I originally planned on posting another topic today, but after a short discussion on Amendment 1 of Florida with some people I’ve just met at NEC (National Entrepreneurship Center) , I would like to remind our fellow Sunshine Staters/Floridians that we have serious responsibility in assuring the growth and development of Solar Industry (utility scale as well as distributed solar) here in Florida, for solar energy is the solution to not just for the energy crisis but also environmental pollution, international conflicts, and climate change. Given that state of Florida is frequently visited by hurricanes, we need to insure the development of distributed solar (solar rooftops). Therefore, it is utmost important that we should Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 ! For further explanations as to why we should vote “NO” on amendment 1, please refer to one of my earlier posts, Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 In November!!!
To better understand the need of urgency for our earthly transition toward renewables, I’d like to share some videos below:
Before The Flood of National Geographic:
Chasing Ice of National Geographic:
Yes, I believe that once each individual is out of the fog of confusion, he/she will choose the right way in helping to reach the solution. In this case, quick transition to renewables such as Solar and Wind Energy is what we should all aim for. Remember to share with your fellow neighbors, family members, friends, to Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 and be more conscious of how you live and how you vote. For such actions would help to determine the survival of millions of our fellow earthlings.
I’ve received quite a few response from this post through various social media, mostly positive and supportive. But there were few responses that are not supportive. I appreciate those who are on the opposing side to take the time to respond because it helps me to better understand where their belief came from. For example, one of the opposing side remarked below (in italics):
1. Looks, via net metering, non solar folks are having to pay for all the grid upkeep. Solar users pay nothing. You somehow say that not receiving this large subsidy is unfair. Not penalizing others so you can sell your product that can’t stand on it’s own is some how bad? You better learn to stand on your own. We are sick of holding you up.
My response: Firstly, I am not selling any solar product nor services and there is no discussion about subsidy here. I am simply a conscientious American and Floridian who cares about the planet earth and fellow Floridians and would like to see Homo Sapiens to occupy this planet for as long as possible and as few Floridians to become homeless as possible. If insisting on Floridian solar installers to pay extra fees (under Amendment 1), it would encourage solar users to go completely off grid. This would increase more difficulty for the grid (because if more solar users are connected to the grid the more they can help to relieve the grid pressure and reduce the cost or need of additional power plants to be build…this would help to reduce the utility cost for every one!) So, it would be wise for utility and Floridians to try to entice solar users to be connected to the grid rather than implementing measures to encourage them to go off grid. In terms of fairness, I believe it is not fair to have legislation to insist that you pay for the mortgage or rent of your neighbors when you are not using the house of your neighbors. This is the issue that is being addressed: why should solar users pay for the grid if they are not using it? It would be much wiser for every one to treat one another fairly, because only under sphere of fairness, cooperation is more likely to occur. This is why we need our regulatory agency to conduct research on Fair Value of Solar: http://windermeresun.com/2016/09/08/we-need-fair-value-of-solar-not-amendment-1/
2. This is pure crack. For all you fear mongers, how can you change the climate? The change in climate is normal and has been doing so for billion of years since the world was created. nothing can be done to change it, GOD’s CREATION IS PERFECT!!!
My response: It is the rate (how fast) of change that we are addressing because when it changes too quickly, human beings are not able to respond fast enough;therefore you end up having frequent flooding in Miami and some of the island countries are in the process of disappearing (so they have to look for homes for their people), as Floridian coastal residents….As for changing the climate: did you know that scientists can already modify/change weather conditions? The dramatic increase in CO2 emission is one of the main contributing factors to increased rate of climate change and global warming. The CO2 emission is due to human activity and our standard of living. So, it is our responsibility to try to slow down this rate of change if we care at all about our fellow human being (the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe, and USA/Florida). For it is the poor who will be paying the price of the wealthy who can afford to easily move to a different location. The irony is: it is those of us in the wealthy developed nations that have contributed the most to increased rate of climate change. Don’t you think your God would want you to help your fellow human being, by slowing down the climate change and be fair to all ?
3. The worst hurricane and flooding in Miami was 1926 when over 6,000 people were killed. Miami Beach is subsiding due to pumping out trillions of gallons of water over the last century. Sea level has risen about 9″ in each of the last 3 centuries and is not increasing no matter what AlGore is telling you. All of the alarmist are making dire predictions that never happen. James Hansen, the Father of Global Warming predicted in 1988 that in 25 years, Manhattan Island would be under water. That was 2013 and the actual sea level went up several inches. Did you know that most of Manhattan is lower than most of Florida. The US has not been struck with a major (Cat 3 hurricane or higher) in over 4,000 days. Media hype used by people who make their living from global warming. 18,000 years ago (a wink in geologic time), sea level was 270 feet lower than now and Florida was 900 miles wide. Chicago and NY were covered with over a mile of ice. Global warming has been going on in spits and starts since then and the notion that man kind is increasing the rate is not proven. Fear mongering is used to sell stuff by agenda driven people.
