Thom at Spiffy Solar's Comments

October 06, 2014

8 Interesting Facts About Solar Power

Patrick, given your penchant for thermal, I think you'd enjoy this.

June 17, 2014

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

YouTube has been described as the number three "search engine" on the web. If that's true, anyone not utilizing this medium is missing out (myself included). Of course, few things get much traffic at all without being augmented by email, social media, PR and other marketing tools—even print—to get the ball rolling.

As noted, years of previous work, as well as timing, certainly are part of Solar Roadways recent success. You can't expect to just build it and have the audience show up.

Thanks for the inspiration, Tor.

May 23, 2014

Put Battery Storage in the Hands of Grid Operators

The Federal government runs the interstate roadways. Most people agree with this and would concur that it is inherently necessary. What makes the grid any different?

August 02, 2013

The Rise of Solar Warranty Management Plans for Homeowners?

Someone's going to have to cover the damage from squirrels and other critters nesting beneath the systems, occurring in some regions. Luckily the problem is relatively rare, but for homeowners (or third-party owners) who encounter it, it can be very costly.

Leasing companies are beginning to encounter the problem and tally the losses. When extended over a twenty year term, it adds up to a large sum.

Installers can install screening to keep wildlife out, and in places like Colorado and parts of the East Coast, it is becoming an increasingly common offering on residential systems.


May 09, 2013

Solar Mosaic Fills the Gaps for Solar-Free Solar Industry People — Like Me

Tor, can you elaborate on that little phrase 'depending on your net worth?' Do you just mean that those with more money are able to invest more? Or are there restrictions involved?

May 07, 2013

America's Real Problem with Solar Energy

Whew! Blake-omlie1, I feel your pain, but only your local installer can "let the numbers do the talking." There are over 3,000 utilities in the U.S., each experiencing and exerting unique pressures. Regional utility prices, renewable energy credits, rebates as well as regional net metering rules and your own tax situation make it impossible to make a universal argument for or against solar. This explains some of the disparity of views and emotional reactions. Everyone thinks that their view is right, because, based on their own experience, they are all partially right.

And on a broader scale, what we have in the US is far from being a "free market." Practically every industry obtains some sort of incentive, subsidy or tax advantage. These advantages end up with different labels or get passed down via different methodology, which serves to obfuscate the issue further (often by design). So, reliable comparisons are futile.

We've all got to just learn as much as we can, especially about our own situation, and then go with your gut. Or watch the overarching trends and . . . yet again, go with your gut.

May 02, 2013

Mosaic: Making Money from Solar and Beyond

Aren't there SEC income restrictions on investing with Solar Mosaic? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you need income of at least $250k in order to invest.

How they can say that their employees and "all of us" can participate is lost on me.

What's the real story, Ms. Wang?

April 23, 2013

U.S. States Turning Against Renewable Portfolio Standards as Gas Plunges

Colorado is also working on a bill to to include solar thermal into the RPS, in addition to PV. So, it's not all doom and gloom. Even if this doesn't work out, perhaps it will pave the way for others to be ready to move, as soon as gas prices head back up (which they inevitably will). We are a very short sighted nation, with short-sighted leadership.

April 19, 2013

The US Solar Industry Puts People to Work in All 50 States

DoggyDogWorld, it's easy to read these numbers negatively, but they are distorted because all the work is on the front-end development. Remember, this is new infrastructure, once a solar project is completed, there is little to no maintenance at all, for decades. And the biggest advantage of all, the FUEL IS COMPLETELY FREE.

The jobs in coal are spent on perpetually maintaining inefficient, ecologically detrimental and unhealthy practices, while dollars are spent on feeding the beast. Coal is your antiquated system, a relic of the the turn of the century—19th century, that is. Talk about farming by hand!

Once all the solar installations are finished, there will still be jobs cleaning up the environment ruined by coal, as well as taking care of the illness created by it.

No one could possibly expect solar modules to work with all this mud being slung upon them.

April 25, 2013

The US Solar Industry Puts People to Work in All 50 States

doggydogworld, Agreed,thanks for clarifying. I feel the same way whenever they talk about jobs. When I hear it, I can't help but think we are operating at a base level. Efficiency and smart planning for the long-term can bring the whole of society to a higher level, where it no longer is just about jobs (or the next election).

P.S. Vote Solar put out a campaign several months ago with the same jobs info. It had me scratching my head as well. I don't see it as good way to sell the technology, especially to those will little knowledge, who are likely to get the wrong idea.

April 16, 2013

Utilities Across the US Embracing Solar Energy

It's hard to relate to raw megawatt data. I find myself asking, what percentage of each company's output this equates to? And who's the winner on that front?

Something else to ponder: How much use does the oil and gas industry make of renewables? I have seen one article about wind power being used in mining, and one about solar (thermal) used for natural gas processing. A tenacious reporter could probably dig up some really interesting stuff.

Thom at Spiffy Solar

Thom at Spiffy Solar

Founder of Spiffy Solar, squirrel and bird protection for residential PV installations.

Total Access Partners

Growing Your Business? Learn More about Total Access