Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Columbia SC goes solar


Hopefully the first of hundreds.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sustainability summary of SC companies

This high level over view studies the public stance of some of South Carolina’s major employers. As you will see it was very easy to find information leading to each company’s thoughts and actions on how to achieve profits and growth and still have a sustainable business practice. It is important to recognize that action now will not make South Carolina a leader but will put us somewhat on par with the region and prevent our economy from losing jobs and economic activity because we failed to act on building a 21st century energy economy.

Boeing has implemented aggressive targets for improving its environmental performance both for its operations and the lifecycle of its products. Boeing has a record of commitment to regulatory compliance and a legacy of environmental performance improvements in its products and services. And by learning from and enabling its employees to drive change, Boeing is embedding environmental thought and action into everything we do.
Boeing is committed to operating in a manner that promotes environmental stewardship.
Boeing will strive to: Conduct operations in compliance with applicable environmental laws, regulations, and Boeing policies and procedures.
Prevent pollution by conserving energy and resources, recycling, reducing waste, and pursuing other source reduction strategies.
Continually improve our environmental management system.
Work together with our stakeholders on activities that promote environmental protection.
In addition to adopting this policy, Boeing has set aggressive and transparent enterprise wide performance targets to drive environmental thought and action throughout its operations.
2010 Web site

Duke Energy
“The global markets are clearly moving toward a low-carbon economy. This shift represents a unique opportunity for countries that develop and sell cleaner energy technologies. Nations that delay will lose more jobs and the ability to compete globally, and may end up buying clean technology from foreign suppliers.”
We have shared in the past two editions of this Sustainability Report our aspiration to reduce our 2006 U.S. CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030. In 2009, our U.S. generation fleet emitted about 91 million tons of CO2 – down from 105 million tons in 2008. However, some of this reduction is a “false positive,” driven by the weakened economy and resulting lower demand for electricity.
We continued to invest in renewable energy in 2009 to diversify our fuel mix and reduce our carbon footprint. Including our renewable energy assets, our nuclear fleet in the Carolinas and our hydroelectric assets in North America and South America, we are now the third-largest producer of carbon-free electricity in the Americas among U.S.-based, investor-owned utilities. Almost 40 percent of the electricity we generated in 2009 was from carbon-free sources.

Jim Rogers CEO Duke Energy


Sonoco is working to shrink the environmental footprint at each of its more than 300 manufacturing plants in 35 countries by:
• Reducing wastes going to landfills
• Reducing energy consumption
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Reducing hazardous air emissions
• Reducing water usage
• Implementing and encouraging internal recycling programs
Read Sonoco's Environmental Sustainability Policy.
2010 Web site
15% GHG reduction by 2013

Nucor Steel

“Sustainability—through profitable and responsible long-term growth. We are committed to being cultural and environmental stewards in the communities where we live and work. We are succeeding by working together.”

Nucor Corporation is made up of 20,400 teammates whose goal is to take care of our customers. We are
accomplishing this by being the safest, highest quality, lowest cost, most productive and most profitable
steel and steel products company in the world. We are committed to doing this while being cultural
and environmental stewards in our communities where we live and work. We are succeeding by
working together.
2009 Sustainability report


BMW has tremendous economic impact across the entire state of South Carolina. BMW’s investment in South Carolina supports over 23,000 jobs and produces $1.2 billion in wages and salaries a year. Additionally, BMW creates a multiplier effect of 4.3 meaning that for every one job created at the BMW plant that almost four jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
BMW is committed to doing our part to protect and preserve the local resources upon which we all rely. Through corporate initiatives that encourage environmental awareness, financial support and conservation, we’re playing a leading role in sustaining the fragile eco-systems that make the Upstate community so unique. Our environmental responsibility is one we take seriously, in order to make sure the give and take between nature and business is a balanced one.
Historical examples support both sides. Railroads criss-crossed the country in the 19th Century in part because of sweetheart land grants from states and the federal government. The U.S. freeway system, created for national security, lead to a population boom and new cities in the Southwest. The Internet? It grew out of military research program. Companies like Yahoo, Google, eBay and Amazon wouldn’t have ever been born if the government hadn’t built the basic infrastructure.
“To do something, you’ve got to do something” Jeff Immelt GE CEO.
Ecomagination website

“At SCANA, we believe that now, more than ever, we must continue to be a good corporate citizen and take a leadership role in helping solve some of the issues facing our communities and do everything we can to strengthen them – by investing in education, protecting the environment and working to improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities.
It’s not just because it’s good business. It’s because it’s the right thing to do.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, really. None of our SBA members want to damage our local economy or stop fossil fuel or nuclear based energy production. We want the sustainable and smart implementation of support for small business, job creating, renewable energy policies that will enable South Carolina to grow and prosper as fossil fuel constraints begin to impact how we do business. Nuclear fission has limited Uranium sources, fossil fuel is the sun’s energy stored underground. These resources are both finite, meaning at some point as demand exceeds supply costs will go up dramatically and quite possibly dangerously. Until Exxon buys the sun, renewable energy and specifically solar will remain free. A .01% investment in generating capacity is smart policy, diversifying your energy portfolio and creating jobs is what South Carolina needs.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

India to America, LEAD US, we believe.

Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of the National Association of Software and Service Companies in India, explained that for the first 40 years of Indian independence, entrepreneurs here were looked down upon. India had lost confidence in its ability to compete, so it opted for protectionism. But when the ’90s rolled around, and India’s government was almost bankrupt, India’s technology industry was able to get the government to open up the economy, in part by citing the example of America and Silicon Valley. India has flourished ever since.

“America,” said Srivastava, “was the one who said to us: ‘You have to go for meritocracy. You don’t have to produce everything yourselves. Go for free trade and open markets.’ This has been the American national anthem, and we pushed our government to tune in to it. And just when they’re beginning to learn how to hum it, you’re changing the anthem. ... Our industry was the one pushing our government to open our markets for American imports, 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and tough copyright laws when it wasn’t fashionable.”

If America turns away from these values, he added, the socialist/protectionists among India’s bureaucrats will use it to slow down any further opening of the Indian markets to U.S. exporters.

It looks, said Srivastava, as if “what is happening in America is a loss of self-confidence. We don’t want America to lose self-confidence. Who else is there to take over America’s moral leadership? American’s leadership was never because you had more arms. It was because of ideas, imagination, and meritocracy.” If America turns away from its core values, he added, “there is nobody else to take that leadership. Do we want China as the world’s moral leader? No. We desperately want America to succeed.”

This isn’t just so American values triumph. With a rising China on one side and a crumbling Pakistan on the other, India’s newfound friendship with America has taken on strategic importance. “It is very worrying to live in a world that no longer has the balance of power we’ve had for 60 years,” said Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express newspaper. “That is why everyone is concerned about America.”

India and America are both democracies, a top Indian official explained to me, but emotionally they are now ships passing in the night. Because today the poorest Indian maid believes that if she can just save a few dollars to get her kid English lessons, that kid will have a better life than she does. So she is an optimist. “But the guy in Kansas,” he added, “who today is enjoying a better life than that maid, is worried that he can’t pass it on to his kids. So he’s a pessimist.”

Yes, when America lapses into a bad mood, everyone notices. After asking for an explanation of the Tea Party’s politics, Gupta remarked: “We have moved away from a politics of grievance to a politics of aspiration. Where is the American dream? Where is the optimism?”
Tom Friedman NYT

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cost of solar keeps moving...down down down

A company that secured a Department of Energy grant to pursue a breakthrough idea in the manufacture of solar cells plans to announce on Tuesday that it has raised $20 million to commercialize its technique, which it says will reduce the price of solar panels by 40 percent.