My response: I have been an engineer and a math professor for over 20 years. I am not selling any solar product or services, just a conscientious American and Floridian who felt compelled to try my best to help my fellow human being on planet earth by slowing down the climate change via advocating for solar energy and modifying my life style. If Amendment 1 is passed, it will very likely be able to destroy solar industry in Florida. Yes, climate has always been changing, but now we are particularly concerned about its rate (how fast) of change that will potentially be increasing the frequency of hurricanes (such as that of 1926). We had just been visited by Hurricane Matthew (up to Category 5 at certain parts of FL) within the last month. You need to view this film by Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining much about the issue of climate change, encouraged by Pope and UN and various scientific communities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M To give hope and optimism for our future generations, we need to play an active part in helping to slow down the climate change and encourage the growth of solar/renewable energy industries.If you are not afraid of truth and reality, you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M
VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION
Firework, by Saifon Narongrat (brought to you by WindermereSun.com)
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
The votes are in. Amendment 4 passed with the vast majority of Floridians across the state voting YES to support solar power in the Sunshine State (at 73% vs. 27% margin, the measure needs 60% to win)! The victory would not have been possible without the effort of thousands of volunteers and organizations throughout Florida that worked tirelessly to get the necessary votes. Thank you for all of your dedication and support.
This is a huge step to usher the Sunshine State from being blocked
Sun blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
into the Solar Energy Age and on the way in becoming a leader in the solar industry!
Sun is shining, no longer blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Amendment 4 will help Floridians to lower energy costs by reducing the tax burden for solar equipment. With lower taxes for homeowners and businesses, more solar energy development is anticipated for Floridians to lock in energy savings, create jobs, spur economic development, and bring much needed diversity to Florida’s energy mix!
Solar Panels Reflecting the Sky, by Debbie Mous, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Growth by huntr004, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Panels by Neville Mecallef, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Now, Floridians, please remember to Vote “No” for Amendment 1 on November 8 because it’s a Trojan Horse that the utility companies are using to block further solar development. More on Amendment 1 in a future post.
I attended PV Taiwan 2015 in Taipei World Trade Center-Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan, because of a previous promise. In my book of life, it is important to keep one’s words or promises.
The event organizer was very astute in combining PV Taiwan-TIGIS-Laser Taiwan 2015 into one conference/exhibition event because there is much cross-over among these three industries. 2015 PV (Photovoltaics) Taiwan & 2015 TIGIS (Taiwan International Green Industry Show) open concurrently for the first time at Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, creating the most comprehensive and complete platform for Green Energy Industry in Taiwan. The event lasted between Oct. 14-16, 2015.
As I got close to the exhibition center on Oct. 14, 2015, I realized that there would be some serious VIP attending this event because the building was surrounded by security guards. As it turned out, the VIP is the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou.
The 12th/13th President of Taiwan or R.O.C. (Republic of China), Yingjeou Ma.(credit: jamiweb)
Not only did President Ma give an encouraging opening address, he also took a quick tour of the exhibit with his entourage, caught in this video above (at 4:53 mark of the video). It is clear that President Ma appreciates the relevance of solar/renewable industry at this juncture of human history. He understands that we human kind needs to get into the clean, renewable, and solar energy. His attendance was truly a morale boost for all of those in solar industry and in attendance.
This is a very well organized event where media/press are treated well. The main difference between PV Taiwan and SPI or Intersolar is that PV Taiwan has greater emphasis in manufacturing components (such as material and equipments) whereas SPI or Intersolar tends to emphasize more on finished product. It is apparent that a lot of Taiwanese and Chinese solar businesses are in collaboration with other European companies (such as German companies). I believe Taiwanese business people, as a group, is extremely versatile and collaborative. They also understand the importance of education and research for solar industry’s future. It is an event worth attending for all solar businesses that want to connect with others from different parts of the world.
Taipei, Taiwan, has presented itself as a world class city, where order, cleanliness, and smart planning and designs may be found every where. Taiwan is truly a beautiful place, a wonderful island where services are the tops, best (cleanest and easiest to navigate) mass transport (MRT), and people are extremely friendly! Taipei, Taiwan, is a city where one doesn’t need to speak/know Chinese/Mandarin and still be able to get around the city because all signs and metro announcements are in both English and Chinese. It is truly an international city. To take a look at this lovable city, check out these videos below:
Any questions, comments, and concerns may be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More videos regarding PV Taiwan 2015 will be uploaded later.
