Thursday, February 25, 2010

James Carlini says "Follow Patton or get out"

Commentator and consultant James Carlini makes the case for cutting government budgets by 20% or firing those who can't or won't make the cuts, recorded between Los Angeles and East Dundee, Illinois, on February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

James Carlini on Google's Gigabit Trial Project

Consultant and commentator James Carlini talks about Google's plan to deploy 1-gigabit ultra-high-speed Internet access and its implications for business and consumers, recorded from East Dundee, Illinois, on February 24, 2010

Jonathan Goldman at OZZ Solar on Ontario's FIT

Jonathan Goldman, co-founder of OZZ Solar, talks about the impact that Ontario's Green Energy Act and feed-in tariff have had on the rapid deployment of solar energy systems in that province, recorded from Toronto, Canada, on February 24, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mike Antheil at FARE on Legislation and Golf Event

Mike Antheil, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE), talks about that group's 2010 legislative agenda in Tallahassee and its plans for a conference and golf event on March 25-28th, 2010, recorded between Los Angeles and Palm Beach County, Florida, on February 18, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obama is Selling Out by Supporting Nukes

Calling something “clean” and “green” doesn’t make it either. President Obama has drunk the Kool-Aid™ by promising eight billion dollars in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry to build a plant in Georgia. This is a good time to review why no nuclear plants have been built in the U.S. for over 30 years.

Nuclear power plants take forever to build and always cost more than is initially budgeted for them. They are not “clean” in any sense of the word, as they produce highly-toxic and very long-lived radioactive waste that can kill, maim, and/or mutate humans and other living things for hundreds of thousands of years into the future. How can a dysfunctional national government that can’t even deal with the on-rushing prospect of huge structural deficits be counted on to plan and implement a solution that needs to last for a quarter of a million years?

Nuclear power plants need uranium for fuel, and the US needs to import that uranium, putting this source of energy into the same category of dependency as already exists for oil.

Nuclear power is not safe, or green, or clean or good for energy independence. It IS good for the nuclear industry. Should we allow yet another case where private greed trumps the public good?

As a founding member of RANE (Roses Against a Nuclear Environment) at Stanford University in the early 1980s, I learned about and made these same arguments against nuclear power proliferation at that time. In part because of our efforts and those of others, and the examples at that time of the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, no nuclear power plants have been built in the U.S. since then.

These arguments were valid then and they remain valid today. Thirty years is a sliver of time compared to the eons that toxic waste from nuclear power plants need to be sequestered. As long-lived as these waste products are, so too are the arguments against making more of them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

“Plenty of rooftops for everyone,” says Sun One CEO

Tim Anderson, CEO at Sun One Energy, Inc., told Etopia News this afternoon that “there are plenty of rooftops for everyone,” as his and other companies vie for roof space for installing solar energy-generating modules throughout the Canadian provide of Ontario under that jurisdiction’s recently implemented Green Energy Act and feed-in tariff program.

He doesn’t envision a bidding war for clients over price since the owners of potential sites all know that aggregators can “only pay so much” and still make money under the province’s innovative system of paying for renewable energy through 20-year contracts that guarantee purchase of indigenously-produced renewable energy.

His own company, which he founded 18 months ago after a successful career in real estate development, already has two million square feet of roof space under contract and has deals for another five million square feet pending. Working with local contractors through affiliated offices throughout Canada’s largest province, Sun One is focusing its efforts on commercial properties that can support solar deployments in the 125 kW to 1 MW range.

Snow is not unknown in Ontario but, according to Anderson, Sun One’s financial calculations account for solar production downtime due to those conditions. Also, he said, the company is working on various technical means to mitigate the effects of such contingencies.

The Green Energy Act and the feed-in tariff that it establishes will be subject to a 24-month review in the fall of 2011, and Anderson is not expecting that examination will involve any drastic curtailment of the program. “We’re going full-speed ahead,” he said.

In fact, according to the Sun One CEO, based on calls he’s been getting from as far afield as British Columbia, he expects other Canadian provinces and some jurisdictions in “the states” to start adopting similar feed-in tariff policies themselves within two years.

In Ontario itself, he says, the feed-in tariff program “is very successful and is becoming more so,” leading to increases in renewables manufacturing and job creation. He says Sun One is currently negotiating privately to raise the capital it needs for these projects.

Because Sun One was in the market before the passage of the Green Energy Act, it already had a “competitive advantage,” he said, and has been gaining additional clients mostly through “word of mouth,” and the occasional press release. The company is in discussions with solar module manufacturers about building local facilities, which will help it meet Ontario‘s “domestic content” levels of 50 percent now and 60 percent in 2011, as required under the province’s Green Energy Act.

For more information, visit Sun One Energy, Inc., at