The company, 1366 Technologies of Lexington, Mass., has found a simpler way to produce the basic building block of solar cells: silicon wafers. It uses molten silicon to cast the wafers in their final form, six inches on one side and 200 microns thick, or about eight-thousandths of an inch.

The current method is to cast the silicon in huge ingots or grow it in giant crystals and then saw off thin pieces, which wastes about half of the silicon.
“Early indications show this could be one of our great success stories,” said David Danielson, the program director for solar energy at the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy, a new office within the Energy Department that provides relatively small grants to develop high-risk but potentially high-payoff technologies. It promised 1366 a grant of $4 million for an 18-month program to develop the wafer technology; 1366 is reporting success after eight months.

The company is expected to announce that it has raised $20 million in new capital, some of it from a major customer for the wafers, Hanwha Chemical of South Korea. Other investors include Ventizz Capital Fund, a European company that specializes in clean energy investments. Two companies that had previously invested, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners, have also added funds.

The chairman of Hanwha, Ki-joon Hong, said in a statement that his company had “every confidence that 1366’s innovations will fundamentally change solar manufacturing.”
The silicon, the basic material of solar cells and computer chips, is derived from a very cheap material, sand. But to function in electronics it must be made extremely pure, which makes it expensive.
The new technique, going from molten silicon to final product, is a bit like frying pancakes as opposed to slicing salami, except, as Mr. Danielson put it, “when you cut a salami, it’s not like half the salami ends up as salami dust that you have to throw in the garbage.”
The trick is to get the wafer out of the mold without breaking it. Company officials will not say just how they do that. The president of 1366 Technologies, Frank van Mierlo, predicted that the development would make solar power cheaper than coal power, although the technique has not yet been commercialized.

If the wafers go to market, 1366 would be one of the early fruits of the ARPA-e program, which was authorized by Congress in 1997 and signed into law by President Bush but was not financed until the passage of the federal stimulus act, which gave the program $400 million over two years. In December, 1366 received $4 million.
The company’s name is a reference to the amount of solar energy, measured in watts, that falls on a square meter of the earth’s surface.

The cell has other refinements, including finer wires to conduct away the electrons, so the shadow cast on the energy-gathering area is smaller. And the company drills small holes into the cast wafer to give it a honeycomb appearance, which allows light to bounce around inside the crevices, producing better absorption and less reduction, Mr. van Mierlo said.

October 19, 2010, 8:29 am NYT
A Cheaper Route to Solar Cells

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why Solar Will Make or Break its Own Future

posted by
StephenLacey REW

Why Solar Will Make or Break its Own Future

Every industry has a rock star. The financial industry has Warren Buffet. The tech industry has Steve Jobs. The oil industry (and now wind industry) has T. Boone Pickens. And the solar PV industry has Jigar Shah.
So what makes someone a rock star in the business world? Well, success is a prerequisite. As the founder of SunEdison, a firm that pioneered the commercial solar power purchase agreement in North America, Shah's rise in his mid-thirties was one of the first high-profile success stories in the modern solar industry.
But achieving rock-stardom is about much more than being a good businessman. Even Shah (who has never proclaimed himself a star of the solar industry) admits that financial success is only a very small part of industry success – especially in renewables and efficiency.
“You can really make a ton of money in these areas and never make a difference. And that's really sad,” he says.
He points to the energy efficiency sector where numerous $50 million-a-year businesses have barely made a dent in Americans' wasteful energy consumption. The same could be said of the solar industry, where a company like thin-film manufacturer First Solar – with revenues of over $2 billion and a market capitalization of $12 billion – is leading a market that represents a tiny fraction of the overall energy mix.
But Shah believes that solar is on a path toward high penetration. He criticizes those who say solar is too expensive, or that we need breakthrough technologies to make any difference. He believes that the positive indicators are staring us in the face, and anyone who doesn't see them is blind or purposefully ignoring them.
And this brings us to another defining trait of a rockstar: Someone who is able to envision and articulate the future of an industry, even if that vision is not always consistent with conventional wisdom (i.e. solar is too expensive, solar is too intermittent, the technology is not ready).
I had the opportunity to co-host a web conference this week with AltaTerra research about the outlook for the solar industry through 2013. Shah was the featured speaker, and he offered a lot of insight into how this very volatile market will play out over the next few years.
The theme of his talk was “The Solar Industry Controls its Own Destiny.” By this, he means that the pieces are already in place for companies to put massive amounts of solar online. It's about building strong businesses now, not blaming politicians or the fossil energy industries for setbacks.

Here's a quick summary of the key points he made:

• The magic number for solar is $2 a watt installed. At that price, 30% of the global electricity supply could be cost-competitively met by solar PV.

• By 2012, the price of a 1 MW crystalline-silicon solar PV system will dip as low as $2.60 a watt installed, putting solar well within the $2 per watt threshold.

• Due to these prices (ranging between $4.60 a watt and $2.40 a watt), existing solar technologies will make a substantive impact today – no third-generation solar technologies needed. Shah believes the incessant focus on “breakthrough” technologies, while important in the long-term, distracts us from the realities of what we can do today.

• We can expect to see about a 35% compound annual growth rate through 2013, with a 65% growth rate in North America, 18% growth in Europe and 68% growth in emerging markets like India, Singapore and China. The industry will put about 20 GW of global capacity online in 2012.

• As solar reaches the $3 per watt installed range and starts to move below that level, utilities are developing solar for reasons other than regulatory pressure. For example, according to a Florida Power and Light executive, solar PV is now cheaper than new coal facilities in that utility's service territory. In addition, the Georgia PUC reported that a new nuclear facility would raise utility bills in the state by $1.30 a month. But a combination of solar, thermal storage and dynamic load control would have raised rates by only $1 a month.

• Due to fewer regulatory and capital constraints, distributed generation will rule the day. With over 3 billion square feet of flat roofs installed globally each year, around 20 GW of solar could theoretically be accommodated. While centralized generation like CSP will be important, Shah says that the complications associated with permitting and building new transmission lines for mega-projects will slow down growth of that sector.

• The best companies will be all-stars in international finance. As markets shift year by year, understanding how to finance projects across a variety of markets will be critical to success. Companies that are financially nimble and sophisticated will lead in solar.

• Most innovation will take place downstream, not upstream. Shah believes that the low hanging fruit to reduce costs is in the balance-of-systems sector (inverters, power optimization, tracking software, racking, wiring, labor) and in sales and distribution. (If we can create incredibly sophisticated channels for toasters and flat screen televisions, why can't we do the same for solar?) He also believes that lead generation, sales and installation will be separated.

• Given all these trends, Shah says that solar will reach a 5% penetration in the U.S. by 2020.

• He admits that the policy environment for solar is still sketchy in some markets. But rather than "bitch" about not getting equal support, he says the industry should be telling the fossil energy industries, "we'll get rid of our tax incentives if you get rid of yours."