~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, photographed, video-recorded, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at email@example.com
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:
Do you remember one of our posts during 2012 about a tracking system designed by a new company called QBotix? To refresh your/our memory, please refer to the paragraph from our previous 2012 post, below:
The recently unveiled RTS by QBotix, a new company (from Menlo Park, CA) that is bringing the power of robotics to solar energy. The Robotic Tracking System (RTS) is a comprehensive dual-axis tracking system (at a single-axis system’s cost but generates up to 15% more energy) that employs rugged, intelligent and mobile robots to dynamically operate solar power plants and maximize energy output. By having the robot (some call it solbot) running on a track, as a monorail, servicing up to 200 solar panels, at 40-minute intervals throughout the day, this tracking system can help the solar panels to receive a performance boost of as much as 40% over existing fixed mount systems and lowers the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) by up to 20%. Furthermore, RTS offers fast installation and has low operation and maintenance costs, and is compatible with all solar panels and mounting foundations. When connecting with each panel, RTS adjusts the angle of the panel and collects data about the panel. I can see the potential of a self-cleaning RTS/solbot that may be programmed to conserve/minimize the water use in cleaning all solar panels. Wouldn’t that be great?! Apparently, RTS also has a certified IP-65, meaning it is impervious to dust and water.
Be sure to also take a look at our interview this year (2014), with Matt Lugar, VP of Sales and Marketing of QBotix, during InterSolar North America 2014, at Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, below:
Much has happened to QBotix since we last interviewed its founder and CEO Wasiq Bokhari and Director of Engineering Lalo Ruiz in 2012. Recently QBotix has announced that it has raised $12 million in Round B financing through its venture capital partners,E.On Climate and Renewables and Iberdrola Renewables. This is in addition to having already successfully completed a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative award project, and received the recognition by Fast Company as one of theworld’s top 10 most innovative companies in robotics. When we met QBotix in 2012, it was a design with zero installations, but now it’s gone global, with 80 MW installations and contracts or partnerships in U.S., Europe, Latin America, Australia, Japan, and further development in Chile and South Africa. QBotix has the revolutionary, highly efficient technology that will contribute significantly to reduce the balance of system costs in solar projects. We will look forward to its continued expansion and spreading throughout our planet.
(Please click on red links below)
Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
I was tickled pink upon seeing this video from the U.S. Department of Energy site. I trust that you will agree that there is hope for our future generations once you’ve seen this video, shared below (italicized text taken from U.S. Department of Energy site):
A group of fourth graders in Durham, North Carolina, are showing America the way to a clean energy future.
After learning all about solar and other energy sources, Aaron Sebens — a teacher at Central Park School for Children — and his fourth grade class came up with a bold idea: make their classroom solar-powered.
The video above documents the students’ journey from idea to reality — leading up to a celebratory party where Aaron and his students officially “flip-the-switch” on their solar-powered classroom. To fund the project, Aaron’s class launched a crowd-funding campaign that garnered support across America and around the world. The students originally hoped to raise $800 but significantly beat expectations — raising more than $5,000.
The promise of solar energy extends far beyond one classroom in Durham. Every day, as the director of the Energy Department’s Solar Program, I get to witness the impact this industry is having across America. As the students’ project shows, solar is taking off as a clean and affordable source of energy. Because of the investments we’ve made as a nation, the solar industry is now one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. The sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace — accounting for nearly half of all new U.S. electricity capacity during the first three months of 2013.
It’s clear we’re making progress in advancing America’s clean energy future, but the students in the video remind us that we have to do more. At the Energy Department, we’re committed to driving innovations that make America’s abundant solar energy resources more affordable and accessible for Americans. Let’s continue working together to create opportunities for more businesses, communities and classrooms across the country to tap into this clean, renewable and inexhaustible energy source.
Interested in installing a small solar energy system on your home? Visit our Energy Saver page for tips and guidance. Stay up to date on the Energy Department’s efforts to make solar power cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade by visiting our solar page on Energy.gov.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Be sure to share these links with others so we can all take the step to transition into solar energy future!
gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed publicly in the comment area below or privately at firstname.lastname@example.org (be sure to note in your email if you don’t want the email to be shared)
This past week, U.S. imposed tariffs at a range of 31 to 250 percent on Chinese-made solar products to aid domestic (U.S.) manufacturers beset by foreign competition, but many critics believe that this decision may end up raising prices and hurting the U.S. renewable energy industry. I personally have several issues or question with regard to this range of tariffs, to be addressed in this post.
