, eBay is ‘walking the walk’ with a multi-faceted commitment to clean power and green building, Our managed solar installation will allow eBay and its employees to measure their collective, positive impact on the environment.” Sure, Mr. Rive…..eBay went solar to exclusively save the environment, it had NOTHING to do with the fact of the high return on investment and all the money the corporation will get back from the federal government and the state of California. I’m so positive when you went into your sales call with eBay executives that all you mentioned was how much the system would do for the environment, give me a break. Mr. Rive of SolarCity sold this solar power system to eBay purely on its financial return. I’m being EXTRA critical because when ever I see a press release about a large corporate solar power installation, I always see quotes from the executive management that the corporation did it for the environment and they never mention how good of an investment it is for their type of entity. The bottom line is that they are “greenwashing” the real reason why eBay purchased the solar power system. All consumer research in the solar power space has proved that consumers buy solar power only if it makes sense financially. Very few people or organizations just do it for the...

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Grid Alternatives donates solar power

There is a great group out there called Grid Alternatives based out of Northern California that raises money for a solar power installation for a low income residents of California. The group established an office out in Los Angeles area a few months ago and I have been informed that they have secured an installation for a low income family in El Monte, California….the installation will not make it easier for one family to lower their operating overhead, but the donated solar power system will give others the opportunity to get their hands dirty on a solar power installation. The great part of this service is that it trains and get the public excited about solar and hopefully some of the volunteer installers who get a chance to be part of the project end up relieving the industry with the lack of workforce problem. Grid Alternatives kills two birds with one stone by exposing solar and developing a qualified workforce for the industry. For more information:...

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ASES Solar 2008 Expo

We’re at the ASES Solar 2008 Expo in sunny San Diego, California this weekend. This show was interesting because there was a wide range of products on showcase we very well developed companies to startups. Some interesting technologies we saw included solar panels which produced electricity and heated water from the same panel, quicker and easier ways to mount solar panels, standardized systems which make it easier for general contractors and other do it yourselfers install solar power with one days work. The expo also featured concentrated photovoltaic solar panels, it seems like this technology is showing up much more at renewable energy tradeshows and as the product continues to develop it will soon hit the consumer market. The expo hall had a lot of emphasis on solar water heating; there has been a lot of progress in the technology, from newer and better evacuated tube and very interesting looking flat plate collectors. It’s great being at the trade shows because we can really find out what is upcoming in the market and deliver that information to you, so you can make educated decisions about your clean energy...

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New Fontana Home Community Offers Solar Power

According to the Fontana Herald News, A new home development in Fontana, California is offering 2.3-kW integrated solar roof tile systems in CenterStone Estates. This deployment of Solar Power integrated into the roofing shingles is a first for San Bernardino County and makes a significant milestone for solar being offered in new home communities. Unlike other communities that offer an option for solar power PD Solar Roofing and CenterStone Communities have made it a standard in their communities. The systems are fully warrantied by CenterStone homes. The solar roofing building integrated shingles can provide up to 30% a family of fours electricity needs based on the average consumption rate for a family of four. Its a bold step and a great indicator for the demand for solar power when home developers include solar power as a standard...

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Nanosolar to serve residential solar market in soon?

Many residential consumers were disappointed this month when they found out Nanosolar is not offering panels to residential homeowners or even businesses. Nanosolar is exclusively dealing with large utilities according to the Nanosolar offical blog. It was not until a flood of emails sent to the CEO of Nanosolar by angry consumers that the CEO address the commented and stated serving the residential market is in their “near term” roadmap. There was no expected date in which Nanosolar would offer $1/watt thin film solar panels to the residential market. I feel as the company’s manufacturing capacity goes up and the have an abundance of product they will start to offer the residential market with cheap solar panels. The first Nanosolar customer was a German utility company that used the thin film solar panels for a large solar array deployment, municipal power plant. So my expectations is Nanosolar will offer cheaper solar panels in a couple years, because it seems like up until now their supply is dedicated to large customers who want to put up municipal power...

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