Shah's main point throughout the presentation was that the industry already has a good business environment to build from – it is no longer about what “they” are going to do to support solar. It's about what “we” are going to do to grow the industry. Even without the full support of heel dragging politicians and utilities, there's still plenty of business to be done.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The US Military's Two-pronged Renewable Energy Initiative | Renewable Energy World

The US Military's Two-pronged Renewable Energy Initiative | Renewable Energy World


If you cut the power off for a day, it’s a party; blankets, flashlights and huddling around the fire. If you cut the power for 3 days, it’s a slog, grumbling and generally we’re pissed off about how long it’s been. If you cut the power off for 3 weeks there will be blood in the streets. This is what we are dealing with when we talk about energy security. If you think I am exaggerating stop and think about it, in three weeks all your food will have spoiled, so will the grocery stores’, business will be hamstrung and all electronic commerce will have halted. No banks, ATMs, gas pumps, internet, TV the list goes on. I understand the challenges of moving to a renewable energy grid, inconsistent supply, higher perceived cost, more engineering required, more transmission required, it’s tough. What’s tougher is the alternative. This is the greatest society in the history of our planet, American engineers built the 20th century, please don’t tell me we have to leave it to the Chinese to figure out what replaces fossil fuel. It appears to me that the energy policy committee setup by PERC has a difficult road ahead. They are going to talk about economics and DSM and federal loan guaranties and liability costs… or they won’t and they will push for the policy they decided a decade ago based on dated information. American society and brain power are the value of our currency and the definition of our economy. The real expense at stake here is the wrong decision. Let Americans build the 21st century. I would encourage all of you to attend the Oct. 6th meeting at the state house. Email me for details.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Senators talk about Clean energy standard


WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Several influential U.S. senators are introducing a bill to require power plants to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable resources, such as wind and solar power, by the year 2021.

Introduced by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.) and Sam Brownback (R, Kan.) among others, the bill would require power plants to generate 3% of their electricity from renewable resources in 2012 and ramp up their use of renewables until reaching 15% in 2021.

The bill also allows utilities to purchase renewable energy credits or to make alternative compliance payments--worth 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour--to meet the standards.

Power plants that sell less than 4 million megawatt hours would be exempt from the law.

Known as a renewable electricity standard, the requirements have been a source of debate for U.S. lawmakers for several months.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) decided to bypass a renewable standard when pushing a broader energy this bill earlier this year, frustrating renewable energy supporters by saying he wanted to scrap controversial proposals in an effort to pass the measure more quickly.

After the bill failed to gain enough traction, Reid then said he would be willing to include the renewable standard in a future piece of energy legislation that could surface later this year.

Reid said he thought he could recruit at least two Republican votes for a broader energy bill by incorporating renewable electricity standards.

This most recent bill from Bingaman and Brownback--along with Sens. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.), Tom Udall (D, N.M.), Mark Udall (D., Colo.) and Susan Collins (R., Maine)--marks an attempt to move the renewable energy standard as a stand- alone bill.

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201009211439dowjonesdjonline000304&title=ussenate-bill-would-make-utilities-use-15renewable-energy#ixzz10PT1DzsJ

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

trifecta of cool for solar

I want solar powered cars,

I want electric cars, electricity is American energy

I want solar power

I want an smart grid that allows modern life and sutains a natural world.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PERC to decide 25yr energy policy

September 14th 2010 will impact SC for 50yrs. Perc Energy policy committee had its first meeting and it was a 'lovefest' for me. NO ONE FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SMALL BUSINESS ON the COMMITTEE and yet the overall tone of discussion was how do we make renewable energy work? However, judging by the opening statements you would have thought we had deployed 1000MW of Solar and Biomass and Everyone was GungHo about Solar. the reality is far from this assumption and the state should know that.

This should be a quick process, I can't wait to hear the recommendations.

Monday, July 26, 2010

China moves closer to the sun.

Markets .Rutgers' Chinese Solar Panels Show Clean-Energy Shift
By Stuart Biggs - Jul 23, 2010

An array of 7,600 solar panels manufactured by China's Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. converts sunlight into electricity on the Livingston Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Source: Rutgers University via Bloomberg
At Rutgers University in New Jersey, 7,600 panels convert sunlight into electricity, saving some $200,000 in energy costs this year in the biggest solar-power experiment at a U.S. college.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., China’s second-largest solar-panel maker, supplied the $10 million project. Yingli is one of several Chinese manufacturers that have slashed costs to reduce global prices for solar modules by about 50 percent in two years. The drive made them more affordable for buyers from Rutgers to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the biggest U.S. retailer.

“It’s all about economics,” said Chief Executive Officer Al Bucknam of SunDurance Energy, the South Plainfield, New Jersey, installer that picked Yingli over Western competitors on price and helped sell the deal to Rutgers as a money-saver.

China is slashing prices and moving to dominate solar energy in the way Japanese manufacturers ruled consumer electronics decades ago. The price declines inch the cost of solar energy toward what’s called grid parity, or renewable electricity at the same prices charged for conventional power.

“The ability of the Chinese to manufacture at scale is a very big reason why the cost of these panels has come down,” said Kathleen A. McGinty at venture capital firm Element Partners in Radnor, Pennsylvania. “They’re a big part of the reason why we can even start to talk about grid parity.”

Price Parity

Sun power may become as cheap as the retail price of grid- delivered electricity in certain markets as early as 2013, according to a June 29 report by Pike Research, a Boulder, Colorado, clean-energy consultant.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association, a trade group, forecasts parity by 2010 in some southern parts of Italy, by 2012 in several regions of Spain, and 2015 in Germany.

Solar installations are spreading worldwide as governments from China to the U.K. and Italy offer subsidies, costs fall and cities seek to create jobs. Rutgers got a New Jersey state grant for half its solar plant costs, which included installation and an undisclosed price for the Yingli panels. Wal-Mart last month finished installing solar modules on two California stores that provide as much as 30 percent of their electricity.

China’s manufacturers grabbed 43 percent of the global photovoltaic-panel market in the last six years, pricing products as much as 20 percent cheaper than European offerings, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Chinese firms shipped 3,300 megawatts of panels worth $6.6 billion last year, enough to power about 2.6 million U.S. homes.

Asia’s ‘Vast Factories’

“The vast factories of Asia will drive prices down, just as they did with consumer electronics,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar energy analysis for New Energy Finance, the London- based research firm owned by Bloomberg LP.

The downside for manufacturers is falling panel prices. That, together with Spain and Germany cutting subsidies for clean power, has sent investors away from most solar stocks.

China’s largest panel producers, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Yingli, and Trina Solar Ltd., have all dropped on the New York Stock Exchange this year. Yingli lost 25 percent, Trina 13 percent and Suntech 37 percent in the year through July 21. The MSCI World Index fell just 6.9 percent in the period.

Some foreign competitors from Germany’s Solarworld AG and Q-Cells SE to Marlboro, Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar Inc. fared worse. Solarworld has lost 29 percent in value, Q-Cells dropped 50 percent and Evergreen plunged 56 percent.

State-controlled China Development Bank Corp. so far this year has extended $24 billion in loans to Yingli, Trina Solar, Suntech, Solarfun Power Holdings Co. and others, according to data collected by New Energy Finance. That exceeds the $18.2 billion the U.S. government disbursed in fiscal stimulus funds for clean-energy companies through May 2010.

China’s Subsidies

Skeptics argue China’s solar industry is thriving on subsidies that obscure the true costs of solar, according to Kenneth Dewoskin, senior director at Deloitte China. Suntech and Trina didn’t respond to requests for interviews.

Min Li, a Hong Kong-based energy analyst at Yuanta Securities, said Chinese solar stocks are now attractively priced. He rates Yingli and Suntech as a “buy.” Overall, analysts favor Chinese over Western manufacturers.

Fourteen of 27 analysts tracked by Bloomberg recommend buying Yingli, compared with one “sell” rating. For Trina, all 22 analysts following the stock recommend buying it, while Suntech has 11 buy ratings and 8 sell recommendations.

In contrast, three analysts covering Q-cells rate the company a buy compared with 22 a sell. Evergreen has three buy ratings and 7 sell ratings. Solarworld is almost even, with 14 buys and 12 sells.

‘Just a Start’

China’s dominance in solar panels started in cities that subsidize clean energy. Baoding, a city of 1 million a two- hour’s drive south of Beijing, has used subsidies to attract about 200 renewable-energy companies including Yingli, whose panels power 80 percent of the local street lights.

“That’s just a start,” said Lian Shujun, vice director of the city’s renewable initiative.

China Development Bank lent a combined 116 billion yuan ($17 billion) this year to Yingli, Suntech and Trina while the central government’s Golden Sun program subsidizes as much as 70 percent of the cost of 294 solar projects. Beijing plans to install $1 billion of solar panels around the capital to heat water and light offices in 2012.

“China is beginning to think about what options are out there in terms of its new energy policy,” said Lu Yeung, a Hong Kong-based China energy analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “It’s not just fossil fuels, but how to make a green economy that is also a growth driver.”

‘Inevitable Choice’

The government is just getting started pushing solar, said Jason Liu, who quit his job at McKinsey & Co. to become a vice president at Yingli last year.

“Developing renewable energy is an inevitable choice,” he said.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest energy user last year, according to the International Energy Agency. The country is looking to firms like Yingli for renewable energy to reduce dependence on oil imports and coal.

China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, burns the commodity to generate about 80 percent of its power. The IEA projects China’s oil imports will almost quadruple by 2030 from 2006 levels.

China spent $34.6 billion on clean-fuel projects in 2009, almost double the $18.6 billion investment by the U.S., New Energy Finance estimated. China installed 160 megawatts of solar capacity last year, a four-fold increase from a year earlier, and may almost double it again this year to 311 megawatts, according to the research firm.

An Opportunity

Some European and U.S. companies view China’s solar growth as an opportunity. Germany’s Q-Cells last year agreed to a manufacturing joint venture with China’s LDK Solar Co.

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc., the world’s biggest solar company by market value, has agreed with the government of Ordos, Inner Mongolia, to build a 2-gigawatt plant.

Such opportunities are fading as China acquires the expertise to do large-scale solar projects itself, Frank Haugwitz, a Beijing-based renewable energy consultant, said in a telephone interview.

“It’s only a matter of time, one or two years,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stuart Biggs in Tokyo at sbiggs3@bloomberg.net Ying Wang in Beijing at Ywang30@bloomberg.net

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One year passed, No energy bill, what a waste...

Published: July 24, 2010
When I first heard on Thursday that Senate Democrats were abandoning the effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to cap greenhouse gases that cause global warming and promote renewable energy that could diminish our addiction to oil, I remembered something that Joe Romm, the climateprogress.org blogger, once said: The best thing about improvements in health care is that all the climate-change deniers are now going to live long enough to see how wrong they were.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman

Alas, so are the rest of us. I could blame Republicans for the fact that not one G.O.P. senator indicated a willingness to vote for a bill that would put the slightest price on carbon. I could blame the Democratic senators who were also waffling. I could blame President Obama for his disappearing act on energy and spending more time reading the polls than changing the polls. I could blame the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil-fuel lobby for spending bags of money to subvert this bill. But the truth is, the public, confused and stressed by the last two years, never got mobilized to press for this legislation. We will regret it.

We’ve basically decided to keep pumping greenhouse gases into Mother Nature’s operating system and take our chances that the results will be benign — even though a vast majority of scientists warn that this will not be so. Fasten your seat belts. As the environmentalist Rob Watson likes to say: “Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is.” You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. You cannot tell her that the oil companies say climate change is a hoax. No, Mother Nature is going to do whatever chemistry, biology and physics dictate, and “Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats 1.000,” says Watson. Do not mess with Mother Nature. But that is just what we’re doing.

Since I don’t have anything else to say, I will just fill out this column with a few news stories and e-mails that came across my desk in the past few days:

Just as the U.S. Senate was abandoning plans for a U.S. cap-and-trade system, this article ran in The China Daily: “BEIJING — The country is set to begin domestic carbon trading programs during its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) to help it meet its 2020 carbon intensity target. The decision was made at a closed-door meeting chaired by Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission ... Putting a price on carbon is a crucial step for the country to employ the market to reduce its carbon emissions and genuinely shift to a low-carbon economy, industry analysts said.”

As we East Coasters know, it’s been extremely hot here this summer, with records broken. But, hey, you could be living in Russia, where ABC News recently reported that a “heat wave, which has lasted for weeks, has Russia suffering its worst drought in 130 years. In some parts of the country, temperatures have reached 105 degrees.” Moscow’s high the other day was 93 degrees. The average temperature in July for the city is 76 degrees. The BBC reported that to keep cool “at lakes and rivers around Moscow, groups of revelers can be seen knocking back vodka and then plunging into the water. The result is predictable — 233 people have drowned in the last week alone.”

A day before the climate bill went down, Lew Hay, the C.E.O. of NextEra Energy, which owns Florida Power & Light, one of the nation’s biggest utilities, e-mailed to say that if the Senate would set a price on carbon and requirements for renewal energy, utilities like his would have the price certainty they need to make the big next-generation investments, including nuclear. “If we invest an additional $3 billion a year or so on clean energy, that’s roughly 50,000 jobs over the next five years,” said Hay. (Say goodbye to that.)

Making our country more energy efficient is not some green feel-good thing. Retired Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson, who was Gen. David Petraeus’s senior logistician in Iraq, e-mailed to say that “over 1,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan hauling fuel to air-condition tents and buildings. If our military would simply insulate their structures, it would save billions of dollars and, more importantly, save lives of truck drivers and escorts. ... And will take lots of big fuel trucks (a k a Taliban Targets) off the road, expediting the end of the conflict.”

The last word goes to the contrarian hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham, who in his July letter to investors, noted: “Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for ... what? Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs and by right-wing politicians and think tanks? I have a much simpler but plausible ‘conspiracy theory’: the fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profits, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientific results. I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always: “Have they no grandchildren?”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sunstore with a little help from their friends...

Take a look at a concept we developed for USC at Carolina Baseball stadium. Thanks to Fuss and Oneill for partnering with us to create a worthy project. We won't know if USC likes it until 8/11.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America, 234 today


Growing up in England the GI's would attend a Bar BQue at our house and they were cool. One Marine sgt would put us in a chair and lift it straight out in front of him and fly us around the room, he was a total badass.

As a kid 'McDonalds'
F16 fighter planes were cool
I have travelled to 33 states and met someone nice in every single one
Montana, it really is big sky country
California, Laguna Seca has a bar over looking the Pacific that I want my ashes sprinkled at.
South Carolina coast marshlands and bridges. Stop and sit on the Harbor dr marsh sometime.
NY city, be a tourist, look up at the buildings in almost any neighborhood, its great architecture.
My neighborhood in Lexington SC, I know all my neighbors by name and their kids rarely knock before coming in.
Still finding cool places in Cola, after 12yrs.
Veggie restaurant in Boone NC, groovy people with a great view.
Tallulah Gorge state park GA, 100ft rock slide.
Milkshakes at the Grill in athens GA.
Thomas Edison
Warren Buffett
Stormin Norman
The Doors
My wife

This is an awesome, diverse, beautiful, freedom loving country.
Happy Birthday America. Never let Kings take it away from you.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

National ENERGY policy

40% of our emissions come from utilities and most already operate under a mandate called an RPS.
National policy would help them plan for a cleaner future.