The purpose of imposing this range of tariffs, otherwise known as the preliminary anti-dumping duties, is because the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled that Chinese manufacturers sold solar panels in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production. This decision is meant to provide a boost to the U.S. solar manufacturing industry. In the preliminary determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) set duties at 31.14 % for Trina, 31.18 % for 59 Chinese solar manufacturers (including Yingli Green Energy, LDK Solar, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Solar One, JA Solar Holding, and Jinko Solar) that chose to participate in the investigation, 31.22 % for Suntech, and 250 % for those Chinese solar manufacturers that chose not to participate at this investigation. The tariffs will be retroactive and be applied to panels that were shipped from as far back as about the middle of February, 2012. A final determination may still be made, so the tariff rates may be adjusted in the future. But the tariff rates resulting from this ruling were much higher than many had anticipated. This was the second of two duties/tariffs set by the DOC that stemmed from a trade complaint filed by SolarWorld’s American subsidiary. DOC’s final determinations are expected to be made for both tariffs in late July of 2012 and its announcement may reach the public as late as September of 2012.
Previously, in March, the DOC announced a preliminary determination that set relatively modest countervailing duties that essentially measure the level of subsidies and benefits coming from the Chinese government to Chinese crystalline silicon panel manufacturers: 2.9% for Suntech, 4.73% for Trina, 3.59% to all others. But now, added by the second duty/tariff mentioned in the paragraph above, Chinese solar panels will be much more expensive. The ruling could add about $0.30 per watt to the price of a panel. So, Chinese companies are expected to set up workarounds like tolling (tolling is expected to add only about $0.06 to $0.08 per watt) in which they send panels through another country, or even set up remote manufacturing facilities outside their country.
Below, I have a video clip from Suntech Power, to help better understand how Suntech PV cells and modules are made, below:
If you are as ignorant as I was about the international trade policy, this will help to clarify the situation: To search for better understanding of the DNA of history of U.S. Tariffs, I obtained help from Wikipedia, and found that tariffs were the largest source of U.S. federal revenue until the Federal income tax began after 1913. The history of U.S. tariffs went as far back as Tariff of 1790, established under the guidance of Alexander Hamilton;he calculated that the U.S. required sufficient revenue in order to maintain $3 million per year in operating cost and repayment for the $75 million foreign and domestic debt. Therefore, Hamilton proposed an increase in the average tariff rate of 5% to between 7 and 10%, with addition of numerous items, and the passage of an excise tax. Congress refused to pass the excise tax, but James Madison successfully steered the tariff increases through the legislature. In light of our current national debt rate and the relationship between President and Congress, one is amazed at how often history repeats itself. I am no longer surprised at the dramatic increase of tariffs (be it solar or otherwise) if I simply remember how much our current national debt rate is. But one does need to ask if similar rate of increase in tariff is also occurring in other industries.
Secondly, with the help from Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, essentially, in international trade ( if company a comes from country A and company b comes from country B), it is all right for company a to sell at below the cost of production in country A (which often happens when there is an over supply of certain products, as what would happen during sales and clearances) , but it is not all right for company a to sell at below the cost of production in country B (henceforth the existence of tariffs) in order to protect merchants/manufacturers of similar products from country B. So, the existence of tariffs would benefit the local manufacturers but not necessarily local consumers.
I have several concerns/issues/questions regarding this decision/tariff range:
The range from about 31% to 250% seems rather wide. The high end (250%) reserved for Chinese solar manufacturers that did not participate in this investigation: will this unusually high tariff rate result in preventing other Chinese manufacturers from ever considering any future sells to U.S. while providing special protection for Chinese manufacturers that have already participated in the current investigation with U.S. ?
The fact that this tariff will be retroactive as far back as February of 2012: will this decrease the desirability/amount of future international trades with U.S. from other nations ?
How are these rates determined ? I had a tough time obtaining the information regarding how these rates were set due to its proprietary information status. Is it possible for the decision for these rates to be more transparent and be available to public?
Assuming we are all cooperative human beings trying to optimize our earthly resources, will it be possible for the Chinese manufacturers to work out deals with the US manufacturers by transporting the solar cells (which takes up most of the manufacturing cost of any solar module) to U.S. to be assembled into its modular forms in U.S. plants so to help reduce the tariffs. In so doing, this will also help to reduce the transporting cost of the frames and various other components of the solar modules. U.S., in this scenario, will benefit from increased local jobs for assembling solar panels in U.S.
In light of our globalized economy and existence of tolling (mentioned above under FACTS), it is questionable how much revenue will truly be generated from this tariff.
Will this tariff increase the cost for American consumers and reduce the competitiveness of U.S. solar industry rather than simply boosting U.S. solar manufacturing industry in the future ?
I hope U.S. Department of Commerce will carefully weigh all of these issues before final determination later this year. Much remains to be seen. I welcome any of your questions/discussions/comments/concerns/suggestions here at Sun Is The Future (of http://sunisthefuture.net) via email@example.com
~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: