Editor's blog

picture of a messy desk and computer screenFew things are more satisfying and rewarding than writing about something about which you are passionate. For me, the environment is one of the things for which I have the greatest passion. As a father of two young girls, and, more generally, as a member of global humanity, I believe there is nothing more important than ensuring that our planet is a livable place for its incredible array of organisms for as long as possible. Few things are more crucial to making sure this occurs than a truly massive shift from fossil -- and finite -- fuels to renewable, clean forms of energy like solar.

An open letter to the pro Big Utility hypocrites

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In contrast to what the pro Big Utility folks claim, home solar PROMOTES free-marketism by creating the first EVER competition for monopolistic electric utilities. We home solar owners are happy to pay a FAIR AND REASONABLE amount to to use the grid -- as long as the same guy who owns the grid is NOT the same guy with a monopoly on electic power production, a situation which represents a blatant conflict of interest.

editors-blog-entry3I've totally had it with the hypocritical people out there who allegedly support free-marketism and consumer choice, and who then slam home solar and net metering and people with home solar as free loaders and anti-free-marketers.

Come again?

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A Nissan LEAF runs completely out of charge

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My 2014 Nissan LEAF SV plugged in at a home about 300 meters away from my own home in Aurora., Colo. after it ran out of charge. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

editors-blog-entry3I finally pushed it too far with my 2014 Nissan LEAF last night. My SV and me and my two daughters came up 300 meters short of our home, running out of charge just about 50 meters beyond a very dangerous left turn we have to make across three lanes of traffic with cars traveling 55 to 60 m.p.h.

This happened at precisely 12:15 a.m. Denver time. I had to wake up my sleeping kids, pull them out of the car, roll the car backwards down a hill I wasn't going to make it up, and park it on the street.

We then trekked 300 meters home in the chilly January air, and hopped into bed.

Well, I didn't hop into bed, I hopped online and mused over whether I should finally get an Aeroenvironment AV TurbCard 240 Volt portable plug-in EV charger, which can charge my LEAF three times faster than the trickle charge I am using exclusively now.

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Home solar more expensive than 5 years ago

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This 5.59 kW solar system, for which I paid $8,000 out of pocket in 2010, would cost me more than two times as much, out of pocket, today. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

editors-blog-entry3I hope the headline for this blog entry attracts some attention -- because I'm frustrated about all the headlines on how solar is coming down in price.

Solar is coming down in price -- BUT solar rebates are dropping, typically faster than the price of solar itself. That's what's happened here in Colorado in Xcel Energy territory.

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Public buying into Hydrogen Fairy Myth

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[Flickr Creative Commons Photo By Cinzia A. Rizzo]

editors-blog-entry3I've been saying for awhile in this space that people seem to think hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles will be made from thin air. Now, I've got some hard evidence that I'm right. Check out some of these Facebook responses to an article posted by ClimateProgress.Org about how Toyota is going to release its patents on the fuel cell vehicle.

The responses indicate the validity of my "Hydrogen Fairy" thesis, which holds that people, lots of them, think hydrogen will be made from thin air, rather than by the burning of fossil fuels, which is the most likely scenario. Here goes, check out the ignorance for yourself -->

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Utilities shouldn't control production & the grid

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While utilities in some places are burning less coal, this is mostly because the voters in states like Colorado forced them to do so.

editors-blog-entry3It's pretty clear what the problem is with the Big Utility Model in the United States, where utilities are trying to throttle down on homeowners' right to generate their own (solar) electricity by pushing back against net metering -->

The same guys who produce the electricity ALSO own the distribution network over which that electricity runs. That's gotta change -- yesterday!

When the same entity owns the means of production AND distribution, it can clamp down/shut down the network to stifle competitors. 

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