LA TIMES Reporting from Washington — With the gulf oil spill creating political opportunity, Senate Democrats will begin crafting a sweeping energy bill this week that could include a first-ever, though more modest, cap on global-warming pollution, believing they must act now despite differences within their ranks and political jitters in an election year.

Instead of regulating all sources of greenhouse gas emissions as originally proposed, lawmakers are considering placing a carbon cap initially only on utility companies. That idea was once dismissed by environmentalists as too incremental, but now is seen by some as better than no cap at all.

President Obama will meet Tuesday with a bipartisan group of senators to push for a new energy policy. "We are prepared and ready to move forward on a new energy strategy that the American people desperately want but for which there's been insufficient political will," Obama said recently. "It is time for us to move to a clean-energy future."

With political will running short before the midterm election, the Senate has shown little appetite for a broader, economy-wide climate change bill as passed by the House almost exactly one year ago.

Even a more modest carbon cap remains difficult for senators wary of another ambitious government program at a time of voter unrest over Washington's reach.

A broad carbon-pricing system would essentially require power plants, manufacturers and transportation industries to limit the pollution that scientists say is causing climate change and would tax entities that exceed their caps.

Republicans dismiss such a cap-and-trade system as a new tax on households and business — "cap-and-tax," they call it. With the Democrats' 59-member caucus intensely divided on energy issues, crossover support from Republicans would be needed.

Still, a majority of Democrats appear willing to risk legislative failure, believing a robust summer discussion on energy would establish a stark contrast between the parties before the fall election.

Tackling energy legislation gives Democrats a strategy they believe resonates with voters — though one that would expose them to GOP taunts over higher taxes, a fight Republicans would relish.

"If we spend our time always worrying about that 60th vote, we never get to do anything in a strong position," said Sen. Mark Begich (D- Alaska).

A group of senators is expected to meet this week to begin crafting legislation that could come to the floor in mid-July.

By Lisa Mascaro and Richard Simon

Tribune Washington Bureau

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In the words of Elon Musk, founder of Tesla motors, “I am nauseatingly pro-American,”

And that is why I am pro clean-energy. I am not in the renewables business to save the Sulawesian shrew rat or protect the Chinese river dolphin (not that I have anything against them). I am in solar because installing, running and fixing clean energy technologies like solar panels must be done on-site, creating jobs here at home.

I am in solar because I understand that the clean energy economy is the future — and if we don’t lead now, other countries challenging us for leadership will, and we’ll be left in the dust. If we happen to save some rats, dolphins and the planet along the way, so be it. What matters most is winning the race for leadership in the clean energy economy and winning the new businesses and the jobs that go with them.

In the short term, we cannot deny the immense power of fossil fuel or its employment capacities, but we also cannot fail to plan beyond the energy needs of today — and we need our public servants to understand both. Remember our recent banking scandal? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives traded our international monetary stability for a series of inflated paychecks and golden parachutes because they were focused on their short-term profits. Some farsighted legislation might have saved us a lot of trouble.

We need federal policies to keep our focus on the future. We need a comprehensive, “all of the above” energy solution. Because today, the United States is falling behind the pack, and China is moving out in front. In the words of our own U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., “every day that we delay trying to find a price for carbon is a day that China uses to dominate the green economy.”

With 20 million jobs at stake globally, China poured $440 billion into clean energy last year. But here’s the real kicker: Already home to one-third of global solar manufacturing capacity and 400 solar companies, Chinese competition has reduced global solar prices by 30% and is forcing rivals to shift production facilities to China.
It’s no wonder.

According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, deployment of new technologies — like wind and solar power — has the potential to support roughly 3.5 million jobs and generate trillions of dollars in revenue and energy savings.
So, where are we? Congress has a comprehensive energy bill drafted with bipartisan support. It is designed to transform our economy and set us on the path toward energy independence, creating and keeping jobs here at home. But Congress has yet to decide to act. Without action, Congress will hinder the United States’ opportunity to lead the single greatest market growth potential of the 21st century. With action, the United States will do what the United States does best: win.
I love the potential of clean energy, and the patriot inside me wants to see the United States regain its lead in the booming clean energy field and the international economy. I hope the patriots in Sens. Graham and DeMint want the same and will work to pass legislation that produces more energy here in America and prepares our country for the energy future.
Andrew Streit is president of the S.C. Solar
Business Alliance and Sales Manager for Sunstore Solar llc.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The SC Senator from Florence stripped the economic stimulas bill 4478 of residential tax credits for solar.

Senator Hugh Leatherman stripped first the commercial tax credit for solar, then in a last second vendetta, stripped residential tax credits that would have improved South Carolina's return on investment for residential solar installs. I am not a politician or lobbyist but I did work fairly hard to get some improvement in the South Carolina solar landscape this year, so did alot of volunteer participants who took time out of their lives to get South Carolina close to par with other states that are benfitting from 30% growth of the green economy. Last night I lashed out on facebook, twitter and linkedin because I was disappointed and frustrated. Today I see that grace under fire is the only way to go. I will work harder next year, I will build a coalition larger and more prepared. I am doing this not to make money or make a point I am doing this because it is the right thing to do, because I want this state and our country to prosper and because I want a better life for those who follow.

Baseball pitcher shows grace under pressure, I didn't!

"I'm sad," he said later and then in another moment of grace praised Jim Joyce for apologizing to him, saying that not many umpires would do that. But then these were extraordinary circumstances, after the extraordinary game that Galarraga - in the minors earlier this season - had pitched against the Indians.

What should have been the third perfect game pitched in baseball in a month. But it wasn't. Still could be. The umpire apologized. Said he was wrong with the call. Selig could make a much better one.

This wasn't football, of course. Leyland couldn't challenge the call on the field. Because instant replay is only used - for now - to correct calls about home runs. And because Jackie Robinson was safe at home in the '55 World Series even though Yogi still says he wasn't, because Don Denkinger blew a call at first base in the '85 World Series that didn't cost a pitcher a perfect game, but cost a team the championship of its sport.

I was there that night. The Cardinals LOST their minds, oh you better believe they did. The call stood. The Cardinals never recovered, got blown out the next night, the Royals won the Series.

This time? The pitcher who got robbed of a perfect game smiled at the umpire and went back and got the last out of what had now become a one-hitter. Even later, when he'd watched the replay the way even people who don't give a whit about baseball had, he refused to be mean or call Joyce an idiot. You rarely get that kind of grace anymore in sports.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2010/06/03/2010-06-03_mlb_commissioner_selig_can_salvage_armando_galarragas_perfect_game_undo_jim_joyc.html?page=1#ixzz0pndofhBa

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blast from the past.

Posted by Andrew M.D. Streit on November 23, 2006 04:38

Moving the world to sustainable energy production because you love your children

"Let there be light".


