Solar letter to Obama

From Michael Laybourn

I was contacted by the Obama Transition Team for input. So I did some input for them, wondering if anyone would ever read it, much less take some action. Here is what I wrote:

Transition Team:

Thanks for this opportunity.

Solar could meet 74% to 86% of total US residential electricity demands by 2010 and 2025, respectively. (Navigant Consulting study)

A solar house can power a new electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid and it could provide enough electricity to be its own energy source. Multiply that for over 200 million cars to drive 12k miles per year. That’s enough to replace the oil we currently import.

How do we get there?

If the government subsidized 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of a home or small business solar system and did low interest loans for the rest of the cost, it would be very attractive for anyone (with enough sun) to go solar. Then, as they did in Germany, have the utility companies pay for the electricity they would be receiving at a somewhat higher than market rate until the loans are paid off. Then when the loans are paid off, the utilities could pay the market rate and possibly purchase the electricity cheaper than it costs now, even though clean energy is worth more as a product.

Clean energy creates millions of jobs, helps global warming, and creates the infrastructure for electric autos.

Don’t subsidize? Let me scoff: We subsidize the auto and oil industry with highways, tax credits and bailouts. We have always subsidized nuclear and coal both in research and  tax breaks. We have not included the costs of cleanup (the Superfund, etc), which is another subsidy. We seem to be stupidly subsidizing Wall Street without any checks and balances at the moment.
Clean energy is the smartest way to help the economy, release us from dependence on oil and rebuild our national infrastructure.


Now, in your mind, transfer this locally. The City of Ukiah would end up with very cheap energy, I think.

A Japanese town that kicked the oil habit

From Steve Scalmanini
This short article is downright inspirational, thinking about what we could do locally. The $6,000 per resident cost is comparable to the typical current price of putting solar on a single family dwelling – roughly $20,000. Assuming three people per dwelling, that’d be $18K. Sounds doable to me…

Continue reading

New report on peak oil…

Thanks to the Energy Bulletin:

Britain’s leading green commentator, George Monbiot, tackles the International Energy Authority’s chief economist, who reveals for the first time a startling and worrying prediction for the date of peak oil…

Go to 12 minute interview


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