The sun shines in every state and country

I am constantly bemused how leaders will attempt to gain support for an investment in fossil fuel energy with the statement that it will create jobs. In the case of the Keystone pipeline, I have heard 40,000 jobs, which are largely temporary. But, let’s say the jobs are permanent for the sake of argument. Creating 40,000 jobs would be a good thing, yet we still need to look at the cost/ benefit of the investment. In essence, proponents are talking about piping oil derived from a horrible means of extraction across our country with the risk of leakage.

However, on the flip side is the growing elegance and cost effectiveness of the solar energy industry whose costs continue to fall and are on par in some places with other less environmentally friendly energy sources. * By 2018, the costs should be on par across the board. But, sticking with the jobs, there are now about twice as many solar energy jobs as coal industry jobs and the disparity continues to grow with double-digit job growth in solar and retrenchment in coal.

This next statement should be the clincher, in my simple view. The sun shines in every state in the United States and in every country. The Keystone pipeline would cross only a few states. Petroleum and coal are produced in only a few states. And, it should be noted that solar energy does not need to be large-scale to be introduced, which is one reason it scares the energy institutions. People like you and me can install solar energy to reduce or alleviate our energy costs. Companies like Apple, Google, IKEA, etc. have moved ahead and are moving further ahead with solar energy (and wind energy) to power their distribution centers and stores.

And, if that does not clinch the argument, the following should. Solar energy is renewable and does not cause environmental problems like fossil fuel retrieval and use. When the health cost/ benefit analysis is considered, the decision on where to invest becomes much easier, as evidenced by the State of New York banning fracking. So, even with leaders who are obviously heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry and want to do away with renewable tax credits and frack away on and offshore, this movement toward solar energy (and wind energy) is happening and is attracting a lot of capital investors.  Plus, there are jobs being created right and left, if leaders would look at what is happening rather than listen to the people saying to look the other way.

So, George Harrison and Bob Dylan told us the answers to our energy and climate change problems even back in the 1960s. “Here comes the sun,” sang George and “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind,” sang Bob. Remember those songs as they represent key parts of our energy future.


* Note: Please check out the link below to an article in The Charlotte Business Journal regarding the comparative cost of rooftop solar energy.



21 thoughts on “The sun shines in every state and country

  1. In 1981 I worked for the governor of Idaho in the Office of Energy. We were tasked, through grant funding, with finding and encouraging alternative sources of energy. Solar, geothermal, wind; these were viable alternatives way back then. They are not new technologies, and it is a travesty that another cent is invested into an old, insustainable energy source. There will be oil for a while; but it is LIMITED. All that destruction, time, and money wasted on a temporary source of an outmoded energy. It is a political poverty!

    • Thanks for your comments. You may recall that Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, which Ronald Reagan took down. Carter actually had some good ideas in an energy plan. We keep protecting the status quo under a misconception perpetuated by some that climate change is not man-influenced. This gets in the way of sensible planning. Every where coal is mined the sun shines and almost every where the wind blows. Leaders in those states should have been incenting renewable jobs in those areas, yet industry had them by the you-know-whats and they did not act ahead of time.

  2. Quite simply put: there is no argument for continued use of fossil fuels. But BIG OIL doesn’t rely on arguments, they rely on political pressure and fear tactics — which, sad to say, seem to be more effective than arguments. It all goes back to the Founders’ notion that a democracy requires an educated citizenry. If our schools did a better job the claims of special interests would be seen for what they are: wind eggs! Thanks BTG. Keep swinging!!

    • Thanks Hugh. The educated public would help us solve more problems. What you and I have noted before, if industry chooses not to participate and with solar power needing not be large initiatives, they may and are getting left at the train station.

      • One thing Americans are supposed to be very good at is making money. I simply cannot fathom why those in the dirty energy industries aren’t getting involved in clean energy. It’s not as though they have to trash everything they have done so far: it’s not an either/or. They are missing out on a very good thing, not only environmentally but financially as well.

      • I agree. As the numbers have come down on cost, more investors are noticing. The energy companies must be noticing as well. To me, if I can get in the same ballpark of cost, to build something that has less opposition, leaves me with less operational risk, and promotes jobs should be a win-win investment.

  3. Ah, it’s all solar. Once Earth days were much shorter. The moon is speeding up and gains 1 and a half inches (approximate) in the diameter of it’s orbit of Earth every year. Soo, the next paragraph is fiction.
    There is another “Earth” with a moon just like ours that we have never physically seen “opposite our sun” orbiting 180 degrees from our orbit. (it’s where all the aliens come from) Ah, but it’s days are 4 hours longer and very little if any tectonic plate movement, so – very few islands. Two hours more sun and two hours more dark every day. They use wind power everywhere, think about it:)
    Oh, I looked it up and Coke has a patent (a really tiny application of one function) on the most useful and efficient method of converting (horse power) a powered turning shaft (wind power) into usable, store-able energy. The good part, literally anyone can build it, a thousand different ways. I built a test unit to show a patent attorney several years ago, and mentioned where all the information is easily available. His eyes got big as pies when I told him (it’s around 97% efficient)
    Look up: Michael Faraday
    Magnetic Water Heater
    Cheers and enjoy, everything is adjustable, There is a sweet spot (rpm) eddy currants are soo cool. I put this on the shelf after I thought it up at age 14. Sorry – I should have pursued building it then. Fuel was cheap- you know– distractions. 🙂

      • Same here. They ran re-runs every day at 5 pm when I was growing up, even though the show just went off the air. So, we hustled home after practice to watch. I would watch that episode of they did it.

      • Simple FYI at this moment: Magnetic Water Heater, (one youtube video) “his concept is correct, but he does not understand eddy current, adjusting magnet placement, adjusting rpm to the sweet spot” Correctly engineered with 3/4 hp. motor input will turn his cup of water to steam in a minute. Please start with 5 gal. (40 lb) <clue (btu conversion- one HP = 740watts) actual temp. probe with a gauge. Timed test runs – jot down the start temp, the end temp-Y'all will enjoy the math once you start building. So simple I can just hear a million people say "Ah, why didn't I think of that?"

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