I was lost, but now I am found. This is my first blog, my first foray into solar and my first step into the rest of my life.
I am a builder living in South Carolina. I have been working in construction for 12yrs with a 5yr stint as a business analyst/network engineer in the late 1990's. Most of my adult life I have been searching for a meaning or cause I could get behind, get involved in. It wasn't until I married, settled down and had children that I became stable enough to try and find out what that cause was to be.
Several months ago I fired a painter who had been working with me for more than a year. He was a great guy, Leon was 55, a decorated Vietnam vet, father of two and a raging alchoholic. We had just finished a week long job out of town and Leon asked for a half pint so he could nap on the way home. I had never seen him drunk so I acquiesced. The ride home was horrible, Leon was out of his mind, so the next day I said no more booze around me, ever! Part of my conversation with him was you've been a soldier/father, you've been a professional drunk, whats the third act going to be Leon, What is the third act?
Well Leon drank the next day at work, and so I fired him and told him not to come back until he had a token from AA because I did not want to watch him kill himself. My conversation with Leon Stuck with me, "the third Act" swirled around in my head until I realized maybe I wasn't just talking to Leon.
I read a lot, I have a BA from the university of Georgia, I am a dedicated husband and father and I am reasonbly good at what I do. It's not enough. Even before 9/11 I was distressed by the direction of American pop culture, the Lewinsky episode, bad TV, education slipping behind Asian and European countries, etc. When we got a cowboy president with oil on his boots I was downcast. The raw destruction of the twin towers shook me, my brother lives in NY and I had spent some happy times in the city.
Things went from bad to worse, no to the Kyoto treaty, which contrary to what the president said would create jobs and improve the environment, yes to dividend tax cuts and a reduction in income tax to the richest 1%. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett the richest and second richest men in america both said the tax cut was uncessary and to them and irresponsible for long term growth of the economy. No to education spending, yes to $87billion a year in killing Iraqis and not providing protection to our troops who are an average age of 22yrs old. No to prisoners rights, Iran held candle light vigils for the fallen on 9/11 but Bush and his cabinet have so sullied the moral imperative of the USA we have never been so disliked by the world. Yes to looting, after securing the oil fields we allowed the desecration of the artifacts of one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. $1 billion to renewable energy initiatives was stated in the 2004 state of the Union. $15 billion to oil company subsidies when they record more profit in a single month than ever before in human history!!!
"Let there be light". I read "Business 2.0", "Fortune", "This old House", and the "NY times". For more than a year I have been seeing articles on Solar, Solar towers in Australia, Solar water heat in Florida, Solar power in Bangledesh by Grameen bank, Solar power at WalMart, Microsoft and Intel. Thin film monocrystaline silicon for buiding exteriors, Solar concentrators for +20% effeciency the list was long and intriguing. I started doing research and Solar is no longer your sandeled Californian cousins' back yard disaster it is a maturing industry with alot of VC money to springboard it to the future. So with no business plan, seed money or experience other than my building and electrical knowledge I have decided to start my own Solar business and this blog is the beginning, the genesis if you will. All are welcome, advice is sought, conversation mandatory, tips optional.
Posted by Andrew M.D. Streit on November 23, 2006 04:38

Monday, May 24, 2010

Changing the mindset of an Industry

If you drive on I77 South at night you will see the brightest area in all of Columbia. No matter the time of night there is a huge commercial complex of buildings lit up like Las Vegas on the fourth of July. These newly designed buildings are the new headquarters of South Carolina Electric and Gas and it is beautiful.

I have to say that I work with SCE&G, know a lot more about power production than I did 4yrs ago and I am an advocate for Solar power. Lighting the night is our way of proving our capabilities to conquer nature. Darkness is the unknown and potentially dangerous; this is why we all appreciate the tremendous job the power companies do.

In less than 150yrs man has completed his conquest over nature by:-
Using fossil fuel to ignore 10,000yrs of home building knowledge and build any building, anywhere we wanted;
Burn away the night and move to a 24hr day;
Disregard the local climate and burn fuel to meet our temperature needs.

Fossil fuel has powered the industrial revolution; the post industrial revolution and likely the 21st century economy. Living in South Carolina I have to say I love what it has done. I can comfortably live in 100% humidity and temperatures in excess of 90’, 8 months of the year without breaking a sweat, thanks to the power companies.

Now I have to ask them to change! Stop using energy without thought to our long-term well-being. No longer can these complex and large companies burn the ‘midnight oil’. I am asking every power company in America to stop being ‘Purveyors of Power’ and become something new, something better and more grand; ‘Engines of Efficiency’.

Turn off the lights; we know how innovative and ingenious you are. I have personally visited two power plants and they were awe-inspiring Tim Allen x1000). Now do something immensely more complex, challenging and difficult. Build motion sensors in every room and have the lights turn off automatically, utilize renewable energy, move to all electric vehicles, move to a tiered rate structure, build out a smart grid. Bring us the same 99.7% reliability and do it with zero waste! The laws of physics say it can’t be done, I think you can do it.

The state, the country and all humankind ask you to lead, will you lead us? In a state with regulated energy you have the capacity and support. We all know you have mandated profits and rate controls but within this construct you can also think beyond 20yr energy portfolios and do something we haven’t seen recently, long term planning. What do I mean by this? Let me explain,

I recently read about an english home that was built 400yrs ago, at the time huge oak timbers supported the great hall. The owner planted new trees with the instructions to never cut them down. Through multiple generations time passed and the trees grew. The house changed hands and families but eventually the old timbers dried and cracked. Can we plan tomorrow's energy trees for our children?

So what will it be; ‘purveyors of power’ in total disregard for the costs it could be exerting on the planet, our health and economic common sense or ‘Engines of efficiency’ leading the way for generations of new Americans and a world where everything changes but power availability stays the same.

Friday, May 21, 2010



Get the answers at our Sunpower Seminar.

Learn more about solar and how you can make a positive impact on the

Environment. Better yet, find out how to take advantage of our

community pricing. So grab your neighbors and join us.

If you want to save money on solar energy come to the

Community Solar Event

Hosted by: Andrew Streit

Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time: 1.30pm to 3 P.M.

Location: 630 Skylark Drive #Q,630

West Ashley, Charleston

RSVP: 803.665.6688


In Quadrangle Shopping Center at WeightWatchers.

Or just give Andrew Streit a call for more information!

Win a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne just for attending.

Andrew M Streit

Sales Manager,






Andrew M Streit

Sales Manager,

435 Creek Side Lane

Lexington, SC

Cell 803 665 6688

Ofc 864 297 6776

Pres. Solar Business Alliance

Sunday, May 16, 2010

INDIAN SOLAR, moves to 21st century

New Delhi, India: Azure Power and SunEdison Partner on 15 MW PV System

Azure Power, the developer and owner of India's first privately operated, utility scale, solar power plant today announced its partnership with SunEdison.

Azure will jointly develop and construct with SunEdison a 15 Megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power plant in Gujarat. As part of the arrangement, SunEdison will supply monitoring technologies at cost to Azure for projects up to 25 MW.

Speaking about the agreement Mr. Inderpreet Wadhwa, CEO, Azure Power said, "We are excited to work with SunEdison for our Indian projects. With this collaboration the Azure solar power plant in Gujarat would become a live case study for world class design, engineering, project management, operations and maintenance. From SunEdison we will derive the benefit of technology expertise and international execution experience of large scale solar PV projects."

SunEdison is an internationally reputed PV Project developer with proven experience in developing large scale solar power projects in many countries. SunEdison was the first company to introduce the Solar Power Purchasing Agreement and currently manages more than 350 utility scale and commercial solar photovoltaic power plants globally. They are currently executing a 70+ MW project in Italy, which is the largest PV project in the world.

"India is an ideal market for solar power production and we are committed to aiding the country's economic development by providing consumers clean, renewable energy solutions," said Pashupathy Gopalan, CEO of SunEdison India. "The Gujarat project is the latest example of SunEdison's focus on enabling the growth of global solar markets through strong capabilities in project financing, engineering, low-cost procurement and operations, and maintenance services. We are very happy to be partnering with Azure Power, a pioneer in this segment in India and we look forward to associating with other developers in the future for additional India-based solar power projects."

Norcross, GA, USA: Suniva® Solar Cells Power 3 MW Solar Project in India

Suniva®, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, today announced the commissioning of its largest solar power installation with Titan Energy Systems Ltd., located in Karnataka, India. The 3MW, ground-mounted system is the largest grid-connected solar field in India, covering more than 12 acres.

The system was designed and deployed by Titan and is owned and operated by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. , one of India’s largest power providers. Karnataka Power will distribute power generated by the system to local farmers for irrigation purposes. Founded in the year 1800, Karnataka Power is one of the most established power providers in India. In addition to this solar project, Karnataka Power owns a number of renewable power plants, including the country’s first hydroelectric power station (opened in 1902) and one of India’s first wind power projects. Titan designed the 3MW solar project incorporating Suniva’s high-efficiency ARTisun® series solar cells while providing engineering, procurement and construction services.

“This project exemplifies Titan’s ability to execute large scale solar projects quickly and cost-effectively, which are key measures of success in rapidly growing solar markets like India,” said John Baumstark, CEO of Suniva. “As we continue to increase solar cell and module efficiency and reduce costs, our customers will benefit from higher performance in large-scale applications.”

May 3, 2010
Hyderabad, India: Photon Energy Systems Commissions 3 Megawatt PV System
Photon Energy Systems has successfully installed and commissioned India's largest photovoltaic plant of 3 megawatt capacity in the country.

The plant has been set-up for Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. as demonstration plant in the tail-end of the grid to enhance and strengthen the rural power supply to the areas of Itnal & Chikodi towns situated in the district of Belgaum. With the erection of the power plant, all the agricultural pump-sets in the area have access to reliable and affordable energy.

The 3 megawatt photovoltaic plant was set-up in just 6 months constructed to world standards in an area of 17 acres using 13,000 modules and the best components from all over the world. This plant has already generated and fed 1.76 million units of solar power into the grid since commissioning.

Photon Energy Systems is one of India's oldest and leading solar company in India since 15 years, with extensive technical knowledge base and experience, actively participating in projects and marketing their products all over Europe, Africa, USA and other countries.

One of the few Indian solar companies to have products in all the major segments of solar energy, Photon is uniquely placed to tap the opportunities in both the solar power and solar water segments of the National Solar mission.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Will South Carolina get a Solar industry?

Sen. Sheheen, Senator Reese, Sen. Leventis are putting an amendment on the Senate floor. This amendment addresses Senator Leatherman’s concern’s on the State funds’ and reduces the solar commercial tax credit to $1 million per install and sunsets the law in 2014.
Senator Paul Campbell and others are supporting this amendment. Rep. Dwight Loftis has shepherded this entire process from the introduction of his original bill. H.4374, the original NC language will be in house subcommittee 4/27/10 so that we have another avenue if the Senate floor fails. The Solar Business Alliance would like to thank Rep. Loftis and Frank Knapp of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce for their efforts on passing solar support in SC.

This month was going to be about new product coming to market. Instead I want to talk about some of the work being done at USC. Michael Koman is the Director of the Office of Sustainability at USC. A current US Marine with a Masters from USC he brings mission focus to a very complex and broad issue. How do you get an entire University system to carbon neutrality?
To start they have public awareness projects slated for all over campus and now they have the iconic, new, Darla Moore School of Business. If the school design stays on point it will be the most energy efficient building in the Southeast.
Meanwhile at the Electrical Engineering Dept I had coffee with Dr. Chandra who is doing some revolutionary research work with graphine, (new substance with amazing properties) Gallium Nitrite and Silicon Carbide that gave me a headache trying to contemplate (Think very cheap thin film solar, and air quality monitoring equipment capable of seeing 1pp billion) Bottom line is if they are successful then USC will bring some incredibly useful products to commercialization and attract some great undergrads to stay in state. I will say this one more time, the US solar industry will top $15billion in 2010, SC portion of that should be well over $100 million for 2010; in actuality it will be under $7 million.
Next Month will definitely be about cutting-edge solar innovations.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Politics at the state

So this has been a difficult week, solar tax credit was stricken froma H4478 bill in Senate sub committee. The bill is by house speaker Bobby Harrell. So we thought it would pass. We will see. The logic for striking it was not physically possible but I had no recourse but to squirm in my seat and wonder what my next career choice was to be. In 5 seconds my ability to sell enough solar to feed my family was erased. BLIP. Without scale and commercial/utility size jobs solar will never have a real impact. The real Irony of the whole thing is that if the state ever had 100 companies max out the proposed tax credit, we would have close to $1 billion in direct economic impact in the state. 100's if not thousands of jobs created at considerably less than we gave Boing upfront to move here?! $250 million is currently impossible as we have a cap of 100kw systems as opposed to the 1000kw or 1MW systems the stricken matter was referenced to in economic impact.

What is a working boy to do?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

MIT Researchers Tip Their Cards - Renewable Energy World

MIT Researchers Tip Their Cards - Renewable Energy World


This is it.

As most of you are aware H.4478 got a first reading in the Senate finance committee today.

This bill has a solar tax credit.

If you want a SOLAR INDUSTRY in this state NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.

Please call/email/meet in person each of the senate finance committee members listed below. Ask them to amend the bill to include the following language, we can build an industry, stop fighting over scraps and help the country move towards a low carbon, job creating, New Energy Economy.

1. *Critical* - Property Tax Abatement - In NC and most other states

There is typically a business personal property tax abatement ranging from 85% to 100% of system basis as listed with the state Department of Revenue. Since these systems as have very high cost or tax values relative to the cash flows generated, un-abated business personal property taxes will significantly impair the economics of solar projects.

2. Give the ability to sell the tax credits, (bifurcation) said another way, you want to be able to strip the credit off the asset or be able to transfer the credit to a SC only taxpayer without any direct linkage to who utilizes the Federal ITC or Depreciation. Ensuring this flexibility with the incentive will dramatically increase the number of potential solar project investors who can utilize the SC State tax credits, be revenue neutral for the state for a viable project and directly result in an increase in the number of projects developed.

3. Explicitly state that the Federal 1603 grant is not included in taxable income. This should be amended so the proposed language reduces the credit to 85 percent if you take the 1603 grant. This item has prevented utilities from exercising cost controls when implementing solar projects, which severally hampers real growth for the industry.

None of these issues have been addressed so far and will come up as we develop commercial projects. Once this is passed we can address the shortfalls in the residential bill by supporting S.1208 and H.4703.

This is a critical bill for the state and the region. Either SC gets serious about solar or we lose out on a $15 billion dollar industry that is growing at 30% a year.

Subcommittee Assignments

Leatherman, Hugh K. , Sr., Chm.
Land, John C. III
Setzler, Nikki G.

Leventis, Phil P.
Peeler, Harvey S. , Jr.
Thomas, David L.

McGill, J. Yancey
Courson, John E.
Matthews, John W. , Jr.

O'Dell, William H.
Reese, Glenn G.
Hayes, Robert W. , Jr.

Ryberg, W. Greg
Alexander, Thomas C.
Grooms, Lawrence K. "Larry"

Pinckney, Clementa C.
Fair, Michael L.
Verdin, Daniel B. "Danny" III

Cromer, Ronnie W.
Bryant, Kevin L.
Elliott, Dick

Jackson, Darrell
Anderson, Ralph

Andrew Streit

Sales Manager,

Sunstore Solar

Mobile 803.665.6688

Direct 864.297.6776

President Solar Business Alliance

Board SC Small Business Chamber

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

S.1208 SC Senator Joel lourie introduces job creation bill

This bill would allow a 40% tax credit for 2010, 35% for 2011 and 30% thereafter for residential solar systems.

This bill has the commercial tax credit equal to NC but weights the availability of the credit so that business’s would have a greater return on capital and a huge incentive to start this projects sooner rather than later.

The residential tax credit is also weighted at 40% for 2010, 35% for 2011 and 30% therafter, increasing the probability that SC will grow quickly.

This bill would also allow a donation to a non-profit for solar to receive the same tax credits of 35% thus enabling charities to solicit for RE projects. This bill also has a tax credit for builders to incorporate solar into new construction (which has been a barrier to adoption up to now)

This is a great bill and would facilitate a lot of growth for solar in SC which in turn would enable job creation, energy independence and a hub for economic activity.

Senator Hugh Leatherman, Senator Paul Campbell and Senator Glen McConnell need to hear your support of these measures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunstore partners with Getsolar.net, charlestonscsolar.com

Sunstore brings getsolar.net founder into the fold creating simply the best EPC in the Southeast






all work together to promote solar power in the Carolina's.

Energy is prosperity, lets mine the sun.

2010 PV market

Solar market begins recovery in 2010
While module shipments on a gigawatt basis are expected to show recovery in 2010, revenue recovery won’t be fully evident for a few more years, experts say.
By Ann Steffora Mutschler, Contributing editor -- Electronic Business, 1/12/2010
Simply put, 2009 was a very difficult year for the PV (photovoltaic) industry. For the first time, the PV market experienced a major market downturn during which contraction occurred on both a megawatt and revenue basis, with the revenue contraction much more severe due to ASP (average selling price) pressures.

According to experts, there are some reports of strengthening market conditions in the latter part of Q4, evidenced by the recent report that financing of $715 million (500 million Euro) has opened up for a solar PV projects portfolio in France and Italy.

Germany also appears to have some strength, according to James Hines, research director for semiconductors and solar at market research company Gartner Inc. “We’ve even heard of some products seeing increasing lead times as a result of an uptick in demand out of Germany particularly for some of the invertors and certain premium suppliers of panels have reported that they are sold out. In fact, SunPower is one of them and suggested they are sold out in their residential and commercial rooftop segments going into 2010.”

While this is an encouraging sign, he pointed out that it is limited at this point and not a broad-based market condition – there are a lot of suppliers that still have excess capacity and Gartner expects pricing pressure to continue through 2010. “The way we would characterize the market in 2010 is that this is the start of the recovery, but we will continue to have ASP weakness throughout the year,” Hines noted.

All eyes on the US

With the United States being one of the biggest developing markets, there is much interest here as to how it will fare in 2010.

Paula Mints, principal analyst for the PV services program and associate director of the energy practice at Navigant Consulting observed, “The US is still a developing market. There is only one state that continues to have incentives significant enough to drive the market, and that would be California. It’s not just the RPS [renewable portfolio standard], it’s not just the stimulus money which doesn’t all go to us; it’s also the debt markets recovering because this is expensive stuff to invest in.” For 2010, she projected sales of between 530 and 800MW into the US market.

However, the stimulus money is only part of the drivers, pointed out Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst at iSuppli Deutschland GmbH. “We expect the first wave of ground installations for utility scale projects to start especially in California. This is more about asset evaluation for the utility companies. So we definitely see strong growth in California.” He predicts installations will grow from 305MW in 2009 to 650MW in 2010 in the state.

“The issue in the US, and maybe to a lesser extent in Europe, is that we have two things that a coming together to drive some demand going forward,” Hines said. “One is the loosening up of credit markets and availability of project finance, which appears to be getting better but it is a very slow thaw. The other factor is the availability of stimulus funding. There is a fair amount of money in the US stimulus package that is available for solar projects but it has taken a long time to go through the administrative gauntlet to get the money actually into the hands of people that can actually do something with it and that continues to be an issue but we certainly see some of it starting to flow now.”

Gartner expects that to increase in 2010 and drive some of the demand. The company also expects a certain amount of latent demand from 2009 to begin to materialize in 2010 as these government incentive programs kick in and finance starts to free up, but it is a slow process, Hines reminded.

Gartner has raised its global PV solar module forecast since September, when it projected 4.6GW. It now it expects the 2009 figure will be closer to 5.3GW, growing to 20.9GW in 2013. This projection translates to $11.2 billion in 2009, growing to $26.5 billion in 2013, Hines said. (See figures below.)

In terms of PV shipments to the first point of sale, Mints projected between 5 and 6GW being shipped into the global market in 2010, from 4.7GW in 2009.

She asserted that it is important to look at shipments to the first point of sale in the market because due to the low cost of product in the market, many people are buying instead of making, which causes some numbers to be skewed based on recounting. “You can’t turn one megawatt into 10, no matter how many times you sell it,” Mints said.

She also believes 2010 will be “a wild and wacky year in terms of trying to size the industry. … Another interesting point on assessing 2009 is that because the year began with so much inventory – with just a bit remaining going into 2010 – installations as opposed to lagging sales in 2009 are probably going to be stronger than sales, and that may be confusing.”

For 2009, Mints expects revenue to be approximately $10 billion to $11 billion, for technology to the first point of sale (not resales) down by $20 billion from 2008. She projects $15 billion in revenue for 2010.

In terms of recovery, Gartner believes on a gigawatt basis, there will be growth from the earlier peak in 2008, but the same is not the case for revenue. Full recovery won’t happen there until 2012, Hines remarked.

“Between now and then, we’re going to have a market that has two faces to it. One is we’re going to get back to some fairly robust growth numbers, especially as we head into 2011 and 2012 in revenue terms. But at the same time, it’s going to be a market in which the total opportunity until 2012, is less than what it had been in its previous peak and therefore there will be margin pressure throughout the supply chain and the shakeout that’s been expected for several years is going to happen, and is already starting to happen,” Hines said.

The shakeout will begin to pick up steam in terms of M&A (merger and acquisition) activity with some start-up companies not making it in 2010 and 2011, while other suppliers show success during this period, and still others are either absorbed or go by the wayside, Hines said. “The large players with low cost structures – in particular – the ones that have managed their cash well are in a position to survive and even benefit from the opportunities created by these changing market conditions,” he added, pointing to Suntech Power and Yingli – both in China – as strong contenders, along with Sharp.

Overall, Wicht believes the market is doing better. “What we see from a supply/demand perspective is that the gap between module supply and installation is not getting bigger. From that point of view, we see that the oversupply of modules has peaked already. There is still a huge oversupply and there is a lot of capacity coming online in [2010] but the price collapse we have seen [in 2009] … will be smaller.”

Interesting to watch for in 2010 is whether or not any large semiconductor companies will invest in the solar industry. Indeed, TSMC recently confirmed it will invest approximately $193 million (NT$6.2 billion) in solar cell manufacturer Motech Industries Inc as the foundry expands operations in the solar arena.

Companies including Samsung, LG, and some Japanese vendors are also said to be looking closely at the solar market opportunity. Gartner estimates the total available market for semiconductor vendors in the PV space to be approximately $2 billion in 2013 for solar-related applications, most of which would be invertors and power optimization devices.